The Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN) was established in 2016 with the support of the French Embassy in Australia. It aims to foster collaboration, innovation, and transformative thinking among Australian and French researchers, R&D managers, industry professionals, innovators, and policymakers. AFRAN, with around 900 members, provides a platform for bilateral research partnerships with global impact.
Every year, AFRAN organizes a forum to showcase and discuss ongoing and potential collaborations within a broad theme. This year, the forum took place on October 26 and 27, 2023, at Murdoch University in Perth, focusing on "Developing Research Connections for the Indian Ocean."
The forum coincided with a visit by a French delegation working on renewable energies, creating valuable networking opportunities between academia, research, and industry. It also featured a public event in partnership with the Australian Global Alliance to promote global health and environmental initiatives.
The forum highlighted existing collaborations, facilitated the formation of new connections, and explored emerging opportunities in science and industry for the Indian Ocean region. It served as a platform to showcase the efforts of Australian and French stakeholders in research and innovation, strengthening high-level networks. Both Australia and France sought to establish collaborations with other countries in the Indian Ocean Region to advance knowledge-based solutions for inclusive and sustainable development.
Afifat Khanam Ritika, a Research Officer from the Bangladesh Institute of Maritime Research and Development (BIMRAD) was invited and actively participated in the annual forum, contributing insights and opinions during the "IUU Fishing Panel" as a representative from Bangladesh. Nearly 100 participants, both local and regional joined the forum for an open discussion on sustainable development in the Indian Ocean.