Category Archives: AFRAN


Associate Professor and AFRAN Member Frédéric Hollande on SBS French!!

The Professor Frederic Hollande, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Melbourne is  co-directing the first International Associated Laboratory between INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and Australia. Invited at SBS for an interview, he explains his research, investigating causes of diseases, especially cancer, and he gives us his view of the medical research collaboration between France and Australia…

On this link and in french!




SEMINARS & PODCASTS Classics & Ancient History, Brisbane

You are warmly invited to the seminars & the public lectures in Classics & Ancient History at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2nd semester 2018.

For many of you, Australia is simply a very long way away. Even within the country, Brisbane often seems beyond the oikoumenē gē (‘the inhabited world’). In Queensland itself there are teachers of Ancient History whose high schools are hundreds or thousands of kilometres from this state’s capital city. For all of you UQ Classics & Ancient History is resuming the podcasting of our seminars and public lectures.

In due course podcasts of the talks by A. Brown (Queensland), S. Harrison (Oxford), A. Kotsonas (Cincinnati), D. M. Pritchard (Queensland) & J. Quinn (Oxford) will be made available here:

Please find attached the program of our talks: Classic&Ancient History seminars


7 laureates for the AFRAN Call for initiatives 2018!

We are very happy to announce that 7 projects have been selected this year within the framework of the AFRAN call for initiatives:

  • Australia-France Mycobacterial Research Network

May 2019, Centenary Institute, Sydney

The mycobacterial research capacity in Australia does very well at investigating immunity, vaccines, and new antibiotics. The Kremmer laboratory at IRIM (CNRS) in Montpellier is a world leading microbiology laboratory. This initiative aims at capitalising on the respective expertise available in both countries and should lead to the creation of a collaborative network fostering research projects and personnel exchanges.

This initiative proposes to introduce French researchers from IRIM to the hub of mycobacterial researchers at the University of Sydney (primarily centred at the Centenary Institute), where a national symposium will be held at the Centenary Institute bringing in researchers from Queensland and Melbourne to facilitate the transfer of intellectual expertise in techniques and planning of researcher exchange. The expected attendance from an Australian contingent is up to 120 researchers representing approximately 15 research groups across the three states.

French researchers will then spend additional time at the University of Sydney to plan collaborative experiments in Australian infection models. As well as having complementary research strengths (microbiology in France, immunology in Australia), our groups use a range of complementary models from pure bacterial culture, cell culture, zebrafish infection models, mouse inhalation models, to sheep and cow infection models.

This initiative will hopefully lead to a structured collaboration with a growing French-Australian network, fostering joint publications, exchange and joint grant applications, in a field of major importance for both public health and economy, but also with great opportunities to develop new knowledge in basic biology and technologies arising from trying to understand how these bacteria cause disease.


  • Advancing environmental biotechnologies through advanced microbiology and cutting-edge computational statistics.

1-17 April 2019, University of Melbourne

Advances in culture-independent, high-throughput technologies have transformed the way we examine microbial communities – collectively called ‘the microbiome’, which are known to impact a wide range of environmental systems. However, analytical tool development is critically trailing behind data generation, which hinders the analysis, understanding or integration of microbiome data. Dr Kim-Anh Lê Cao is a pioneer in developing methods and tools for data integration which adopt a holistic, data-driven and hypothesis-free approach. This project brings together the University of Melbourne (with the Melbourne Integrative Genomics group in the school of Mathematics and Statistics, the Melbourne Geomicrobiology Lab, and the Microbial Ecology group in the School of Bioscience), and Irstea (Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies).

This interdisciplinary research initiative aims at exploring and accelerating discoveries in these new frontier technologies and build capacity in best practice statistical analysis, nationally and internationally through a network of French and Australian microbiologist researchers. This initiative will focus on the practical aspects of microbiome data analysis with a 2-day workshop presenting methodologies for data analysis and integration, a 2-week discussion with participants to offer guidance, and a 1-day close-out to share findings and plan future collaborations and publications arising from the analyses.

Complex microbial networks have a central role in the provision and regulation of ecosystems that inspire multiple microbial biotechnologies applications to contribute substantively to global efforts to achieve sustainability, through purification of wastewater, waste valorisation, bioremediation strategies, and bioenergy production. Understanding key environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial to optimize such biotechnological advances.


