20 Years of cooperation between France and South Africa celebrated during a scientific day at the NRF on the 6th of December
As a side-event of the SFSA 2017, the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research Foundation and the French Embassy in South Africa held a one-day scientific day to celebrate the cooperation between France and South Africa in the field of science, and the successes of the PHC PROTEA program.
Success of PROTEA scientific event on the 6th of December
Both the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and the French Embassy in South Africa, supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, have engaged through the PROTEA program for now 20 years to create new networks producing world-class scientific knowledge and to promote the mobility of young researchers. Each countries dedicates more than 1,5 million Rands each year to this program. The Program Hubert Curien (PHC) promotes the mobility of scientists involved in bilateral research projects. Hubert Curien Partnerships are an important piece of France’s programs of scientific cooperation.
Under the PROTEA program, more than 100 projects have been conducted since its start, in fields as different as energy, agronomy, environment, health, physics and human sciences. These projects tackle crucial challenges, such as access to water, climate change impact, infectious diseases, urban pollution, natural hazards and food security. Bilateral South Africa-France teams, for example, identified ways to restore the degraded grasslands by rethinking the use of land, proposed respiratory risk maps to address urban pollution, development methods for crop protection against biological and environmental threats. Those projects provide tools for policy makers and are key to sustainable development and for improving the living conditions of the people.
Over 50 researchers, delegates of the ministries, PhD students, from South Africa , from France as well as Italy or Spain took part in the one day-event, and in the different sessions: discussion over sciences and innovation policies, scientific talks, success stories of French-South African scientific teams.
A closing event was hosted at the Alliance française of Pretoria, and a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Pretoria ( Stephanie Burtoon, Deputy Vice Chancelor) and CIRAD (Dr. Jean Luc Khalfaoui, Director General Delegate for Research and Strategy of Cirad) was signed, in order to strengthen bilateral in the field of agriculture in a broad sense: food safety, governance of common goods, rural transformation, territorial development, veterinary sciences, etc. In 2015 UP and CIRAD agreed on the creation of GovInn, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation.
A side-event of Science Forum South Africa 2017
PROTEA was a side event of the Science Forum South Africa, held on the 7th and the 8th of December at the Conference Center of the CSIR ( Council for Scientific and Industrial Research). Such as last year, a stand was held by France to inform the visitors about French-South African cooperation in the field of Science and Technology.
On this occasion, French Nobel Prize laureate Professor Jean-Marie Lehn (1987 – chemistry) gave a science talk, and a high-level delegation of senior leaders of French research centers, CNRS, CIRAD and IRD, took part in the science forum sessions.
Visit in South Africa of Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn
Jean-Marie Lehn is Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS), Honorary Professor at the Collège de France in Paris and Emeritus Professor at the University of Strasbourg. In 1968, he achieved the synthesis of cage-like molecules (cryptands) containing a cavity (crypt) into which another entity, molecule or ion of specific nature, can be lodged, forming a cryptate.
Professor Jean-Marie Lehn delivers a science talk at the SFSA 2017.
In 1987, Jean Marie Lehn he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, together with Donald Cram and Charles J. Pedersen "for their development and use of molecules with structure-specific interactions of high selectivity".
Professor Lehn’s work developed into the chemistry of self-organization processes, based on the design of "programmed" chemical systems that undergo spontaneous assembly of suitable components into well-defined supramolecular species, directed by the supramolecular processing of molecular information. More recently, the implementation of dynamic features and of selection led to the development of “constitutional dynamic chemistry”, concerning entities able to undergo reorganization in response to external stimuli, thus pointing to the emergence of an “adaptive and evolutive chemistry”. He has received numerous international honors and awards for his works.