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Power struggle fails to derail Paris-Saclay

After a public war of words, the group of universities, research laboratories and grandes écoles that founded the Paris-Saclay mega-university has submitted a joint application for funding to continue its development.

The 18 organisations submitted their application to the Initiatives d’Excellence funding scheme on 22 December, shortly before the 1pm deadline. The Idex scheme, which runs as part of the PIA innovation investments scheme, funded the first €950-million wave of development at Paris-Saclay in 2011.

However, on the same day the newspaper Libération published a letter from senior university figures to Manuel Valls, the prime minister, and Thierry Mandon, the secretary of state for research and higher education, which illustrated a deepening rift between universities and the grandes écoles present at Paris-Saclay. Earlier in the week, reports had suggested that the two factions were deadlocked and the lack of compromise risked derailing the whole Paris-Saclay project.

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