About the AFRAN Association:

The AFRAN association is a French-Australian network of experts, a think tank for innovation and support for communities and industries. Its mission is to provide its members (researchers, R&D managers, industry players, Australian and French innovators and decision makers) with support for collaboration and innovation beyond the capacity of individuals. The association funds bilateral initiatives of its members to develop collaboration and innovation, organizes networking events, scientific or public conferences, and feeds a website gathering information and funding opportunities useful for bilateral collaboration.

Watch the video below to learn more about the opportunities created by the organisation from Prof. Cedric Simenel, an AFRAN member who has been with the organisation since the start.

About the AFRAN Forum:

Every year, AFRAN organises a forum to develop active discussions and exchanges within the association and more broadly with the scientific and industrial communities of both France and Australia. A wide range of topics is covered in many areas of research and innovation and new opportunities for cooperation can be identified.

This year’s forum will take place in Melbourne under the theme “Innovative Planet”,
and will include inspiring keynote speeches and panels on climate change adaptation, hydrogen for mobility, space observation, health, low emission technologies, innovation and humans. The aim is to discuss “innovation” as much as “planet”, with sustainability goals in mind.

2022 Forum Program:

7 December 2022
9.00am Welcome to the 2022 AFRAN Forum

Chair: Prof. Karen Hapgood, DVCR Swinburne

Forum opening

Prof. Pascale Quester, Vice Chancellor Swinburne 

HE Mr Jean-Pierre Thébault, Ambassador of France to Australia (pre-recorded video)

HE Mrs Gillian Bird, Ambassador of Australia to France (pre-recorded video)

Welcome and introduction to AFRAN and the 2022 Forum

Prof. Katherine Daniell, AFRAN President

9.30am Keynotes 

Chair: Prof. Virginia Kilborn, Swinburne Chief Scientist

Accelerating global climate R&D effort

Dr Gilbert Brunet, Chief Scientist and Group Executive Science and Innovation, Bureau of Meteorology, Chair of the Science Advisory Panel, World Meteorological Organization

Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming 

IRL Crossing 

10.30am Morning break
11.00am Panel 1 : Climate change adaptation in agriculture and food systems

Chair: Prof. Katherine Daniell, AFRAN President

Mr Vincent Hebrail, Agriculture counsellor at the Embassy of France in Australia

The French strategy for climate adaptation in the agriculture sector

Dr Jean-Francois Hocquette, Scientific Officer for Australia & New-Zealand at INRAE (French Institute for Research in Agriculture, Food and the Environment)

Dr Margaret Ayre, University of Melbourne

12.00pm Panel 2: Hydrogen – Decarbonising Mobility

Chair: Mr Gordon Chakaodza, Director of the Victorian Hydrogen Hub

Prof Francois Aguey-Zinsou, Director of the Australian Association for Hydrogen Energy, Co-director of the Australian-French Research Network FACES and the ARC Training Centre for Hydrogen GlobH2E, and Chief Investigator of Hy-Supply

Ms Prune Bokobza, International Expert in Hydrogen & Renewable Energy at Expertise France

A/Prof Mahnaz Shafiei, Associate Professor; Vice-Chancellor’s Women in STEM Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology

Engie Impact representative TBC

1.00pm Lunch break
2.00pm Panel 3: Tools for and success in collaborations

Chair: Prof. Thierry Corrège, Attaché for Science and Higher Education at the Embassy of France in Australia

Prof Jean-Paul Toutain, Regional director, CNRS Representative Office for OCEANIA 

Presentation of the French Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) tools for collaboration

Prof Jean-Philippe Diguet, CNRS International Research Laboratory CROSSING (French-Australian Laboratory for Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming) 

Presentation of the French-Australian Laboratory – success and challenges of Australian-French collaboration

Prof. Arnan Mitchell, Director of the Micro Nano Research Facility and Director of the Integrated Photonics and Applications Centre

Presentation of the RMIT Europe PhD student exchange AUFRANDE

Dr Jean-François Hocquette, Scientific Officer for Australia & New-Zealand at INRAE (French Institute for Research in Agriculture, Food and the Environment)

Presentation of the International Foundation Meat3G

Dr fLorence Cotel, Founder of the Association BLISS Science and Innovation Inc, and AFRAN Alumni leader

3.30pm Lab tour (optional) 
4.30pm Afternoon break
5.00pm ECR Posters session

Chair : Prof. Georgina Kelly, Dean, Graduate Research at Swinburne University

6.00pm AFRAN Forum Networking Cocktail


AFRAN French Hub

Chair : Dr Frederic Cherqui, Honorary Senior Fellow at INSA Lyon, President of GRAIE and AFRAN France Hub leader

