Africa2020 Season, launched in December 2020 by French President Emmanuel Macron and ended in summer 2021, has taken place throughout France, involving both mainland France and French overseas territories. In this context, two Pasteurians, Aïda Bouratbine at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis and Gérald Späth at the Institut Pasteur have been rewarded.
The aim of Africa2020 Season is to shine a light on agents of change who are having an impact on contemporary societies. The event focused in particular on the major challenges of the 21st century, seeking to present the viewpoints of civil society on the African continent and its recent diaspora communities.
Back in October 2020, the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation issued a call for proposals for several awards intended to promote and strengthen existing bilateral research partnerships between two teams – one French and the other African – by encouraging the continuation and further development of these partnerships through joint two-year research projects.
The call for proposals covered all scientific topics. Applicants were asked to present a research program based on the preliminary results of the collaborative partnership and setting out ambitious aims for further development. The proposals were selected by an international panel coordinated jointly by the Ministry and the French Academy of Sciences via its committee for developing countries.
Of the 88 applications received, 6 proposals were selected for the Springboard ("Tremplin") award. These included a comparative genomics proposal that aims to investigate the epidemiology and clinical expression of leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum in Tunisia, an ambitious project for cooperation between the Institut Pasteur de Tunis and the Institut Pasteur in Paris. It is coordinated respectively by Aïda Bouratbine, from the Medical Parasitology, Biotechnology and Biomolecules research laboratory, and Gerald Späth, Head of the Molecular Parasitology and Signaling Unit.
Find out more (only in french)