France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges

Beyond boundaries:  solving the world’s grand challenges, together.

On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Dr. Robert Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, and Pr. Antoine Petit, Chairman and CEO of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges, the first of its kind CNRS International Research Center (IRC). This application for designation as a RII institute enacts the UArizona’s implementation enterprise. As such, there is reference to the signed MOU throughout this application.


The France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges facilitates best-in-class research, international research, focusing on the grandest challenges: the search for life beyond Earth, the investigation into the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the advancement of the digital revolution with accessibility and fairness for all, the innovation of water solutions in arid places across the world, and the anticipation and prevention of global crises in both climate and human health.  

  • Boost scientific cross-fertilization among some of the best research teams in the world; not only supporting Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)-UArizona research collaborations but bringing into the fray other international partners as a part of these collaborations to tackle Global Grand Challenges.
  • Tackle Global Grand Challenges through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Global Grand Challenges research includes research on: arid lands, biosphere responses, food security, renewable energy, water, space exploration, policy and practices, digital revolution.
  • Enhance collaborative capacities to secure extramural funding from a variety of sources, including U.S., E.U., and other international sponsors, both private and public.
  • Extend and strengthen our interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research’s global reach through the CNRS-UArizona (France-Arizona) branded collaboration, which will attract both domestic and international students, collaborators, and donors.
  • Become a “one-stop-shop” for research collaboration on Global Grand Challenges. The Center creates a stream-lined, highly visible hub to disseminate information, collaborate, develop, and promote transdisciplinary international research on Global Grand Challenges.