Follow up on FAR in the Deep Blue events
From 22 to 24 March, the AFRAN Association, in partnership with the French Embassy in Australia and the World Science Festival in Brisbane, organised a series of events called “FAR in the Deep Blue”, (FAR for French-Australian Research) to promote French and Australian research and innovation in the field of marine science and technology. These events were held in parallel with the visit of a French delegation of industries in the field of marine technologies - the «Pôle Mer» delegation led by Business France - in order to optimize the opportunities for meetings and partnerships. Strongly oriented towards the Pacific region, these events have benefited from a very good French representation from New Caledonia, which has highlighted research and technology regional expertise, as well as political and strategic engagement.
Within the framework of this FAR in the Deep Blue, three scientific and industrial round tables have initiated discussions to strengthen or create collaborations. The themes developed were coral ecosystems, the blue economy, and marine megafauna. The representatives of innovative industries of the Pôle Mer delegation joined the researchers to present their technologies and strengthen research-industry links that benefit researchers looking for new tools for exploring the oceans, and industry, looking for new areas of application for marine technologies.
A strategic meeting was held with academic stakeholders, research institutions and government representatives from France, New Caledonia, the Australian Federal Government and the Queensland State Government. The discussions have reaffirmed the political and scientific commitment for cooperation around the Coral Sea parks, but also initiated new avenues for collaboration around the observation of biodiversity, the management of coastal zones, especially waste, and the blue economy.
Finally, FAR in the Deep Blue enabled the meeting and networking of academic, industrial, societal and political actors, concerned by our oceans, to strengthen the French-Australian and research-industry links in this field. Public events also raised awareness of ocean issues. A magnificent photographic exhibition by French photojournalist Alexis Rosenfeld was set up until mid-April at the Queensland Museum’s Muse Café. Finally, a « cinéma scientifique » evening allowed the projection of French and Pacific short films, on the major challenges of the oceans such as pollution, rising waters, overfishing and the preservation of coral reefs. After each short film, experts from the various themes discussed were able to answer questions from the audience and give their point of view.