France Tech Insight - November 2014

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to the November issue of France Tech Insight!

As the holidays approach, the Office for Science and Technology is winding down another year of great programs. We have many great events coming up and hope to see you there!

We would particularly like to draw your attention to the FAID 2014 conference, the French American Innovation Day on December 8 and 9, which promises to bring together renowned speakers and the best French companies in the field of energy storage. We are also proud to officially announce the participation of Pr. Donald R. Sadoway, John F. Elliott Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the MIT and Pr. Michael Aziz, Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Recently, the five NETVA laureates spent a week in Boston gaining valuable knowledge about the American market and making connections with influential mentors. Read more in the Our Programs section.

As always, you will find information about our upcoming events, science and innovation news, employment opportunities, and scholarship offers.

Enjoy the new issue!

1. Our Programs:

- French-American Innovation Day
- NETVA 2014— Boston Immersion Week

2. News:

- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Science and Research

3. Upcoming Events:

- Café des Sciences #67 (November 25)
- French-American Innovation Day (December 8 & 9th)
- The Little Prince at the Charles Mosesian Theater (November 22nd to December 21st)

4. Grants, Scholarships, & Awards:

- Chateaubriand Fellowship 2015 Call for Applications
- Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program
- PIA 2: Call for Applications IDEX/ I-SITE

5. Employment Opportunities

- Vitry-sur-Seine
- Evian Les Bains
- Boulogne Billancourt

The Challenge of Innovation in the Energy Field: Energy Storage

When: December 8 and 9
Where: MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA

The topic of the 2014 edition of the French-American Innovation Day (FAID 2014) is “Energy Storage”. This conference is organized by the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States in collaboration with MIT, MassCEC and France’s CEA and will address in particular the challenge of “Bringing new technologies in the Energy Field to the Market Place”.

The conference will feature speakers from Harvard, MIT, France’s CEA and CNRS; large companies such as Airbus, Schneider Electric, Total, Saint-Gobain, Saft, Lockheed Martin and United Technologies will present their cutting-edge technologies and will explain their strategies to bring innovations from the bench to the market. The audience will consist of students, researchers, investors, startup entrepreneurs and large corporations from France and Massachusetts.

We are also proud to officially announce the participation of Pr. Donald R. Sadoway, John F. Elliott Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the MIT and Pr. Michael Aziz, Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The goal of FAID 2014 is to bring together small and large companies, high level researchers from the best universities in France and the US as well as government’s stakeholders to highlight the work being done in both countries and to encourage further collaborations.

Students, faculty members and company researchers are invited to submit posters describing their recent research in the energy storage field. Startups and SMEs in the field of energy storage are invited to pitch and to meet with French and American industry leaders. Fields of expertise include batteries, fuel cells, ultra-capacitors, and other energy storage technologies. Companies may address any aspect of the field from basic materials and components to systems, manufacturing, and reuse.


Register for the conference at

Context: FAID is an annual Franco-American event which brings together scientists, entrepreneurs and investors. It is a free, high-level event in the Boston area where researchers and companies have the opportunity to exchange views on a specific technological issue, start co-operative activities and develop business with a transatlantic perspective. The goal of the program is to facilitate the development of innovation ties between France and America.

NETVA 2014 - Boston Immersion Week

From September 29 to October 3, 2014, the Consulate General of France in Boston welcomed the fifth annual arrival of NETVA, the acceleration program for young, innovative French businesses that facilitates their entrance into the American market. It was a week full of connections, challenges, and opportunities for the future!

The laureates accompany the NETVA organizational team at the reception cocktail party at the Residence of France

The list of laureates for this year’s NETVA programs in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. was announced in June. For Boston, the list included Solène Molle, Business Development Manager of Adionics, Frédéric Allemand, President of Emosis, Pascal Boulanger and Ludovic Eveillard, co-founders of NAWATechnologies, Hugo and Jean Marie de Gentile, co-founders of Prodontis, and Françoise Cailler, President of Surgimab.

The immersion week in Massachusetts set off with a presentation session, an ideal exercise to dive in head first and identify the key points upon which to expand. The laureates knew what to expect since they had participated in a preliminary informational seminar in Paris.

Barry Horwitz, the professor in charge of the workshops since their creation, and Paul Levine (former member of a venture capital firm), known for his critical but very constructive comments, tested the laureates on their business models, their ability to emphasize the exceptional value of their company, and their capacity to captivate their audience throughout their presentation. These were indeed the keys to success at the various events and personalized meetings provided for each of the participants.

Barry Horwitz and Françoise Cailler brainstorm openly

While working on their presentation skills, this session quickly transformed into a moment of open brainstorming about each company’s projects and business model. A particularly interesting part of the discussion revolved around the fact that going international requires serious assurance that the product adheres to what the local market demands. This was an especially rich exercise due to the different and complimentary profiles of the delegation members.

