Scientific Watch N°18 - From 12/18/2015 to 12/31/2015

Please find every other two weeks a small Scientific Watch regarding cultural and scientific activities in France. [2015-N°18 from 12/18/2015 to 12/31/2015]

From 12/18/2015 to 12/31/2015

Editors :

Gabriel BENET, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Julie METTA, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Justin MONIER, Scientific Officer - Hong Kong

Isabelle SAVES, Attachée for Scientific & Academic Affairs - Hong Kong

Contact :




1- Energy & Environment

1.1- French research and innovation investments for renewable marine energies

Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research, Emmanuel Macron, Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Thierry Mandon, State secretary for Higher Education and Research, and Louis Schweitzer, General Commissioner for Investment, have announced the allocation of 4 million euros (34 million HKD) to the “Investments for the Future programmes” (Investissements d’Avenir) to fund the 10 laureates of the call for projects “Institutes for the energy transition 2015” regarding the development of renewable marine energies. In total, a budget of 10 million euros (85 million HKD) over 3 years has been set aside.

Ministry of Higher Education and Research press release, December 22, 2015 - source

1.2- Plastic bags ban delayed in France

As decided in the French law for energy transition voted in August 2015, single-use plastic bags should be progressively banned from supermarkets. The law should have come into force from January 1st, 2016, but the decree is awaiting approval from the European Commission which asked for clarification. Its publication is delayed beyond March 28, 2016.

Published on Le Monde website, December 28, 2015 - source

1.3- France : end of the Sivens dam project

Expected since March, the French government has eventually formalized the suppression of the controversial initial project of Sivens dam, on thursday December 24, 2015. The decree has been signed by the prefectures of Tarn and Tarn-et-Garonne.

Published on Le Monde website, December 28, 2015 - source


2- Health & Society

2.1- The 3rd owner of an artificial heart “CARMAT” died on December 18, 2015

The third patient who had been implanted an artificial heart “CARMAT” died at the age of 74 on Decmber 18, 2015. The implantation of the artificial heart was held April 8, 2015 at the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in Paris ( HEGP ) . He had been trained for the operation of the portable cardiac support system, then he received a rehabilitation period in the University Hospitals of Strasbourg. He left the hospital in late August to return to his Alsatian home.

Published on "Le Monde" Website, December 23, 2015 - Source

2.2- The new French Health bill adopted on December 17, 2015

After weeks of deliberations, the new French health bill was finally adopted on December 17, 2015. This text provides in particular for neutral package required tobacco applicable in May 2016 and a generalization of the paying agent in 2017.

Published on Liberation Website, December 17, 2015 - Source

2.3- Third country to approve Sanofi-Pasteur’s dengue vaccine

French company Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced on December 28, 2015 that Brazil has granted regulatory approval to Dengvaxia®, representing the third successful licensure of the dengue vaccine, which was also approved in Mexico and the Philippines earlier this month. Dengvaxia® is the world’s first vaccine against dengue fever, a fast-growing mosquito-borne disease.

Sanofi Pasteur press release, December 28, 2015 - source


3- Research and Education

3.1- The mechanism of an AIDS vaccine candidate filmed in vivo

Scientists from the Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit (Institut Pasteur / Inserm / VRI) directed by Philippe Bousso have filmed in vivo the process by which an AIDS vaccine candidate, developed by the French Vaccine Research Institute and the ANRS (French National Agency for Research on AIDS and viral hepatitis), triggers the immune response. These results, published in the journal Nature Medicine on December 21, 2015, shed new light on the mode of action and potential of this vaccine.

Institut Pasteur press release, December 21, 2015 - source

3.2- “The rising stars of Europe”

The 3rd awards ceremony of the trophy “Stars of Europe” (trophée des Étoiles de l’Europe) took place on December 16, 2015 after the forum “Horizon 2020”. This trophy, created in 2013 by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, rewards 12 scientific projects from French organizations demonstrating a European commitment. Among the laureates, 3 researchers are members of the CNRS (The French National Center for Scientific Research).
CNRS press release, December 17, 2015 - source

3.3- Gullies on Mars sculpted by dry ice rather than liquid water

Mars’ gullies may be formed by dry ice processes rather than flowing liquid water, as previously thought. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by two French scientists, Cédric Pilorget, researcher at the “Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale” (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud) and François Forget, from the “Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique” (UPMC/ ENS Paris /CNRS/Ecole polytechnique). Results have been published online on December 21st in Nature Geoscience.

CNRS press release, December 21, 2015 - source

3.4- Brand new intervertebral discs for back pain

Researchers from Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) led by Jérôme Guicheux (Inserm Unit 791, “Laboratory of Osteoarticular and Dental Tissue Engineering,” Nantes) have successfully transformed adipose stem cells into cells that might be able to replace damaged discs. This work is published in the journal Stem cells.

Inserm press release, December 16, 2015 - source


4- Technology & Transport

4.1- Creation of a French joint venture to develop future high-speed trains generation

SpeedInnov,a French joint venture carried by Alstom and ADEME - under the French governmental finance program “Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir (PIA)”, will develop the next generation of high speed trains : the most innovative and economical. The technology " future TGV " will have a capacity of up to 750 seats . The full cost will be optimized by rowing with greatly reduced energy consumption (target 35% ) and a maintenance cost much lower than the current trains.

Published on enseignementsup-recherche.gouv Website, December 21, 2015 - Source

4.2- Create your own home-cloud in less than a minute

The French Start-up “Lima” created a system - a small box - which allows anybody to easily settled a home-cloud. The box is available for less than 100€ (850 HKD) and would be presented at the Vegas forum called CES.

Published on Sciences et Avenir Website, December 29, 2015 - Source

4.3- Cathay Pacific Fined HKD 4 240 000 for Skirting French Labor Laws

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. was fined almost 500,000 euros (HKD 4 240 000) for what a French court termed irregular pay practices concerning pilots operating European routes for the Hong Kong-based airline.

Published on Blomberg Website, December 24, 2015 - Source

4.4- Essilor and CNRS partner to invent lenses of the future

Partners since 2004, Essilor (French company producing ophthalmic lenses and ophthalmic optical equipment) and CNRS (The French National Center for Scientific Research) have signed a new research agreement on December 14, 2015 for a 5 year collaboration between Essilor and the the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS-CNRS laboratory).

Published on CNRS Website, December 17, 2015 - Source

publié le 31/12/2015

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