27 institutes across 4 continents: America, Africa, Europe, Asia
Analysts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted a structure that would enable them to become more familiar with the work of researchers from the 27 French institutes located across four continents with the goal of better understanding the contemporary world. At the same time, an agreement between the Ministry and the CNRS aimed at gradually transforming all the institutes into mixed research units called UMIFRE is intended to smooth out and promote new ways of operating.
Since 2004, the unit’s activities have been entrusted to the Fondation MSH by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Its goal is to promote cooperation between the 27 French research institutes abroad and to expand their visibility beyond their traditional areas of influence.
Current work is structured around three initiatives
• Since 2005, the unit has been publishing (Armand Colin Publishers) a biannual review called Transcontinentales. The issues are structured by topic and include editorials, commentaries, overviews of scientific works, synopses, abstracts, and author biographies.
• In 2007, the unit organized its first major colloquium at the Musée du quai Branly. In parallel to the event, it set up a scientific monitoring system that can be used for finding the network’s publications, their type, scientific field, their authors, and keywords.
In 2007, it launched the site www.ifre.fr.