ESPCI ParisTech was founded in 1882 by the Paris City Council; its legal status changed on January 1, 2006, and it now operates as an autonomous municipal administrative corporation (a Régie autonome, in French).
The Paris City Council decided on July 11 and 12, 2005, to change the legal status of ESPCI ParisTech (École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles) and EIVP (École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, City of Paris Engineering School), by granting both institutions legal personality and financial autonomy.
The purpose of the reform is to provide the two engineering schools, which were previously administered as departments of the city government, the necessary autonomy to fully carry out their mission, while strengthening their ties to the City of Paris, which continues to finance most of their activities.
ESPCI ParisTech is now administered by a Board of Directors with general powers, and which elects its Chairman from among the City Councillors on the Board. The Chairman has full powers for administration of the corporation (Régie), for staff appointments, budget execution, and legal action. The School has its own budget, the essential part of which is appropriated from the City’s funds, thus allowing it to implement educational and scientific policies in a flexible, reactive and independent manner. The School has also established an International Scientific Committee.