UNSW and France partner to strengthen scientific innovation

Tuesday, 08 May, 2018

UNSW and France partner to strengthen scientific innovation

UNSW Sydney has signed new agreements with two French scientific organisations that will help bolster cooperation over renewable energy innovation and environmental research.

During the ceremonial signings at Kirribilli House, UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian Jacobs signed agreements with the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) — France’s largest government research organisation — and the Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency.

“The successful partnerships UNSW enjoys with leading French science agencies place Australia and France at the forefront of collaborative research and innovation,” Professor Jacobs said. “[The] new agreements are further evidence of our commitment to work together on scientific advances which will have a positive global impact.”

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CNRS positions France and Australia as leading partners in sustainable energy innovation, particularly solar energy. Under the terms of the agreement, UNSW and CNRS will facilitate the exchange of solar energy innovations through joint conferences, seminars and research projects. Potential topics include solar energy, storage of renewable energy and renewable energy integration.

Meanwhile, through a letter of intent, UNSW Canberra Space and CNES will partner to study a breakthrough remote-sensing satellite that will be capable of monitoring the health of the coral reefs near Australia and in the South Pacific. The joint study will pave the way for developing disruptive space technologies such as hyperspectral remote sensing, onboard processing, artificial intelligence and formation-flying technologies, serving applications such as monitoring fresh and marine water quality and enabling precision agricultural practices.

In addition to the two agreements, Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) and the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) announced plans for a new collaboration between Australia’s first quantum computing company and the French R&D organisation. SQC’s shareholders include the Australian Government, UNSW, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Telstra and the NSW Government.

The MoU outlines plans to form a joint venture in silicon complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) quantum computing technology to accelerate and focus technology development, as well as to capture commercialisation opportunities — bringing together French and Australian efforts to develop a quantum computer.

“We have phenomenal leadership in silicon quantum computing across a range of platforms, and SQC is now moving rapidly to commercialise all these technologies,” said UNSW Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons, director and founder of SQC and 2018 Australian of the Year. “It is very exciting that Professor Andrew Dzurak and his team have found a design, development and fabrication partner the quality of the CEA.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Giancarlo Liguori

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