The first edition of FUERTES completes its virtual training phase

Madrid, 15th of July 2021. Women for Africa’s new project in the scientific field, FUERTES, has completed its first edition training phase with the leadership seminar for women in science given to the participants.

FUERTES (Femmes Unies Ensemble pour la Recherche, la Technologie, l’Environement et la Science) aims to enrich women’s research in the field of sustainable agriculture and environmental protection in Senegal by promoting entrepreneurship, female empowerment and innovation.

Women for Africa’s partners with extensive experience in this field are OCP Foundation, Senegalese University Sine Saloum El-Hâdj Ibrahima Niass (USSEIN) and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). The four institutions are participating in this scientific cooperation programme. Its first cohort, 5 senior female researchers and 5 PhD students from USSEIN have received training at UM6P, a university with great prestige in the field.

The programme was designed for these 10 female scientists to travel to Morocco to receive this training in person at the Mohamed VI University, but because of the pandemic, the entire first phase of training has been carried out virtually.

However, it is planned that, if the coronavirus allows it, they will all be able to travel from Senegal to the Moroccan university to continue reinforcing their academic skills and carry out various practical activities in the field.

The leadership seminar for women in science has closed the online phase of the programme, which has a strong participatory character through coaching and mentoring. Designed by the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), its main objective was to provide participants with tools to better manage the challenges of their careers and strengthen their leadership as women in science.

This involved five interactive sessions moderated by two or more instructors, all of them prestigious PhDs in scientific disciplines, such as Isabelle Vernos, Michela Bertero, Marie Trussart, Damjana Kastelic and Alex Nikolaou.

FUERTES will initially have two editions that will train 20 Senegalese female researchers. After its completion, the results of the project will be analysed to assess the possibility of creating start-ups in the local agri-food sector. If successful, a second phase will be launched, focusing on innovation in these new companies with the aim of creating jobs and bringing together scientific research, its application and commercialisation.

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