PIRE programs


Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) programs are international activities involving labs from around the world with the goal of advancing research and education.

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) initiated PIRE programs in 2006 and runs them in conjunction with its international counterparts, such as the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) in France.

PIRE programs build on the synergies that emerge from international collaboration between multiple stakeholders (researchers, students, businesses, etc.). Driven by a determination to bring scientific excellence to the major challenges facing our society, this scientific ecosystem produces real-world, user-driven solutions.

All projects must be built on two pillars: the first scientific (collaborative work on a cutting-edge research subject), and the second dedicated to training through research via student exchanges (from undergraduate to PhD).

Students enrolled at American universities can come to the GIANT campus, and Grenoble-INP and UGA students can go to the United States for this eleven-week immersion program, where they work together in multidisciplinary groups on innovation and prototyping projects.



The REACT project (Research and Education in Active Coating Technologies for the Human Habitat) garnered a total of 263 research proposals in 2014, of which 17 were selected to receive funding for the 2015–2021 period. A team of 30 researchers (15 American and 15 French) were assigned to the project, which involves six GIANT laboratories. The focus—an exploration of the graduated responses science can bring to the multidimensional impacts of climatic events—is multidisciplinary and addresses a major societal issue.

The researchers identified three types fo needs:

  1. Collecting water;
  2. Preventing the proliferation of bacteria and other infections;
  3. Generating energy using photovoltaics and storing it via batteries.


Another PIRE project co-developed on the GIANT campus was accepted in 201: the PIRE HYBRID project. The aim of this program, which runs until 2021, is to facilitate training in hybrid materials for graduate, PhD, and post-doctoral students. Materials engineers, surface scientists, chemists, computer scientists, and experimental and theoretical quantum physicists are exploring the potential of hybrid materials for quantum science and technology. They are investigating a wide variety of materials including core/shell nanowires, van der Waals heterostructures, and superconductor/semiconductor epitaxial interfaces.