Universidad de Concepcion receives donation of equipment and labware from France
On February 27th 2010, Central Chile was hit by an 8.8 Richter earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami that severely damaged the Dichato Marine Station of Universidad de Concepcion.
As a counterpart of Universidad de Concepcion in a recently created French-Chilean International Associated Laboratory, the Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls sur Mer (OOB) of the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, France) quickly reacted and established an internal committee for sending support to Chilean marine research. During most of 2010, researchers, technical and administration staff and students of OOB at Banyuls sur Mer volunteered for gathering equipment and laboratory material that would contribute to re-launching marine research and teaching at Universidad de Concepción in Chile (UdeC).
The committee was coordinated by Dr Camila Fernández (CNRS researcher at the Laboratory of Microbial Oceanography at Banyuls sur Mer and visiting professor at Universidad de Concepción) and received local but also national support from other French research centers, such as Roscoff and Villefranche sur Mer marine stations (both UPMC) and the Centre d’Océanologie de Marseille. Also important were the contributions coming from companies such as Beckton Dickinson, Mettler Toledo, Millipore, VWR and Fisher Scientific among others. Also, the company CMA-CGM (Marseilles) and the French embassy and CNRS offices in Chile provided logistic support for the transatlantic operation.
Finally, in early 2011, a container with laboratory material and equipment (estimated in 20.000 euros) left Banyuls sur Mer with destination the port of Valparaiso. Once in Chile the donation was transported to its final destination the department of Oceanography and the COPAS center at Universidad de Concepción.
The French container was officially opened at the end of July 2011 in Concepcion, closing an important chapter in the long lasting scientific cooperation between France and Chile. The donated equipment and labware will now serve its purpose in the teaching and research laboratories dedicated to marine science at UdeC.