That night, a large audience of sponsors, partners, mentors, and friends of the program convened at the Residence of France to encourage the new round of entrepreneurs. Fabien Fieschi, Consul General of France, began the evening by recounting the history and development of the NETVA program. Following the opening of the Washington D.C. division in 2014, Canada will be the next to join the endeavor with the opening of a new division in Toronto for the 2015 tour. The various local francophone investors and established businesspeople also presented their plans to work with the new French businesses arriving in the region, an invaluable resource for when the entrepreneurs make the choice to throw themselves into an American venture. Among these were the speeches of Ludivine Sanchez Wolczik, Executive Director of the French-American Chamber of Commerce, Valérie Philippon, treasurer of the New England section of the French Foreign Trade Advisors, et Maeva Leroy, Business and Operation Manager at French Tech Hub.

Sébastien Christian relates his first year of experience as an entrepreneur in Boston

Finally, before the networking began, Sébastien Christian, CEO of the young Otosens society and NETVA 2013 laureate (check out his TedX presentation) reflected energetically upon his experience and the reasons for his choice to create a startup in Boston. He was a shining example of the NETVA program’s potential to be a gateway!

The week was then punctuated by a series of personalized meetings corresponding to each startup’s strategic needs for entering the American market. Among these meetings, there were many notable participants such as the investors from Launchpad, Mass Medical Angels, Braemar Ventures, well-known businesses such as EnerNOC and Thermofisher, some surgeons from Dana Farber, Voisin Consulting who spoke about the process of entering the biotech market…an audience with as wide a range of profiles as the laureates could possibly need!

Also not to be forgotten is Demo Day, where two panels of experts and investors in life-science and clean-technology companies judged the strength of the entrepreneurs’ projects. Though it was certainly difficult for the laureates to present to such a demanding audience, it was also an excellent experience for the entrepreneurs to have a safe zone in which to test their projects in front of first-rate critics.

Another great moment was the Pitch Battle which took place the same day in the headquarters of the largest startup accelerator in the world: MassChallenge. Alexandra Suhas from the office of Marie Landel & Associates, sponsor and friend of the program since its creation, introduced the session by describing the entrepreneurial environments of France and Boston. Each laureate then put forth a one-minute elevator pitch to convince the audience that their projects were worthy of support. After a close competition, the prize finally went to H2Only Battery, a company that produces a battery that uses water to recharge. With no hard feelings, the French competed well and saluted the undeniable talent of the Americans for this type of exercise, the fruit of ample practice.

George Vilanakis, H2Only Battery and the NETVA laureates accompany Alexandras Suhas

At the end of the week, the laureates, visibly changed by the experience, offered many of their impressions: "An intense week, lots of meetings, very dynamic!", "Some very important lessons and a priceless outsider’s view on our projects… ", "NETVA is definitely an acceleration program… ".

Notably, this year’s NETVA was also marked by a very important collaboration between the embassy’s scientific network divisions. Each laureate was offered a supplementary opportunity to visit other destinations within the scientific service’s network, a proposition which was widely accepted by the the entrepreneurs.

The NETVA team would like to warmly thank the group of collaborators for this year’s edition, including sponsors, partners, mentors, and entrepreneurs without whom none of this would have been possible. Thank you to all, and we’ll see you next year!


Maxime HUYNH – NETVA Manager

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

- France remains in third place of the Thomson Reuters 2014 Global Innovators

France remains in third place of the 2014 100 Global Innovators, published by Thomson Reuters on November 6. French companies comprise 7% of the Top 100 Global Innovators, a 5% decrease from 2013. Alcatel-Lucent, Arkema, CNRS, Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, IFP Energies Nouvelles, Safran, and Saint-Gobain werre recognized among the winners. Read More

- TWB inaugurates new technology transfer model

TWB (Toulouse White Biotechnology) is a public-private research platform. Its creator, Pierre Monsan, has developed a firmly groundbreaking approach to increase the value of entrepreneurial research. Read More

- Yelp acquires Cityvox to double down on French market

Review site Yelp has acquired its French equivalent, Cityvox, for an undisclosed sum, the company announced this week. Cityvox, founded in 1999, was purchased by telecom company Orange in 2008. As JournalduNet reports, the company counts 1.3 Million members and 300,000 reviews across various cities in France – staggeringly small compared to Yelp, Foursquare, or TripAdvisor. Read More

- With room for 1,000 startups, France begins work on world’s largest incubator

With one ceremonial push, work has begun in Paris on what French government leaders are calling the world’s largest startup incubator. The $190-million project will renovate Paris’ Halle Freyssinet, a 323,000-square-foot railway building constructed in the 1920s, for use as an incubator space with room for 1,000 startups, according to Journal du Net. Read More

- MassChallenge startups have raised $706M in funding, created 4,800 jobs

The 617 startups that have participated in five annual classes of Boston-based accelerator program MassChallenge have collectively raised $706 million in funding and created 4,800 jobs. Read More

- Largest EU Investment Bank Opens US Branch To Fund France-Based Startups

Bpifrance, the largest investment bank in Europe – with more than $25 billion under management – has just opened a US branch, headed by former French Consul General in San Francisco, Romain Serman. In the US, the French government-owned bank is pursuing a three-pronged investment strategy, funding US-based VCs, co-investing with them and partnering with local banks that are willing to invest in companies having their main footprint in France. Read More

