Launch of the Indo-French Campus coordinated by Université Côte d’Azur jointly with Ashoka University, the Indian Institute of Science and Indraprastha Institute of Technology, Delhi

Publié le 13 juillet 2023 Mis à jour le 13 juillet 2023

le 13 juillet 2023

A delegation led by Jeanick Brisswalter visited India from May 29 to June 7 to inaugurate the Indo-French Campus, coordinated by the Graduate School LIFE with the support of the IDEX UCAJEDI, and selected by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Campus France and the French Embassy in India.

The initiative seeks to bring the French and Indian higher education institutes together, to work on various basic and applied areas of Health sciences. In this funded endeavour, University of Côte d’Azur has joined hands with Ashoka University, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru and Indraprastha Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D) as part of the consortium from the Indian side. This consortium of these four higher education research institutes will focus on health and life sciences topics ranging from future treatment for diseases like cancer, respiratory diseases, aging-related diseases, as well as public health concerns of antimicrobial resistance. Under this pilot funded program, the universities will engage in joint research and innovation projects; develop foundation for building joint/dual degree programs; facilitate exchange of faculty and research scholars; and create channels to exchange knowledge and expertise. A key focus area would be the intersection of health and computer sciences, as well as nurturing innovation through entrepreneurship.

The Indo-French Campus is a remarkable bottom-up opportunity for Université Côte d’Azur to further strengthen its links with institutions in India. Our partners in this adventure are not only excellent and research driven institutions but share the same values and approach to transdisciplinary and cross-collaboration than we do.” Stated Jeanick Brisswalter following the different meetings, before adding “the key for success will be to implement rapid and concrete actions through summer schools, workshops and scientific collaboration to create an immediate dynamic among us”.

The delegation first travelled to New Delhi to meet the Director of the Franco-Indian Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA), Professor Nitin Seth, to discuss opportunities for cooperation and the promotion of Franco-Indian science. Discussions continued with the French Embassy in India, in the presence of Mr. Damien SYED, Minister Counsellor, Dr. Nicolas GHERARDI, Deputy COCAC - Deputy Director of the IFI - University and Scientific Cooperation and Mr. Fabien CHAREIX, Attaché for Scientific and University Cooperation, North and East Zone - supervision of the university cooperation support unit.

The delegation then travelled to IIIT-Delhi to meet the Institute's Director, the management teams and members of the academic community who will be contributing to the Franco-Indian Campus.

The delegation was then hosted by Ashoka University to meet the Vice-Chancellor and the governance teams in charge of the Campus deployment. Speaking about the need for such collaborations, Somak Raychaudhury, Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University stated, “This partnership with Université Côte d’Azur seeks to create such a platform that would address health problems of today through a multidisciplinary lens, as well as aims to nurture future leaders for challenges of tomorrow. Ashoka will work Université Côte d’Azur to make it a long-term program in a sustainable way”.

Both visits provided the opportunity to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Université Côte d’Azur, France to foster education and research collaboration.

Institutional meetings then continued in Bangalore, where the delegation had the opportunity to visit the campuses of Syngene, InfoSys and the Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre, to meet R&D managers and executives, and to discuss cross-sectoral cooperation. Welcomed by the Consul General in Bangalore, the members of the delegation were also able to exchange views with several key players in the Franco-Indian cooperation, notably representatives of research organizations (INRAE, Inria, CNRS).

Finally, the delegation visited IISc to meet with the governance and management teams in preparation for the Campus roll-out. The visit also provided an opportunity to discover the remarkable infrastructures that will be mobilized to ensure the success of the Campus, as well as several centers of excellence such as the Brain Center.

Following the institutional meetings, the IISc hosted the first Academic Workshop of the Franco-Indian Campus, bringing together over thirty researchers to initiate cooperation in training and research within the framework of the Campus. The launch closed with the first meeting of the Academic Committee, which will be responsible for defining the Campus' scientific and training strategy.

The four scientific coordinators concluded on an enthusiastic a positive note:

“We are excited to be part of this consortium as it provides our faculty and research scholars with opportunities to work with their global counterparts on pressing health related issues. Additionally, it creates a pathway for creating joint/dual advanced degree programs benefiting students through the combined strength of two partnering institutions. This partnership is a reflection of Ashoka’s rapidly growing base in research-integrated education internationally”, Kasturi Mitra, Associate Professor and DBT-WellcomeTrust India Alliance Senior Fellow, Indo-French Scientific Coordinator for Ashoka University.

Laurent Counillon, Coordinator of the Franco-Indian Campus and Director of the Graduate School LIFE concludes “These days with our partners have been both intense and exciting. We are thrilled to build the science and the scientists of tomorrow by sharing the best of our respective institutions.”

Members of the site delegation

Prof. Jeanick Brisswalter, President

Prof. Laurent Counillon, Director of the Graduate School Life and Directeur of the Research unit LP2M

Prof. Frédéric Mallet, Director of the Research Unit Information and communication science laboratory (I3S)

Dr. Pascal Barbry, Director of Research, Genomics

Prof. Jean Dellamonica, Dean Faculty of Medicine

(online) Prof. Gilles Bernot, Research Unit Information and communication science laboratory (I3S)

Dr. Delphine Ciais, Director of the Life Science Master

Dr. Cécile Vigouroux, Director for International Relations at Inria

(joined by) Dr. Srinivas-Venkatesh Kaveri, CNRS Director for India

Ms Sara-Anne Comel, IDEX Director of Operations, International and Europe

Dr. Chandan Atreya, International Project Officer

Consult the program and participants for the Indo-French Campus for health workshop