ANU joins forces with French research powerhouses

27 February 2019

The Australian National University (ANU) has signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with leading French education and research institutions today.

The MoU with Paris Sciences Et Lettres (PSL) is to open the ANU-PSL Launchpad, an innovative joint venture to facilitate deeper research relationships between the institutions. The agreement will see PSL open an office at ANU.

"PSL research focus areas align with ours -  Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Earth Sciences and Space Sciences and Engineering, Business and Management," ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Keith Nugent said.

The second MoU was signed with the French National Centre for Scientific Research to strengthen research collaboration through staff and student exchanges and announce the upcoming joint call of a co-funded PhD program between the institutions.

The third agreement is between ANU and the French National Space Agency (CNES) with a framework to conduct and implement cooperative activities in Space and to facilitate the exchange of personnel. The initial collaborations would be focussed on Space Situational Awareness, Optical Communications, Earth Observations and downstream applications, Space Law and Quantum Communications.

"These partnerships are all wonderful opportunities for ANU to join forces with some of the world's leading institutions to explore the mysteries and challenges of the modern world," Professor Nugent said.  

"It will also open doors for our students to live and learn in a different culture, which is an exciting opportunity for a university student at the start of their career."

The MoU signings were held at the opening of the second Franco-Australian Science & Technology Meeting, a government-to-government symposium to design the roadmap for collaboration in science and technology between the two countries. Attending the event at Mt Stromlo Observatory was the French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Minister Frédérique Vidal, HE Christophe Penot, French Ambassador to Australia and a high-level delegation of French industry, university and research organisation executives.