The Embassy and the Group of Eight strengthen their partnership [fr]

On the occasion of a visit of the Ambassador to the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Embassy and the Group of Eight (Go8). It will allow students from Group of Eight universities to participate in the “Internships in France” initiative, under the Nicolas Baudin travel grant.

Signed by Ms Vicky Thomson, Chief Executive of the Go8, and in the presence of Prof. Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, this agreement formalises the participation of the eight principal Australian research universities in the Internships in France Initiative, launched as a pilot programme in 2017 under the framework of the Nicolas Baudin travel grant. This initiative allows Australian students to undertake a research internship in a French academic laboratory in collaboration with an industrial partner. The laureates benefit from financial support from the Embassy, from the host institution in France and from the Australian home university.

The goal of this program is to establish strong relationships involving the universities from both countries and French companies, specifically those who wish to develop their presence in Australia.

Vicky Thomson and the Ambassador Christophe Penot

Three students from the University of Sydney, chosen for the 2018 round of applications, were able to attend the meeting. Dominic Albertson, Nicholas Barbara and Chamal Perera will go to Toulouse next November to do a research internship at ISAE SUPAERO, in collaboration with Airbus. On this occasion they were able to discuss with the Ambassador and with Mal Benfer, Vice President of Airbus Australia-Pacific. The University of Sydney is also the only Australian university to be part of the Airbus Global University Partner Program.

Ambassador Christophe Penot, students Chamal Perera, Nicholas Barbara, Dominic Albertson and Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of Sydney University

The meeting was also the opportunity for a broader discussion on the partnership between Sydney University and France, which was personified by the presence of Corinne Caillaud, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Health of the University of Sydney and Céline Boehm, director of the department of physics, both representatives of the French scientific "Diaspora" who continue to work for cooperation between their country of origin and their country of adoption. The strong academic and scientific ties of the University of Sydney with Sciences Po or INSERM, as well as its desire to develop a privileged partnership with a major French research university - currently being identified - were on the agenda of the discussions.

Céline Boehm, Corinne Caillaud, Stephan Williams, Michael Spence, Duncan Ivison, Mal Benfer, Vicky Thomson, the Ambassador Christophe Penot, Chamal Perera, Nicholas Barbara, Dominic Albertson, Nicolas Duhaut

The Ambassador also visited the University of New South Wales (UNSW) where he met with Laurie Pearcey, Pro Vice Chancellor in charge of International Relations, in the company of Nicolas Croizer, Consul-General in Sydney. UNSW also maintains close relations with France, particularly in research in quantum computing, renewable energies, space and artificial intelligence. These collaborations prompted the signing of a number of cooperation agreements with the major French research organisations (CNRS, CEA, CNES) during the visit of the President of the Republic in May 2018.


At both the University of Sydney and UNSW, these meetings laid the groundwork for the bilateral discussions to be held in 2019 at the Franco-Australian Joint Science and Technology Meeting (JSTM).

For more information :

Nicolas Baudin Program: “Internship in France” initiative

AFRAN - The Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation

Dernière modification : 27/09/2018

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