Paris, 9 February 2011

CNRS opens three new offices abroad : in India, Malta and South Africa

The CNRS office that opened in New Delhi on February 1, 2011 will strengthen the French research center's already extensive cooperation with India and assist in the creation of new joint research facilities. In Malta, the CNRS office that is set to open on March 1 2011 will promote cooperation among researchers in all the Mediterranean countries. And in Pretoria, the new joint CNRS-IRD office, which opened on January 10 of this year, will pursue the operations initiated by the former CNRS office in Johannesburg.


The first CNRS office in India opened in New Delhi on February 1, 2011, with the aim of strengthening the center's relations with its institutional partners in that country. The Indian office will also help create new joint research facilities. CNRS has already signed three cooperation agreements with India's Ministry of Science and Technology (with three different departments: Science and Technology, Biotechnology, and Scientific and Industrial Research). Two joint units with French foreign research institutes (CNRS/Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs), four international associated laboratories and an international research network also strengthen CNRS's presence in India. A new international joint unit in applied mathematics should be set up shortly.

The new office is hosted by the Scientific and Technological Mission of the French Embassy in New Delhi. It is headed by Dominique Aymer de la Chevalerie, a CNRS aeronautics researcher who has previously served as science attaché at the French Embassy in Singapore and later at the French Institute in Taipei.


CNRS will open an office in Malta on March 1, 2011. From its location at the geographic center of the Mediterranean Basin, this office will promote cooperation among research teams in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. One example is MISTRALS (Mediterranean Integrated STudies at Regional And Local Scales)(1), a new interdisciplinary program jointly managed by CNRS and IRD.

The director of the Maltese office is Arnaud Lalo, a chemical engineer with a Ph.D. in materials science who has experience as a researcher at CEA and CNES, as a representative in scientific cooperation and research for the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and as a scientific and higher education cooperation attaché in Taipei.

South Africa

A new joint CNRS-IRD office opened in Pretoria on January 10, 2011, following the closure of the CNRS office in Johannesburg. CNRS and IRD had already joined forces in the Southern Hemisphere under the auspices of AIRD (Agence Inter-établissements de Recherche pour le Développement, the new Inter-Establishment Agency for Research for Development). The joint office is located in the Innovation Hub near two of CNRS's key partners: the University of Pretoria and the South African National Research Foundation.

The office is headed by IRD senior researcher Yves Savidan, who has already represented that organization in South Africa for several months. A geneticist by training, Savidan has pursued an international career in agronomic research, and has served as chairman of the scientific board of the Agropolis Foundation in Montpellier.


(1) MISTRALS is a ten-year observation and research program to improve understanding of environmental processes in the Mediterranean Basin as it undergoes natural and anthropogenic global changes. It aims to anticipate the behavior of this system in the coming century based on an interdisciplinary analysis conducted during the decade from 2010 to 2020. The ultimate goal of the program is to predict the evolution of the conditions of habitability in this ecoregion and to propose adaptive measures and mitigation policies capable of optimizing those conditions.


CNRS press officer l Claire Le Poulennec l T 01 44 96 49 88 l


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