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AFRAN Call for Initiatives 2020


This year’s call seeks to further empower the AFRAN community by supporting initiatives that complement those already eligible for funding under the suite of cooperation support mechanisms provided by the French Embassy in Australia (e.g. mobility, internships, or workshops). In 2020/2021, we will thus fund initiatives or series of smaller, integrated initiatives (e.g. series of network building activities, one-off or series of collaborative research exhibitions or productions, symposia/workshops focussed on community development) designed to federate, build and scale up thematic communities around particular research and innovation areas within the perimeter of AFRAN and/or between France and Australia. In the 2020/2021 call, there is a particular emphasis on inter-disciplinary initiatives, including with the social sciences and humanities.

This year, AFRAN will offer funding up to AUD $4,000 towards logistics and/or travel costs for selected initiatives. To take into considerations the current restrictions, AFRAN will support online and web-based versions of all feasible activities (including webinars, online workshops, Q&As with community outreach, online hackathon-innovation thinktanks etc). AFRAN may also consider extensions on the date that funding must be spent by, considering global current circumstances. This program only funds projects initiated by members of AFRAN. As a consequence, this program does not consider applications for participation in external conferences and seminars, nor applications for individual travel to a partner’s laboratory, unless it is indispensable for the development of such aforementioned initiatives or activities.

Objectives and Aims

  1. To create and/or scale up a collaborative research and innovation community within AFRAN perimeters and/or between France and Australia;

  2. To foster structured collaborations within the French and Australian research and innovation communities. The preference for this call is for accessible digital events and content, including online Café scientifiques, filmnights with discussion fora, webinars, podcasts, professionally produced videos demonstrating interesting cooperations, and novel online meeting fora (e.g. VirtualReality meetups). In person events for 2021 (ideally with additional video links) will also be considered in Australia, France and the French Territories. Larger-scale AFRAN hub initiatives (on one or multiple thematic topics) are also eligible for funding in this round;

  3. To involve a broad range of partners and individuals;

  4. To structure and provide responses to major societal issues facing Australia and France.

The identified areas for funding under these categories in 2020 include the following fields of research. Inter-disciplinary initiatives, especially including the social sciences and humanities, will be particularly taken into consideration:

  • Energy - Strong French-Australian collaborations are underway in the areas of solar energy, electrochemical energy storage and hydrogen technologies including grid technologies, training and education, grouped together under an AFRAN community. This year we seek to consolidate and further facilitate research and innovation cooperation initiatives linked to the emergence of small and intermediary energy systems, their management in stand-alone locations (islands and remote areas) and/or integrated in the form of micro-grids.

  • Health - Strong potential for Australia-France research and innovation cooperation in the health sector exist, including existing cooperation in the infectious diseases area with potential for global impact. Other areas include, but are not limited to, responses to COVID-19 and recovery, personalised oncology, incorporating digital technology and artificial intelligence in the clinical decision-making process (from primary to tertiary care) and in the research training space, and in health issues surrounding communities of the Pacific/Indian ocean.

  • Space economy - French-Australian bilateral cooperation in space R&D and space economy has great potential as a future growth area for research and innovation. Bilateral cooperation in space research and innovation is already present in Australia, and AFRAN aims to support and grow collaborations within this area.

  • Environmental technologies and management services – Responding to climate change and biodiversity loss/environmental degradation is a key component of the French-Australian strategic bilateral cooperation. Existing fields of environmental sensors and high-speed data transmitters demonstrate the existing possibilities for scaling-up and out research and innovation partnerships within future growth areas of environmental and agricultural technologies. Future projects in this area may build on existing long-term partnerships in coral reef management, water management and agriculture between France and Australia, and including those working in the Pacific Islands.

  • AI, autonomous systems and advanced manufacturing – This is a core component of a number of pillars of the French-Australian strategic relationship, including, but not only, in the defence sector. A future in which a wide range of industries use artificial intelligence and autonomous systems is already upon us, including in smart cities, transport systems, precision agriculture and medicine, banking, marketing and the arts and design industries. Development of safe, responsible and sustainable new technological systems, including their human interfaces, will be key to maintaining a competitive advantage in the global market and supporting resolution of key global challenges and human flourishing.

  • Indo-Pacific governance – France and Australia have a shared interest and responsibility in the Indo-Pacific region. Research and innovation cooperation initiatives around good governance, cultural exchange, sustainability (in particular with respect to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals), and means of enhancing collaboration between Australian, Francophone and non-francophone parts of this region are thus of key interest under this call.

  • Other areas – Initiatives in other areas demonstrating a clear pathway to upscaling and outscaling research and innovation activities, French-Australian relationship and community-building, will also be considered from members of the AFRAN community.


Applications are open to researchers and other professionals of any nationality and seniority level who are members of AFRAN. To be eligible, an initiative must:

  1. Be open (within reason and depending on the purpose) to all interested members of AFRAN to participate,

  2. Aim at creating and/or scaling up a collaborative research and innovation community within AFRAN perimeters and/or between France and Australia.

Laureates of this program will not be eligible to reapply for funding for 3 years after the year of the grant awarded.

All research fields, including Humanities and Social Sciences, are open and coordinators of eligible projects involving French overseas territories are encouraged to apply.

Future editions of this program may target alternative research and innovation fields based on the strategic priorities of the French and Australian governments.

Terms of funding

A total of AUD 20,000 (twenty thousand Australian dollars) is made available for this call. Funding for submitted initiatives must be spent before 31 July 2021**.

Funding of up to AUD 4,000 (four thousand Australian dollars) can be requested per initiative. It is the responsibility of the initiative coordinator to secure any additional funding that may be required to complete the event(s) and/or manage follow-on community activities.

A selection committee appointed by AFRAN and the Embassy of France will review the applications and select successful applications as per the criteria above.

AFRAN will notify each initiative coordinator of the outcome of their applications and the amount allocated to successful initiatives.

Upon acceptance of the funding (if selected), the project coordinator agrees to:

  • Include a mention of the support provided by AFRAN on all communication materials used to promote the event/initiative

  • Provide AFRAN with said communication materials one month before the selected activity date. These materials will be disseminated through AFRAN communication channels with mentions of the procedures required to participate in the planned activities.

  • Provide AFRAN with a short one-page report (press-release style) on the outcome of the initiative no later than 1 month after completion of the main event and/or by 31 August 2021 for ongoing community-building initiatives. These reports will be made public and advertised through the AFRAN communication channels.

Application process

Applications must be submitted by using the application form.

The application form and all supporting documents (preferably in PDF format) must be submitted before the application deadline by email to:

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

  • Call for projects opens: 3 July 2020

  • Deadline for applications: 3 August 2020

  • Results announced: 14 August 2020

  • Earliest date for project start: 15 August 2020

  • Latest date for project completion: 31 July 2021**

**Reasonable extensions may be granted for projects requiring and impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

For further information, please contact:


A/Prof Katherine Daniell President, AFRAN Inc. 0419848256

Embassy of France Ms. Nathalie Simenel-Amar Service Science and Technology 02 6216 0139

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