Research forces

Since the Matignon Agreements (1988), areas of competence have been divided between New Caledonia, the three Provinces, the municipalities and French government. The Noumea Agreements (1998) provides for a gradual transfer of powers from French government to New Caledonia, as provided for in the Organic Law of 19 March 1999. The French government is responsible for higher education and research but Article 38 of Organic Law No. 2009-969 of 3 August 2009 states that “There shall be an advisory research board within the framework of the New Caledonia Congress. (...) The board shall be informed every year, by the university institutions and the research bodies specified in I [Article 38, I.], of the guidelines and focus of their program in New Caledonia and the results of their work.”

Research staff

There are a total 600 full-time jobs in research, representing 2.1 research staff for every 1,000 persons in employment. 260 full-time jobs correspond to research teachers, researchers, doctoral engineers, doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers. The latter are distributed as follows:

Effectif de la recherche, 2015.

Research personnel, 2015.

Source : Ministry of Higher education, Research and Innovation 

Research funding

Research in New Caledonia is funded in the annual amount of 60 million Euros, excluding transfer activities. Domestic expenditure on research and development, applied to GDP, is about 0.8%. 78% of the funding comes from French government. Funding from local authorities are 11%.

The operating budget (excluding payroll) totals €7 million.

The New Caledonia Government has decided to make innovation a lever for economic and social development. After an analysis phaseand a strategic definition phase, undertaken by working groups in 2015, a document setting out the Territorial Innovation Strategy was draw up at the end of 2015 and adopted by the Government in January 2016.

This document encompasses four mainstrategic objectives:

  • creating an innovation-friendly environment;
  • providing financial support for innovation;
  • disseminating the culture of innovation;
  • putting the human factor at the heart of innovation.

These strategic objectives are divided into thirteen operational objectives, which are themselves set out in an action plan, with New Caledonia's various institutions (Provinces and/or Government) potentially responsible for implementing the plan. Outcome and impact indicators have been identified for each action.