French spending on research will rise 1.4% to FFr 53 bn (about £5.4 bn) next year. Though barely more than the rate of inflation, the figure represents an increase on last year's budget and ends a downward trend. The money will be used to create 3500 new jobs in research and higher education.

In his first major policy declaration, Claude Allègre, the minister for education and research, also announced that he will cut spending on large facilities such as the national centre for space studies to increase the core funding given to labs. Next year's budget includes a 5.4% increase for core funding, which has been welcomed by physicists.

The budget for the national research council (CNRS) has been increased by 2.5%. Allègre has told the new head of CNRS, Catherine Bréchignac, to cut down on bureaucracy. Jean-Paul Pouget, a solid-state physicist, replaces Bréchignac as director of the department of physical sciences and mathematics (SPM); the directors of the department of nuclear and particle physics (IN2P3) and the department of sciences of the universe (INSU) have had their mandates renewed.