Science and innovation network takes shape [fr]
France Aotearoa Science Technology and !nnovation (FAST!) has set course for cooperation. Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler says the new organisation could be instrumental in creating new opportunities in its field.
Scientists, researchers and officials gathered in Wellington on Friday to decide FAST!’s strategic direction.
The organisation, which is supported by the embassy, gathered more than 70 people for its inaugural and strategic workshops at Victoria University in Wellington. FAST! president and National Institue of Water and Atmospheric research Dr Geoffroy Lamarche said the strong turnout showed an impressive level of interest in the organisation’s success.
Following waitata and tributes to FAST!’s late treasurer, Vincent Salomon, guest speakers shared their thoughts and experiences on scientific cooperation.
In her opening address, Ambassador Florence Jeanblanc-Risler said "we believe FAST! will be instrumental for structuring our current network of researchers and scientists in New Zealand."
FAST! could also help identify common fields of expertise, share calls for proposals, implement new projects and publications and provide career opportunities for trainees and students, the Ambassador said.
"In short, FAST! could amplify the action of the Embassy here in New Zealand."
Those attending the meeting also heard from:
French National Assembly member Anne Genetet, who appeared via video
Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment official Simon Rae
New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO’s natural science commissioner Dr Geoff Hicks
French-born environmental economist Jean Le Roux
Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN) secretary Thomas Biedermann
Centre national de la recherche scientifique researcher Hervé Quenol
GNS Science researcher Karyne Rogers
During a series of workshops, members discussed priorities and the long-term direction of the organisation. The top five themes coming out of the strategic workshop were:
FAST! will finalise and publish its priorities and associated action points soon.
The day ended with the election of a management committee at an Annual General Meeting, with Geoffroy Lamarche elected president, Caroline Holden elected secretary, Matthieu Sellier elected treasurer, Nicolas Bordes elected data officer, Jerome Leveneur elected communication officer and Marie Caroline Lefort elected as the FAST!’s France point of contact.