International Research Structures

The research-intensive University of Rennes works with international laboratories across the globe

International Research Laboratory (IRL)

IRL International Research Laboratories or IRLs (formerly known as UMI) were created in 2002. Their status is comparable to that of a CNRS joint research unit (UMR). An IRL brings together the CNRS staff assigned to it and the staff of the partner country under the same roof.

IRLs correspond to international research structures where research activities are carried out in common based on shared scientific themes. They formalise, in an identified location, the significant and lasting presence of scientists from a limited number of French and foreign research institutions (one foreign partner country) (

 Dynacom International Laboratory, Japan 

Collaboration exists between France and Japan in the field of physical control of materials. The objective is to develop ultra-fast control of molecular transformations of materials.

Dynacom (for Dynamic Control of Materials) is an IRL comprised of the CNRS, the University of Tokyo and the University of Rennes. It is located on the Hongo campus in Tokyo, Japan. This laboratory is the result of collaboration between Japanese teams in Tokyo and French scientists from the Institut de Physique de Rennes (IPR, CNRS/University of Rennes), including Eric Collet, a professor from the University of Rennes, working at the IPR and deputy director of the IRL.


LINK International Laboratory, Japan

Scientific exchange programme between France and Japan in the field of materials science.

International Research Laboratory (IRL) CNRS-St-Gobain - Laboratory for INnovative Key Materials and Structures (LINK), hosted in the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Japan. The University of Rennes is one of the project partners through its "mirror laboratory", which is based at the Rennes Institute of Chemical Sciences (UMR CNRS 6226).

International Research Projects (IRPs, former LIAs)

International Research Projects (IRPs) are "laboratories without walls" that aim to formalise and reinforce existing cooperation between at least two laboratories, one in France and the other abroad. IRP activities are coordinated by two co-principal investigators and by a scientific steering committee. All the IRPs of the University of Rennes work in association with the CNRS with the exception of one, which works with Inserm.

  • IVMF, Green Engineering through Fluid Mechanics (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Universidad Nacional Entre Rios, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba)

The goal is to strengthen and deepen existing cooperation through the consolidation of the scientific skills developed, by extending it to new applications in the field of fluid mechanics.


Project leader: Luc OGER

  • MAITAI, Multiphoton Absorbers in Therapy and Imaging: from fundamental molecular photonics to bio-oriented applications

The main objective of the IRP MAITAI is to study multiphoton absorption (MPA) as a means of optical limitation, which can be used for the protection of sensitive optical devices, including the eyes.


Project leader: Frédéric PAUL

  • CoopIC, Cooperation in Inorganic Chemistry

This cooperation aims to continue and strengthen the productive links developed over the last decade, including within LIA M3, in the fields of synthesis, spectroscopic, structural and theoretical analyses and measurement of the physico-chemical properties of new compounds and materials prepared in inorganic chemistry.


  • Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello (Santiago),
  • Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso (Valparaiso),
  • Universidad de Chile
  • Universidad de Santiago de Chile (Santiago),
  • Universidad Autónoma de Chile (Santiago)

Project leader: Jean-René HAMON

  • CRIBs, French-Chinese Biomedical Information Research Centre

The purpose of this collaboration with China is to improve diagnostic methods and optimise therapeutic approaches in the context of cardiovascular pathologies, interventional imaging in laparoscopy, radiotherapy and epilepsy.


Project leader: Lotfi SENHADJI

  • MOF/FOM, Functional Organophosphorus Materials

This structure synthesises organophosphorus materials for the purpose of studying their electronic properties and using them for developments.


Project leader: Muriel HISSLER

  • M-AGRI, The Plant Microbiota within a new smart Agriculture

The objective of the M-Agri IRP is to strengthen existing synergies and facilitate exchanges between laboratories in order to develop innovative research on a key theme for the coming decade: that of maintaining food security by implementing a form of agriculture that is more sustainable and productive than conventional agriculture.


Project leader: Philippe VANDENKOORNHUYSE

  • GRADIENTS, Connecting molecular mechanisms of stress tolerance to community structure: the case of cereal aphids, their endosymbionts and their natural enemies in the context of climate change on two continental gradients

The objective of this IRP is to combine the ability of different interacting species to withstand and adapt to hot and cold temperature extremes, to the population dynamics of each species, and thus to the evolution of their relative abundances within each guild.


Project leader: Joan VAN BAAREN

Collaboration with China on nanobioanalysis and electrochemical nanocatalysis*


Project leader: Philippe HAPIOT

  • PRICES, Phenomic Responses of Invertebrates to Changing Environment and multi-Stress

The purpose of this cooperation is to study of the resistance of insect organisms to environmental changes.


Project leader: David RENAULT

  • EARTHSURF, Investigating past and present Earth’s surface dynamics to quantify resilience to changes

French-German collaboration on the study of geological processes affecting the Earth's surface.


