Pascale Delcomminette, Awex’CEO, pays a working visit to the NRF07/04/2016

On the third day of the Wallonia Trade Delegation to South Africa, Ms. Pascale Delcomminette, CEO of AWEX, paid a working visit to the National Research Foundation  (N.R.F.) in Pretoria to express her satisfaction over the existing collaboration with the Brussels-based Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS). She was received by Ms. Prudence Makhura, Director for Overseas Cooperation.

The initial contacts between the two institutions go back to October 2013, alongside the trade delegation led by H.R.H. Princess Astrid, when a high profile meeting was organised in Pretoria. The CEO and Directors of both institutions, in the presence of the Minister-President of the Wallonia Brussels federation, H.E. Rudy Demotte, discussed opportunities of partnership by ways of exchanging ideas, competences and researchers.

In March 2014, this partnership was formalised in Brussels with the signature of both CEO’s. A few months later, the first joint project call was publicised with an overwhelming result of 15 projects being submitted. Early 2015, the evaluation by experts of F.R.S.-FNRS was sent to the NRF. It only took a few days for the NRF to give their evaluation of the 15 projects. Based on the results, 4 projects were identified and announced to the winners by end of February.

The 4 projects are linking the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) with the U.C.L. (Louvain), Ulg (Liège) and Gembloux.

This 1st positive experience is promising and should lead to the strengthening of the relations between these 2 scientific institutions.