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France is known the world over for its cuisine, fashion, culture and language. It is the most visited tourist destination in the world. A key player on the global stage and a country at the political heart of Europe, France paid a high price in both economic and human terms during the two world wars. The years which followed saw protracted conflicts culminating in independence for Algeria and most other French colonies in Africa as well as decolonisation in south-east Asia. France was one of the founding fathers of European integration as the continent sought to rebuild after the devastation of the Second World War.

Total area: 673,801 km2 (Whole territory of the French Republic, including all the overseas departments and territories, but excluding the disputed French territory of Terre Ad?lie in Antarctica)Metropolitan France: 551,695 km2(Metropolitan - i.e. European - France only, French National Geographic Institute data Metropolitan France: 543,965 km2(Metropolitan - i.e. European - France only, French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds, glaciers larger than 1 km2 , and estuaries) France has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal figures and the ninth largest economy by PPP figures.[9] It has the third-largest economy in Europe with Germany and the UK in 1st and 2nd.[10] The OECD is headquartered in Paris, the nation's financial capital. The chemical industry is a key sector for France, helping to develop other manufacturing activities and contributing to economic growth.[11] France's tourism industry is a major component of the economy, as France is the most visited destination in the world.[12][13] Sophia Antipolis is the major technology hub for the economy of France. In 2010, Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report ranked France the wealthiest European country with 2.6 million dollar-millionaires, and the world's 4th wealthiest[14] nation[15] in aggregate household wealth. According to the IMF, in 2013, France was the world's 20th country by GDP per capita with $44,099 per inhabitant. In 2013, France was listed on the United Nations's Human Development Index with 0.884 (very high human development) and 25th on the Corruption Perceptions Index.

France?s external efforts to promote development research are an integral part of its Official Development Assistance (ODA). Total spending by all those involved in development research in France amounts to some ?350 million annually, equivalent to 4% of total ODA. This is sufficient to fund numerous initiatives, most of which are implemented by bodies specialising in development research. French research development policy is directed towards four main objectives: promoting training for young researchers and their inclusion in international teams; promoting networking by South/South and North/South teams in order to build capacity in the developing countries (and in particular the capacity for innovation) and reduce the scientific divide; strengthening the national expertise of partner countries to provide the answers required by political decision-makers and reinforcing the role of the scientific community as a force for development; contributing to the pursuit of scientific excellence by implementing concrete actions in the field to ensure the development of research and higher education institutions in the most underprivileged countries.

Development research initiatives. In pursuit of these objectives, the MAE contributes to funding for initiatives by bodies active in the development research field, including the Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the Centre for International Cooperation on Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), over which it exercises joint authority with the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Sic genetic and fermentation research is done in Lallemand?s laboratory at the Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI) in Montreal (Canada).Process development and scale-up takes place in Toulouse (France) and Montreal. Applied animal nutrition research is done by Lallemand staff based in two Ruminant Centres of Excellence: INRA (national agricultural research institute in France) and BRI (Canada).Application studies for animal nutrition products and silage inoculants in Europe is carried out in collaboration with, among others, INRA and Arvalis (France), RAP (Switzerland), University of Nottingham, AFBI (United Kingdom), the universities of Munich and Leipzig (Germany), IRTA (Spain), the universities of Milan and Padova (Italy), University of Olsztyn (Poland), University of Aahrus (Denmark), University of Szeged (Hungary) and the University of Ghent (Belgium).In North America, application studies are also done in collaboration with universities and institutes including: the United States Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University, Kansas State University, Washington State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Florida, the University of Minnesota, the University of California ? Davis, the University of Delaware and the University of Wisconsin (U.S.); the Food Research and Development Centre in Saint-Hyacinthe and with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at various locations.