The Cluster of Excellence FIRST-TF

Network for Research, Innovation, Education, Services and Training in Time-Frequency

FIRST-TF is a thematic network aiming to gather all the actors involved in time-frequency on a national scale.

Building a network of experts, FIRST-TF supports collaborative projects in Time & Frequency metrology with a broad spectrum of applications, from fundamental physics to satellite-based positioning systems. In the current socio-economical context where synchronization-related problems are omnipresent, encouraging laboratory innovations and ensuring effective technology transfers are of high importance for the network. Finally, the FIRST-TF network coordinates opportunities in teaching as well as tools for lifelong learners, the general public and school audiences on space-time metrology, a fascinating topic at the crossroads of several disciplinary fields.

22 laboratories, 27 companies, 5 consulting companies, 4 technical agencies and 2 associated foreign structures are now part of the FIRST-TF network, around 5 founding laboratories: SYRTE, FEMTO-ST, LPL, UTINAM, GEOAZUR. These five laboratories devote an important part of their research on time & frequency metrology, but also on developing services destined to professionals (in the industrial or the scientific realm) and to the general society (legal time). FIRST-TF’s partners are engaged both in upstream (R&D) and downstream activities.

The FIRST-TF network has been certified as a LabEx, or a Laboratory of Excellence (ANR-10-LABX-48-01) at the first call for projects by the French government’s ”Investing for the Future” initiative – “Programme Investissements d’Avenir”. Over the 2012-2021 period, nearly 180 operations projects have been funded by our LabEx.

The FIRST-TF LabEx was renewed for a duration of 5 years on January 1, 2020. At this date, it is extended into a so-called Research Federation (FR 2038).