Singapour

France-Singapore Cooperation in Science and Higher Education

Interview with Mr Walid Benzarti, Science and Higher Education Attaché, French Embassy in Singapore. The main objective is to foster high level
cooperation in Science and Higher Education between France and Singapore public and private academic and research institutions.

Interview with Mr Walid Benzarti, Science and Higher Education Attaché, French Embassy in Singapore.

What are the objectives of the science and higher education division of the french embassy in Singapore?

Our main objective is to foster high level cooperation in Science and Higher Education between France and Singapore public and private academic and research institutions.

In science, we go from facilitating the development of joint research projects to the establishment of joint laboratories between French and Singaporean institutions with exchange of scientists.

In Higher Education, we would like to bring study opportunities in France to Singapore’s pupils and students. At the same time, we encourage exchange of students between both countries. We also help universities from both countries set-up dual and joint degrees at the graduate but also at the Ph.D. level.

Can you tell us more about the tools offered by the french embassy in Singapore to achieve these goals?

Our flagship programme labelled “Merlion” was established with our Singaporean partners (A*STAR, NTU, SMU, NUS, TLL, NNI and SERI) in 2005 to fund joint proposals. The selected projects under this programme1 can benefit from up to 30.000€ over two years for living and travel expenses between the two countries or to organise joint Workshops. The spin off programme called “Merlion PhD” provides scholarships to students from Singapore to spend up to 18 months in a French partner laboratory during their Ph D.

Other than this, we produce reports and surveys through e-bulletins on the scientific activities in Singapore2 to inform the French scientific community of the different programmes and achievements done by the Singapore scientists and research institutions. Our team of Liaison Officers works very closely with the R&D institutions in both countries to help the scientists identify their ideal partners. We also organise scientific seminars where we bring in scientists from France to meet with their counterparts in Singapore and offer them the opportunity to establish cooperation projects in the most strategic fields.

We were also instrumental in the conclusion of an agreement in January 2010 between ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) and A*STAR (Agency for Science Technology And Research) for funding joint research projects between French and Singaporean institutions’ scientists.

On another side, together with Campus France, the agency in charge of promoting student mobility, we help the best students in Singapore identify the most appropriate French academic institution where they would like to further pursue their studies. For this, we systematically organise information sessions and presentations in Singaporean Junior colleges, universities, the MOELC, research institutes…

What are the flagship cooperation programmes running between France and Singapore research and/or higher education institutions?

CNRS (French National Research Centre) has 2 Joint labs (UMI) in Singapore:

- iPal in the field of imaging technologies with A*STAR, NUS and UJF-Grenoble (Université Joseph Fourier).

- CINTRA with Thales and NTU in the field of Nanophotonics.

SONDRA is another Lab, based in France, where Supelec, DSTA, ONERA and NUS join forces to work in the field of Signal processing and Electromagnetism. INSERM (French Health Research Centre) has also established a joint lab with A*STAR to fight Malaria.

In the field of Higher Education, a Double Degree Programme in engineering exists between NUS and 6 outstanding Grandes Ecoles in Paris as well as a joint MBA between NUS and HEC. Joint Ph.D. agreements have just been signed between NTU and UTT (Université Technologique de Troyes) as well as between NTU and Paris- Tech.

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<img883|left> Un article issu du magazine Focus une publication de la Chambre de commerce française à Singapour

The French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore
Florence BARET
Tel : +65 6735 5523 Ext 204 - Fax : +65 6735 5394
@ : [fbaret@fccsingapore.com->fbaret@fccsingapore.com]
Site : www.fccsingapore.com

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