  • First Australo-French Meetings on Innovation for Industry of the Future

15-16 October 2018, CentraleSupélec Saclay campus Gif sur Yvette

Innovation is the main driver for the renewal of Industry in the XXIst century and more specifically of manufacturing and production. In one hand industry is experiencing a strong revolution with more innovative design and lean value-oriented processes and in another hand Data and Artificial Intelligence are re-inventing all the design and production chains and their related competencies and jobs.

This initiative consists of creating a specific space where academic (Centrale Supelec, Flinders U., GEMA Group, UQ, UTS…), big companies (Naval Group, Dassault system, Thalès,…) meet start-ups and small structures (incubators, accelerators, open innovation institute…) in an “Open Innovation” framework where ideas and innovations are exchanged in a fast and agile process benefiting for both big and small organizations. The First Australo-French Meetings on Innovation for Industry of the Future is a key starting initiative to jointly think, exchange, and work on that crucial topic of industry for the future and its relations to innovation. Both French and Australian institutions will join their efforts to create this new community linked with industry and corporate partners. Discussions will also focus on skills and competencies needed for a new industry, taking into account Australian and French cultures.

This initiative will devote time for working groups aiming at proposing clear objectives and a short to middle-term roadmap including joint projects and events, faculty and student exchanges, internships and PhD programs, start-up seeds and co-incubation… The expectation is to concretize an Innovation-based Industry community and framework amongst the participants, which shall be open to more partners, and to propose concrete spaces and events to be co-managed and co-organized.


  • Research School on Statistics and Data Science

24-28 June 2019, Institute of Advanced Studies, La Trobe University, Bundoora

This initiative aims at bringing together data science and statistics researchers from France and Australia, at all career levels, to participate in an intimate and community building academic workshop. The workshop will concentrate mainly in the areas of statistics and data science. However, presentations, talks, and posters will also be accepted in the domains of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and signal processing. We will also be accepting talks and posters that illustrate real world applications of the aforementioned areas of research and innovation, such as applications in agriculture, climate change, and health research.

The Research Summer School on Statistics for Data Science (S4D) has been organized in Caen (France) in 2017 and 2018. It has a joint organization between La Trobe and University of Caen. It will be held in Australia for the first year, and will bring together researchers in data science and statistics across Australia and France with the aim of creating a shared center of data science, probability, and statistics research, to allow for academic and students exchanges.



  • First Australia-France Workshop on Soft and Intelligent Tactile Sensing for Robotics and Autonomous Systems

10-12 December 2018, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

Robotics is an area where France and Australia have done exceptionally well. However, robotics research has been traditionally seen as purely an engineering discipline and therefore participation from other discipline areas has been lacking. Creating human-like perception and situational awareness for social, service or medical robots integration has become possible with the development of advanced materials and new sensors. A lot of progress has taken place in compact and low power consuming sensors, and the possibilities they offer are countless: soft electronic skin can work as a touch or a proximity sensor, and can be used for intelligent grasping in social, industrial or medical situations. Robotics community has recently identified soft materials and fabrication schemes as one of their grand challenges.

This initiative aims at organizing a two and a half day workshop to address these challenges. It will gather researchers from materials science, neuroscience and robotics for an inclusive discussion required for research methodology development. It is expected that industrial partners from France will also be attending. It involves the Queensland University of Technology, the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, the Queensland Brain Institute, the Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux, the Université de Montpellier and the SoftBank Robotics Europe. The workshop will focus on multifunctional organic optoelectronic platform, tactile recognition of objects and active calibration of soft tactile sensors, deep learning techniques to recognise objects, and strategies to exploit haptics for physical human-robot interaction.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for an informed and open discussion on how advanced sensing modalities can be designed and developed together for robotic applications.


  • Healthy Happy Cities in Tropical Environment

13-15 February  2019, Griffith university, Gold Coast

At a time when wellbeing and happiness indexes are becoming more and more important to qualify our cities and make them more attractive, it seems important to understand how urban design and architecture can contribute to enhance wellbeing and happiness and develop these positive experiences further.

