BACKGROUND : France has a long history of successful cardiovascular research and scientific innovations, but its continued success cannot be taken for granted. OBJECTIVE : To identify current obstacles to cardiovascular research in France and to crystallize the analysis into recommendations for maintained and enhanced research excellence in the future. METHODS : The French Society of Cardiology set up seven Working Groups, each comprising four to eight cardiologists, covering a spectrum of research institutes, hospitals, specialties, ages and research experience. The Working Groups met regularly in person or by conference call to analyse experiences, refine situation assessments and formulate recommendations for improvements. Results and suggestions were presented to a Core Team, which worked to synthesize, prioritize and organize the findings into a consolidated situation assessment and generate a set of action-orientated recommendations. RESULTS : Four key areas of action were identified: stronger focus on the generation of high-quality data; facilitation of future cardiovascular research; greater promotion and support for research among young cardiologists; and increased focus and support for communications. Most recommendations targeted structural shortcomings and may be implemented at low additional financial cost. CONCLUSIONS : It is possible to maintain, and even increase, the quality of cardiovascular research in France and to boost the conversion of successful projects into high-impact publications, without major increases in funding. Intense collaboration between specialties and organizations is necessary to achieve sustainable results.