The network of ENS in France and IISER in India creates Biosantexc

The network of ENS in France and IISER in India creates Biosantexc

Thu, 29/06/2023


The 11 consortium partners met from May 23 to 25 at IISER Pune, for the official launch event of the Franco-Indian campus for life sciences for health Biosantexc.

Biosantexc, a Franco-Indian campus based on the "One health" concept

Winner of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs' call for projects for the foundation of a Franco-Indian campus in life sciences for health, the Biosantexc consortium brings together 11 partners: the four French Écoles normale supérieures, 6 Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research and the National Centre for Cell Science, an Indian research institute.

The official launch event of Biosantexc was held at IISER Pune, the coordinating institution of Indian partners, from 23 to 25 May 2023. ENS de Lyon, coordinating the entire consortium, was represented by a large delegation, consisting of the International Affairs Department and researchers from the School's four biology laboratories.

consortium signing
Consortium agreement signed by the 11 partners
Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet and Sunil S. Bhagwat
Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet, Consul General of France in Mumbai (left) and Professor Sunil S. Bhagwat, Director of IISER Pune (right)

The signing of the consortium agreement by the 11 project partners took place in the presence of the Consul General of France in Mumbai, Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet and Professor Sunil S. Bhagwat, Director of IISER Pune. Both highlighted the quality of the consortium and the history of cooperation, which guarantee success. The Consul General also recalled the very good relations between France and India and the importance of strong academic and scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Scientific cooperation is an essential basis for the high-quality research training of master's and doctoral students, who in turn contribute to the advancement of joint projects.

Philippe Maurin, Director of International Affairs at ENS de Lyon

Philippe Maurin
Philippe Maurin presents the Biosantexc project


The importance given to scientific exchanges enabled the researchers and teacher-researchers who were representing their laboratories to identify the connections to be made. Several disciplinary sub-networks are already emerging within the consortium, including a scientific meeting project in France in 2024 on plant developmental biology in a variable environment.

The kick-off meeting confirmed that the sizing of the network and the adequacy of the partners, make it possible to reach a sufficient critical mass so that researchers are not limited in terms of opportunities for collaboration and can find the right complementarities. Biosantexc’s objective is to build an ecosystem of excellence and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific region by developing both scientific cooperation and research training, which will be intrinsically linked, enabling joint scientific projects to progress.

Our long-term ambition for Biosantexc is to build an ecosystem of sustainable excellence in the Indo-pacific region

Philippe Maurin, Director of International Affairs at ENS de Lyon

A strategic partnership

India is a key partner in the international strategy of the four French ENS, due to its high level of scientific development. French ENS and Indian IISER are leading institutions at the international level, linking their respective national territories. Small institutions promoting inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to learning, ENS and IISER share common values and mindset as well as strong academic and scientific links that have been clearly identified.

The consortium within the framework of the Franco-Indian campus aims to constitute a high-visibility pole of excellence in the Indo-Pacific with the goal of attracting students from the region and fostering collaborative networks. Biosantexc aims to be a springboard for the development of disciplinary networks, giving access to research and thesis funding.

Programs currently being developed or soon to be developed:

- Student internships: Biosantexc offers students in the network, internship opportunities in life sciences laboratories or in interdisciplinary projects related to life sciences, especially in the humanities and social sciences both from France to India and India to France.
- Research and teaching mobility: Biosantexc offers two types of visiting programs for teachers and researchers, enabling them to launch or develop joint projects within the network.
- Doctoral postings: from the end of 2023, Biosantexc will enable doctoral students to opt for mobility secondments of up to three months for scientific collaboration.

Integrated Research Oriented Training Network in Life Sciences through Interdisciplinary Approaches

The Franco-Indian campus in life sciences for health Biosantexc aims at creating a network of excellence, conducive to the development of scientific cooperation, based on joint training programs at Master and Doctorate levels. The main objective of the project is to address societal challenges in life sciences and health, including research on climate and ecological transition. The members of the consortium rely on the articulation between human sciences and life sciences to stimulate projects on the concept of “One Health”. The entire project is based on a close link between training and research through interdisciplinary approaches.

Biosantexc is a project funded by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. It is coordinated by ENS de Lyon; IISER Pune is the coordinator for the Indian partners.

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