Introduction from Australian Embassy in France

Presentation of the French hub 

Dr Frederic Cherqui, AFRAN France Hub leader

Research priorities for Australian government 

Ms Sarah Brown, Counsellor (Europe) at Department of Industry, Science and Resources

Conclusion of the day 

Prof Katherine Daniell, AFRAN President


8 December 2022
9.00am Keynotes 

Chair: Prof. Pascale Quester, Vice Chancellor Swinburne 

Innovation ecosystems

Ms Aude Vignelles, Chief Technology Officer at the Australian Space Agency

9.30am Panel 4: Earth Observation

Chair: Prof Alan Duffy, Director of the Space Technology and Institute at Swinburne University of Technology

Dr Olivia Sackett, Director for Space at Deloitte

Mr Trevor Dhu, Asia Lead for Sustainability Science at Microsoft

Ms Aude Vignelles Chief Technology Officer at the Australian Space Agency

Mr Rémi Andreoli, Director of Space Applications – BLUECHAM SAS

10.30am Morning break
11.00am Panel 5 : Innovative Health

Chair: Prof. Peter Revill, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Co-Founder of the International Coalition to Eliminate Hepatitis B

Prof Deb Williamson, Director, VIDRL, RMH at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and expert in diagnosis and management of infectious diseases.

Dr Romain Ragonnet, Monash University, Expert in Infectious disease modelling

Dr Jean-François Hocquette, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) | INRAE. ’One Health’ expert

Prof Rachael McDonald, Director, MedTech Vic Hub, Disability and Chronic Disease Lead Iverson Health Innovation Institute. Expert in life-changing medical technologies

12.00pm Panel 6: Low Emission Technologies

Chair: Ms Prune Bokobza, International Expert in Hydrogen & Renewable Energy at Expertise France

Speakers TBC
1.00pm Lunch break
2.00pm Panel 7: Innovation and Humans

Chair: Prof Benoit Clement, International Research Laboratory CROSSING: French-Australian Laboratory for Humans-Autonomous Agents Teaming

Dr Aurelie Jacquet, Consultant specialised on responsible implementation of Artificial Intelligence, Principal Research Consultant on Responsible AI for CSIRO-DATA61, she is a member of the NSW Government AI Committee and the co-chair of ACS’ AI Ethics Committee) Ethics and AI

Prof Cedric Buche, Professor in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and also in the International Research Laboratory CROSSING

Human-machine interaction

Dr Jessica McLean, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, at Macquarie School of Social Sciences

Environmental costs and benefits of digital technologies



Forum Closing Session
Best ECR Poster Award

Funding opportunities overview 

Thanks and Presentation of 2023 AFRAN Forum


Book your spot here

On the 27th of October, attend a conference given by ANU academic Patrick De Dekker on the fascinating expedition
of Nicolas Baudin to Australia at the beginning of the 19th century.

Nicolas Baudin was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer, he is most known for his explorations in Australia and the south Pacific. Baudin embarked on a journey to Australia after being selected to lead an expedition to complete the French cartographic survey of The Australian coast-line and conduct scientific investigations.

Patrick De Dekker is a professor in Earth Sciences at The Australian National University. In 2010, he was awarded the Mawson Medal by the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding contribution to Earth Science in Australia.


19th Century France: the era of revolutions, changes and experimentations

After introducing the Merovingians, the Carolingians, the Capetians and the French Revolution of 1789 last year, History Conferences are back in 2022 for a new season!

This year, the focus will be on a vibrant yet lesser-known century in the history of France: the 19th century. Historians Romain Fathi and Claire Rioult will take you through this tumultuous period in the country’s history,
starting with Napoléon and the almighty Premier Empire, and finishing with the formidable debacle of his nephew’s – Napoléon III – regime, aptly named le Second Empire.
In between, you will discover or rediscover the turbulent history of the French people who managed to fit seven constitutional systems,
two other revolutions, several wars, two emperors, three kings and a Président de la République in 70 eventful years!
This fascinating period has left its mark on today’s France, both in politics and culture, and is therefore quite important to understand contemporary France.



Book conference number 1: Conference I: Napoléon and the Premier Empire: Rise and Fall

Book conference number 2: The return of the Monarchy 1814-1848

Book conference number 3: The Republican Dream and the Second Empire, 1848-1870

Book all 3 conferences (discounted)