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Numerical calculation workshop in French Guiana

A two-day workshop was held in Cayenne on the 29th and 30th of June 2017 on shared resources for access to numerical calculation and their uses in French Guiana, as well as on the possible fields of action related to this area. Some researchers from the LabEx CEBA network participated in the workshop.


The initiative emerged from a small organising committee of the Scientific Interest Group IRISTA (Initiative for Research on Amazonian Systems and Territories) that resulted in the two-days event. The committee consisted of several members of the LabEx network. The GIS IRISTA is a tool set up in 2008 for scientific consultation in French Guiana. It brings together research and higher education institutes as well as research partners on the Guianese territory.

The objectives of this event were to identify the uses for scientists, data exchange infrastructures, safeguards and solutions. There was also a need of creating a community of exchange and sharing regional, national and European tools and means. These days were therefore addressed to users of numerical calculations and networks in French Guiana. The disciplines involved were mainly remote sensing and bioinformatics with experts in the environment, climate, soils, weather, health ecology and biodiversity.

The speakers included several members of the LabEx CEBA working on biodiversity and health. They are researchers and engineers involved in the processing of raw data by software and calculations. Through data-analysis, some of them study the habitats favorable to the occurrence of Leishmaniasis in French Guiana and the presence of host communities and vectors present at these identified sites. While others are interested in the provision of a set of bioinformatics resources to facilitate the processing of genomic or metagenomic data.

Numerous implications have emerged from this workshop:

 – The creation of a scientific exchange community meeting on a regular basis.

 – The creation of a technical animation group around machines and networks.

 – The improvement of computer skills in French Guiana. A new Bachelor’s degree at the University of French Guiana in Computer Science opens in September 2017 and a Master’s degree is to be anticipated quickly.

 – The rise in awareness of local researchers and students on the means available to change scales in time and space for their models, now limited to their local resources.

 – The exposure to the support and training pahtways offered by national infrastructures.

Let us hope that the sum of 50 M€, announced on the 29th of June 2017 by the Government for digital in the overseas territories, helps implement the initiatives that will emerge following this workshop. The simultaneous announcement and holding of the workshop demonstrate that GIS IRISTA operations are at the heart of the high-level issues and regional and national calendars.