PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ALAIN FUCHS IN SINGAPORE
Professor Alain H. Fuchs, President of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), a government-funded research organisation administered by the French Ministry of Research, was in Singapore from 4 to 6 November 2015 to deliver two public lectures under the Lee Kuan Yew Distinguished Visitors Programme.
At the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on 4 November 2015, he delivered a lecture on “nanoporous materials”, a popular scientific topic which delves into the microscopic world of (metallic) materials. At the National University of Singapore (NUS), on 6 November 2015, Prof Fuchs spoke on the topic of water in hydrophobic cavities at the nanoscale.
As part of the visit, Prof Fuchs inaugurated the AUR@SIA Symposium on 4 November , in the presence of 200 researchers and scientists, public officers and industry partners from France, Singapore and around Asia.
The inaugural AUR@SIA Symposium ran from 4 to 5 November at the AXA - University Asia campus in Singapore. It is the first time CNRS has organised a symposium in Singapore. This is part of the agency’s efforts to bring together its joint units in Asia and their respective CNRS institutes to foster dialogue and collaboration. The initiative builds on the experience of the units specialising in information sciences and engineering and systems sciences, which established the AURA (Association des Unités de Recherche en Asie) network in 2010.
The symposium is organised along four themes: Connecting the world – Computer and Engineering Sciences, Connecting science and society – Confronting Societal Challenges, Connecting Fundamental Science to Innovation, and Connecting Fields and Continents – Triggering and Funding Mechanisms.
On 5 November, a reception was held at the French Residence in honour of Prof Fuchs’ visit.
Science and technology cooperation between Singapore and France has grown stronger over the years. Researchers from both countries have been working together since 1998.
In May 2015, several new MOUs were signed during Singapore President Dr Tony Tan’s state visit to France*.
As cooperation became more structured, International Associated Laboratories (LIA)2 and International Mixed Units (UMI)3 were set up by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France (French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), with partners in France and abroad. In the past few years, CNRS’ activities in Singapore have increased significantly. CNRS now operates four UMI in Singapore, out of the 35 UMI worldwide. Moreover, Singapore has become the second international pole for CNRS, which relocated its representative office for Southeast Asia from Hanoi to Singapore in August 2014. The CNRS office in NTU@one-north serves as a hub for CNRS French partners seeking to establish contacts here
*• Agreement between NUS and the Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) to work together on research and training programmes in nuclear safety under the Singapore Nuclear Research and Safety Initiative launched by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, in 2014;
• MOUs between NUS, NTU and the Universite Paris-Sarclay to deepen collaborations and research with institutions under the French university;
• Agreement between NTU and the Sorbonne Universites to offer joint PhD programme focusing on humanities, engineering and science;
• Agreement between the Energy Research Institute at NTU (ERI@N) and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research to set up a network on renewable energies ; and
• Letter of intent signed by Singapore’s Economic Development Board and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research to help develop Singapore’s satellite industry. )
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