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AFRAN 2020 Laureates!

This year the AFRAN Association will support 8 of its members' initiatives with a budget of 22 000 Au$.

  • Deep Histories of Oceania

The ancient Pleistocene continent of Australia, or Sahul, presents a diversity of cultures and languages that is unrivalled in the world today, with more than 300 languages in Australia and over 1000 languages in New Guinea. This project aims at defining methodologies and concepts that open the pathway for renewed and interdisciplinary analyses of social and cultural processes in the Sahul region, taking the most recent results of linguistics, archaeology and genetics into consideration. By scaling up the collaboration between ANU’s new Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative and the French research network recently convened at the Institute Pasteur, the project aims at identifying the conditions and determinants of sociocultural diversification in the Sahul region.

  • Collaboration on seagrass dynamics modelling methods

Seagrass meadows constitutes ecologically-significant coastal habitats and food for a lot of marine species, contribute to water quality, act as a buffer against coastal erosion, and also absorb some of the carbon of the oceans. This project will advance seagrass dynamics studies in the context of global anthropogenic change to develop generic decision-support tools that can be applied regionally to better understand seagrass meadows dynamics, its vulnerability to local and global stressors, and to inform effective management actions. The recent transdisciplinary research collaboration between the Queensland University of Technology, Edith Cowan University, and the French Research Institute for Marine Exploitation will gather complementary expertise (marine ecology, ecological modelling, statistics, coastal oceanography and hydro-sediment dynamics) to progress on seagrass dynamics.

  • Australia-France Forum on Human-Machine Relationship

Intelligent systems, such as robots or Artificial Intelligences, are being increasingly adopted into our everyday lives. As a result, Australian and French societies are experiencing rapid technological changes which need to be studied. Creating robots interacting with humans in a social context requires an introduction of a ‘social structure’ which guides and limits behaviour of such machines. The goal of the project is to develop a discussion between Australian and French scholars from social sciences and Humanities on their sociological understanding of the human-machine relationship. The Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, at the University of Sydney and the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences will gather French and Australian experts to hold a forum to initiate and strengthen collaborations on the deployment of new technologies and sociological concepts employed for understanding intelligent systems in both countries.

  • Preparing our shared region for the next pandemic: Perspectives from Australia and the Francophone Pacific

This project will bring together students from Australia and the francophone Pacific to explore a complex question concerning their lives and livelihoods: how should the region respond to the next global pandemic? They will articulate their responses to this question from their various disciplinary perspectives, but also deeply personal standpoints. The result will be a highly engaging regional forum to grapple with concepts related to public health management, profound economic disruptions, deep social change, and geopolitical transformations. This initiative led by the University of New Caledonia, the Newcastle International College and the University of Newcastle, seeks to create an undergraduate research network as a future AFRAN node.

  • Scientific Aperitifs: a South Australia Hub Initiative!

Networking models gathering interested parties on grounds external to the workplace to encourage building connections have long proven to be successful. This project will create a networking environment with multiple events around scientific fields starting with an introduction of AFRAN, and featuring a French industry in South Australia, a successful French-Australian collaboration and a thematic research presentation. These convivial aperitifs will Increase the visibility of AFRAN in the Adelaide industry and research community, facilitate connections with industry, create a lasting networking “hub” for this community, and boost AFRAN member registrations in SA over one year.

  • Robocup CROSSING

In the framework of the International Research Laboratory CROSSING (frenCh austRalian labOratory for humanS / autonomouS agents teamING), gathering the three South Australian Universities, Naval Group and CNRS, this project aims at gathering all partners’ competences in the context of an international contest: the RoboCup. The RoboCup is an annual international robotics competition and a wonderful opportunity to tackle scientific challenges, such as the development of interactive and incremental machine learning algorithms. The robots will be assessed while performing tasks that require efficient perception models, motion generation and planning.

  • Supporting anxious drivers through an awareness campaign; a French / Australian initiative

The onset and impacts of driving anxiety are similar in France and in Australia, with consequences on mobility and quality of life and work. Initiated by a collaboration between experts in emotion and behaviour at the University of Gustave Eiffel (formally IFSTTAR) and Dr Amanda Stephens, psychologist at Monash University Accident Centre, this project aim at hosting an online workshop with key road safety personnel and clinicians based in Australia and France to showcase findings from our French / Australia collaboration and discuss ways to support anxious drivers. The purpose of the workshop is to develop a campaign to create awareness of anxiety and its impact on mobility and driving.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Rights in the Arts and Design Industries in France and Australia

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used to create designs, and this raises important intellectual property law issues: how is AI used and how can Intellectual Property (IP) Rights adapt? What knowledge do stakeholders have about IP laws applied to AI designs? What differences exist between France and Australia? What insights could bring a multidisciplinary approach to these issues? The Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education, at the UWA Law School and the Centre for International Studies on Intellectual Property (CEIPI), at the University of Strasbourg, will gather IP Australia, the French National Institute on Intellectual Property, the Design Institute of Australia, The Australian Design Alliance, and other experts in AI, philosophy, social sciences and humanities to create a collaborative and interdisciplinary research community on this topic.

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