This project consists of 2 main phases:

  • The creation of a shared digital platform to facilitate communication and the sharing of information concerning research and preparation of case studies. This platform will provide a toolbox to open new ways in transforming the cities to foster happy experiences, both physically and mentally. Furthermore, the tool will serve both educative and decision-making purposes.
  • The organization of a milestones workshop creating the opportunity for a long-term French-Australian collaboration. This workshop will contribute to inform local communities and main key stakeholders in both countries on better integrated urban design in tropical environments. It will link the French School of Architecture of La Reunion (ENSAMR), within the Indian Pacific Region (Indians Ocean network of Architecture school, IONAS) with Australian universities such as Griffith University and James Cook University.

The innovation of this project is to offer a shared vision of experiencing life in the city, that encompasses local and visitors’ perspectives, and provide tools to transfer and adapt best practices.


  • Dynamics of Air

14 September – 17 November, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne,

This initiative relates to the issues of climate change and biodiversity by researching the complex and poetic behavior of human responses to air temperature and movement in a built environment. This research has brought together researchers from different disciplines ranging from architects, industrial designers and artists, to mathematicians, aerospace engineers and computer scientists, with the aim of making proposals for more pleasant, low or no energy scenarios for the built environment, currently the highest generator of CO2 emissions.

This project brings this research into the public domain through exhibition in a major public gallery in Melbourne. It will bring together Australian researchers with leading European researchers and artists in the field to create an engaging insight into the qualities of air and their impact on human experience. Exhibits by Philippe Rahm Architectes, French architect, artist and research practice, will be exposed to a broad Australian public audience, and Philippe will be connected to RMIT and Swinburne Universities as well as the broad Australian research community.

Hopefully, this project will lead to further lecture and workshop invitations, joint tertiary and teaching initiatives in the future. More significantly, it will provide a foundation for subsequent collaboration between the leading French and Australian researchers in this field.


Congratulations to Céline d’Orgeville, AFRAN member and laureate of the Translational Fellowships Programme

The ANU Translational Fellowship Program aims to advance promising researchers and promote enhanced opportunities for diverse career pathways within and alongside government, end-users and industry. This program, aligned with the ANU Strategic Plan, aims to break down the barriers between universities, society and industry, and to provide the support and incentive for researchers to take their ideas outside the University.

The Program is designed to allow and support researchers to move seamlessly between industry, government, business and academic settings.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Celine d’Orgeville (RSAA) who has been awarded $600,000 over 3 years to develop translational research with partners outside academia. Celine develops novel laser technologies for laser guide star adaptive optics applications in astronomy, space surveillance, and laser communications.


INVITATION to the Public Lectures: Death for the Fatherland in Democratic Athens

2-5 pm 10 July 2018

Lecture Theatre

The MISHA Building

The University of Strasbourg

Strasbourg, France


In the ancient democracy of classical Athens a funeral speech was delivered once a year in honour of those who had died in battle for the fatherland. For the Athenians it was a vitally important speech because it reminded them who they were as a democratic people and why they had sacrificed their sons in war.


In two public lectures, two of the world’s leading ancient historians put this speech back into its rich historical context. These public lectures are part of the conference on the Athenian Funeral Oration: 40 Years after Nicole Loraux, which is taking place at the University of Strasbourg from 9 to 11 July 2018.


These public lectures are open to all. For more information, please contact Dr David M. Pritchard at

or follow this link.

Download the flyer: Conference_Booklet_with_Program_and_Abstracts


AFRAN booth at the “French Days on Campus 2018” in Adelaide

On the 15th, 16th and 17th of May, the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the University of Adelaide hosted the “French Days on Campus”, a special event conceived by the Embassy of France and aiming to promote France and the opportunities it has to offer to students, teachers or researchers of the Australian Universities.

Many activities were organised around a “French stand”, gathering many institutions. This stand included representants of a dozen of French Universities and Grandes Ecoles, as well as French companies, Alliance Française, and FACCI (French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Dr. Maxime François, AFRAN Hub leader for South Australia, run a booth on this occasion to allow both students and professors from the universities to get to know the association and its opportunities linked to France.


French President visit in Australia
Image Credit: Alice Pebay

AFRAN met with President Macron and Minister Vidal early May in Sydney

On his arrival, on 1st of May 2018, French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron has met Australian political stakeholders, along with our association’s president Dr. Katherine Daniell, who briefly briefed him and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull on the Association’s mission.