Project leader: Olivier DAUTEUIL

  • TUPRIC - Targeting the Unfolded Protein Response In Cancer - toward a precision medicine approach

Objective: to define precision treatments for brain tumours that can also be applied to other cancers.


Project leader: Eric CHEVET

  • NPSAH, Natural Products and Synthesis towards Affordable Health

Former collaboration initiated by R. Grée. Intensive exchanges between researchers and students on natural products, in particular Lychens.


Project leader: Joël BOUSTIE


The main topic of this IRP focuses on chirality, not only limited to electrocatalytic processes but also extended to various chemical processs, from enantioselective detection to separation and chiral chemistry synthesis.


  • Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) University
  • Institute of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Leipzig, Leipzig

  • German Primate Centre, Göttingen

  • Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Research Unit: ISCR

Project leader: Gabriel LOGET

  • SUPRHEME - Supramolecular HEM E protein models

French-Japanese collaboration on internationally renowned expertise in the synthesis of ringed porphyrins with structures that protect the iron core from common degradation

French-Japanese collaboration

Project leader: Bernard BOITREL

  • AntarctPlantAdapt, Adaptation of sub-Antarctic and southern alpine plants to climate change

Identifying and understanding adaptive and evolutionary mechanisms of alpine and sub-Antarctic plant species to climate change.


Project leader: Françoise HENNION

  • CLUSPOM, Innovative Materials and Nanomaterials Based on Tailor-Made Functional Building Blocks

Formalised collaboration between Rennes-Novosibirsk and Versailles-Novosibirsk. Networking of three laboratories working on liquid crystals, soft matter and hybrid materials


Project leader: Stéphane CORDIER

  • NORth Neolithisation of communities on the Russian plain (7th-3rd millennia BC), The State Hermitage Museum

The main objective of the project is to study the environmental factors that enabled sedentary communities to sustain themselves without cultivation or livestock in Russian forest areas.


Project leader: Vincent BERNARD

South Africa
  • VOCOM - Evolution of vocal communication: testing the impact of social systems, phylogeny and conditions of life

This project aims to bring together the skills of French and South African research groups around the question of the evolution of voice communication and the factors involved.


Project leader: Martine HAUSBERGER

  • NANOTHERA-ECHIM - Targeted therapy based on the use of nanoparticles, a new therapeutic hope for alveolar echinococcosis

The aim of this project is to propose an innovative therapeutic alternative to patients affected by alveolar echinococcosis.


  • Britta Lundström-Stadelmann - Institute of Parasitology

Project leader: Sarah DION

  • G2E - Geodynamics to Extreme Events in Taiwan

The project's scientific community aims to solve one of the major societal challenges related to better anticipation of natural disasters and future energy.

French-Taiwanese Cooperation

Project leader: Philippe STEER

  • IFUMI, French-Uruguayan Institute of Mathematics and Interactions

This collaboration is between France and Uruguay in the field of mathematics. The project also includes a focal point based on the theoretical aspects of image, where a long-standing and rich collaboration exists. It also reinforces links developed in mathematical computing (logic, dynamic analysis of algorithms).


Project leader: Françoise DAL'BO-MILONET

International Research Networks IRN (ex-GDRI)

An IRN is a scientific coordination network gathering research teams in European and non-European countries. Its activities are coordinated by a scientific committee.


Polyploidy and Biodiversity

Countries: US, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Belgium

Description: Creation of an international network involving seven countries in the field of ecology, genetics, cytogenetics, epigenomics and bioinformatics with the aim of understanding genome duplication, the central mechanism of biological diversification.


Support to Research Activities in Computer Science and Mathematics in Africa

Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Ouganda, Togo

Description: Bring together partners, foster information exchange and inform the scientific community concerned about the evolution of research in Sub-Saharan Africa in the field of mathematics.


Cultural transmission of zoological knowledge (Antiquity-Middle Ages): discourses and techniques

Countries: Germany, Belgium, Israel, and Italy

Description: The aim is to finalise an annotated corpus of zoological data in digital format, which will eventually be open access.


Chinese-French International Research Network in Photonics

Country: China

Description: This project covers three themes: integrated photonics, nanophotonics and materials for photonics.


Quantitative Detection of Molecular and Radical Species Produced by Chemical Reactions and Photodissociation Processes

Country: United States

Description: This project brings together global groups from different scientific fields to exchange complementary knowledge and approaches to advance the detection limits of trace and radical molecular species in the gas phase.


Quantum Dynamics with the Multi-Configuration Time-Dependent Hartree method

Countries: Germany, US, Israel, Australia, UK and China

Description: The main objective is the study of quantum dynamics and more precisely the development and application of the Multi-Configuration Time-Dependent Hartree (MCTDH) approach, one of the most efficient methods for propagating multidimensional wave packets.


Coast-inland dynamics in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies

Countries: Norway, Latvia, Spain, France

Description: The main objective is to study inland coastal dynamics in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies in Europe.

More information on International Research Networks can be found on the CNRS website.