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Allan Rock, (left), with Denis Bourgeois, president of Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. Photo courtesy of Ronald Duchesne.

The University of Ottawa announced a new partnership with the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and the Hospices Civils de Lyon in Lyon, France. The three universities signed a letter of intent on Nov. 3 to collaborate on programs in life sciences, health sciences, and medicine.

“We’re happy to be able to add the field of health, an important focus of research for both our countries,” said U of O president Allan Rock.

French President Francois Hollande was present for the announcement at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The three universities intend to develop internship programs and short-term exchanges for students, and have plans to hammer out specifics at a later date.

In addition, the organizations intend to develop stronger ties for conducting research and creating joint programs with innovative teaching technologies.

The U of O already has agreements with institutions in Lyon in a number of fields including political science, catalysis science, and law, according to Rock.

The university also has partnerships in a variety of disciplines with universities in Israel, Japan, France, and China in a variety of disciplines. The U of O recently created a joint medical program with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.