AFRAN at the Opera House

Dr. Katherine Daniell, Prof. Pascale Quester, President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull

AFRAN was also present at an official dinner, on the 2nd of May, with the French high education, research and innovation delegation: French Ministers Vidal, Buzyn, Blanquer, Girardin and Secretaire d’Etat Lecornu. AFRAN’s president, vice-president, A/Prof. Kondo-François Aguey-Zinsou, and 35 scientists members of the association had the opportunity to exchange on their experiences of scientific cooperation between France and Australia, but also to showcase the association’s activites, its potential for structuring the bilateral cooperation, as well as its development objectives, in particular in France.


The French Minister for Solidarity and Health, Agnes Buzyn with AFRAN scientists


Cafe Science Politique 2

Café Science-Politique : the New-Caledonian referendum

New Caledonia is at a crossroads for its political future, and an increasing number of questions are emerging as we approach the end of the period of the Noumea agreement. At the dawn of a referendum of self-determination, which should take place this November, we can question who are the actors of the political transition? How will it be organized? On which time-scale will it happen? And so many more questions…

Guest speaker: Dr. Carine David, lecturer in public law from the University of New Caledonia, will share her reflections on the transition happening in New Caledonia

After the presentation, Carine was joined by a panel discussion and Q&A in a café-style atmosphere around a cheese platter

Panelists: A/Prof Asmi Wood (ANU College of Law), Denise Fisher (ANU Centre for European Studies & former diplomat), Noel Derwort (former RAAF Air Commodore)

Tuesday, 12th of June 4.30-6.00pm

 ANU Centre for European Studies, 1 Liversidge St, Acton

This event was the occasion to remind us of New-Caledonia history within France. First a French colony (1853-1946), it became an Oversea Territory (1946-1998) with different status and variable autonomy, which triggered independance revendications from the indigene population: the Kanaks. Then, after two agreements, the Matignon agreement (1988-1998) and the Noumea agreement (1998-today), New-Caledonia will answer the question to know if it wants to access to full sovereignty and independance… or not!

Cafe-science politique1

The process might include up to three referendum, the first should take place on the 4th of November 2018. A YES to independance would lead to a constituent process, and negociation with France, a NO would lead to another referendum in 2020, or to negociations for a new status within France. Same process for the 2020 referendum.


Cafe Science Politique 3

Ms Carine David explained her feeling that the population is unprepared for this referendum, and unprepared for the day after the referendum if New Caledonia votes for its independance. The population’s participation in the process is limited. The panel shared their view on this unprecedented electoral process, its meaning for the New-Caledonian population, and its impact on their political future.

The people of New Caledonia still have to find a way to a common future, where their culture and their way of life can assert, their common values can be defined, and their economy secured…



AFRAN Call for Initiatives!!

AFRAN Association plays an active role in running events and communication initiatives to support a growing community of members, as well as facilitating bi-national dialogue on research and innovation issues. Many of these initiatives are member-initiated and supported by AFRAN and additional financial resources.

This year, AFRAN will fund initiatives or series of smaller, integrated initiatives (e.g. series of network building activities, one-off or series of collaborative research exhibitions or productions, symposia/workshops focussed on community development) designed to federate, build and scale up thematic communities around particular research and innovation areas within the perimeter of AFRAN and/or between France and Australia.

AFRAN will offer funding up to AUD 5,000 (five thousand Australian dollars) towards logistics and/or travel costs for selected initiatives. This program only funds projects initiated by members of AFRAN.

Deadline for applications: 15 July 2018

Results announced: 31 July 2018

Earliest date for project start: 1 August 2018

Latest date for project completion: 31 July 2019

More information about the program and to apply: AFRAN call for initiatives application form 2018


3rd Conference of the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network on 8-10 Oct 2018, Outumaoro, Punaauia (French Polynesia)

We are pleased to announce that the 3rd Pacific Islands Universities Research Network Conference is to be held at the University of French Polynesia from Monday, October 8th to Wednesday, October 10th 2018. You will find the first announcement and call for proposals on the official conference website.

For any contribution proposal, abstracts should be uploaded by Tuesday, June 5th 2018 on this link.

In addition, registrations open on Monday, April 16th 2018.