DOING EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCE IN AFRICA: HOW TO?
Amphithéâtre Mestre - 15.45 - 17.00
Experimental research is important for the development of science and technology in Africa and for the progress of science in general. It covers all scientific disciplines, and the needed equipment cover a wide range of instruments, from simple environmental sensors, such as thermometers, to heavy equipments such as mass spectrometers or semiconductor devices fabrication labs for electronics and optoelectronics applications.
Doing experimental science requires some financial and human resources and the search for these resources is one of the most difficult activities of researchers around the world. Hence, young African researchers working in Europe with an aspiration to come back to back to Africa, legitimately ask a lot of questions about how to build and maintain experimental science laboratories.
Whether to buy equipment and consumables or to fabricate them in Africa? What are the sources of funding for experimental research in Africa?
In this session, we bring two lines of thought through three presentations:
. Build your own reliable and low cost laboratory equipment: In recent years, there has been a growth of digital electronics and integrated MEMS sensor (such as accelerometers, lights, temperature sensors), and some mature and useful open-source / open-hardware platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry pi. These offer new possibilities for the design of useful laboratory instruments and instrumentation at low cost. François Piuzzi, through his experience in the promotion of science and instrumentation, will give some talk on how to use these new tools to design laboratory equipment.
. Sources of funding for heavy equipment and building laboratories: In addition to the classical sources of funding, such as UE grants calls and supports from NGO such as Seeding Labs, Africa's current economic attractiveness offers also new opportunities for the development of scientific collaborations with companies for the creation of R&D centers in Africa. Veronica Okello, professor at the Department of Physical Sciences of the University of Machakos (Kenya) and Alpha Kabinet Keita, scientist at the University of Montpellier and at the Center for Research and Training in Infectiology of Guinea, will provide insights into theses sources of funding through talks on their respective experience in setting up research centers in Africa.
Watch the full session.