The French government is to call for research into autism to be listed as a priority area in Horizon 2020, the successor to the EU’s Framework programme for research. The French minister for social cohesion, presented an outline of the plan at a recent cabinet meeting and will produce a detailed set of goals by the end of this year, following a decision to make the condition France’s ‘national cause’ for 2012.
The government intends to ‘intensify’ research in biology, physiology and the social sciences to expand knowledge of autism. This is likely to include an interdisciplinary research stream supported by the National Research Agency. The plan highlights the need to reinforce the rights of citizens with autism and to increase public awareness of the condition in order to support social inclusion. If you are interested in autism research and want to get in to EU funding, now would be a great time to start building links with French researchers in this area.