Science & Research

- MIT Gold Medal for students who want to save the Canal du Midi

A team of Toulouse students has won a competition organized by MIT in Boston. Their project, crowned on November 2, hopes to battle against an invasive fungus that is destroying the plane trees of the Canal du Midi. Read More

- Science Skills Prevail in Boston

The most popular skill set found in Boston? Little surprise: it is science.With an abundance of universities, teaching hospitals, and drug companies, the top three individual skills in Boston are life sciences, pharmaceutical, and chemistry, according to new data from LinkedIn. Also among the region’s top skills are clinical trial and healthcare management. Read More

- French researchers develop quick Ebola diagnosis device

The new tool, developed by France’s Atomic Energy Commission, could allow doctors to diagnose a patient with suspected Ebola in under 15 minutes. Read More

- Meet Poppy, the open-source, 3D-printed robot set to inspire innovation in classrooms

Meet Poppy, the first completely open-source, 3D printed, humanoid robot. Poppy is a robot that anybody can build and program. That means it’s not just a tool for scientists and engineers: the team of developers aims to make it part of vocational training in schools, giving students the opportunity to experiment. Poppy was developed in France by Inria’s Flowers team, which creates computer and robotic models as tools for understanding developmental processes in humans. Read More

- Boston contest to combat rising sea levels

Boston is launching an international design competition to come up with solutions to combat rising sea levels after narrowly averting catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Sandy two years ago and two more recent powerful storms. Read More

- Human fossils from ’oldest Parisian’

Scientists have unearthed rare, ancient human remains in silts close to the River Seine in France. The left arm bones are dated to about 200,000 years ago, and look to be Neanderthal - although the researchers say that with no other fossils it is impossible to make a full description. Read More

Café des Sciences #67

Event in French

Tuesday, November 25
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

CIC - Havana Room, 5th floor
One Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

De la peau du patient aux mini-cerveaux génétiquement modifiés : les nouveaux modèles de neurodégénerescence
Julien Muffat, président de l’Association des Post-Doctorants du Whitehead Institute
Entrée libre - Inscription obligatoire - Nombre de places limité
--- Présentation en Français ---

Vous pourrez ensuite échanger avec les personnes présentes autour de rafraîchissements.

La présentation:
Les cellules souches pluripotentes induites (iPS) dérivées à partir de simples biopsies de patients, remplaçant a bien des égards les cellules souches embryonnaires humaines, représentent une véritable révolution pour les études de modélisation précliniques d’aujourd’hui.

L’équipe de Rudolf Jaenisch, à l’Institut Whitehead du MIT, a mis sur pied au cours des 5 dernières années l’utilisation de nouveaux outils de modification du génome de ces cellules. Ces dernières étaient jusqu’ici largement inaccessibles à l’étude génétique systématique. L’avènement récent de la technologie CRISPR (Co-découverte par Jennifer Doudna à Berkeley et la chercheuse française Emmanuelle Charpentier), change encore plus la donne, mettant ces modifications génétiques à la portée du plus grand nombre, et promettant des applications exceptionnelles en recherche fondamentale et thérapeutique.

Nous avons mis au point de nombreux modèles de pathologies , en développant entre autres de nouveaux protocoles de différentiation et de culture de tous les acteurs cellulaires de la Maladie d’Alzheimer et autres maladies neurodégénératives, comme l’Adrénoleukodystrophie. Sur cette dernière, en contact étroit avec l’équipe pionnière de Patrick Aubourg a Paris, et grâce au financement de la fondation ELA, nous nous sommes attelé à produire des cellules a portée thérapeutique, qui pourraient être utilisées à l’avenir comme vecteur de thérapie cellulaire et génique, allant au-delà des outils actuels.

Les plateformes mises en place peuvent être utilisées pour le criblage thérapeutique, en tant que systèmes humains, tridimensionnels, récapitulant au plus proche les paramètres du cerveau normalement hors de portée des études précliniques. La manière d’étudier et de traiter de nombreuses maladies neurologiques et psychiatriques est en pleine mutation grâce à ces « cerveaux-en-culture ».

Julien Muffat est Normalien, diplômé d’un DEA de Biologie du Vieillissement de l’Universite de Paris. Après un séjour de recherche pré-doctoral à Harvard ou il participe aux premières études du stress oxydant dans la maladie d’Alzheimer, il obtient son PhD de Neurobiologie a Caltech, sous la tutelle du pionnier de la génétique Seymour Benzer. Il revient en 2009 à Boston pour continuer ses travaux de recherche sur les maladies du cerveau. Il a reçu de nombreuses récompenses, dont la Glenn Foundation Scholarship pour la recherche en biologie du vieillissement, et la NARSAD Young Investigator Award de la Brain and Behavior Foundation .

Passionné par l’ingénierie biologique et les nanotechnologies, il applique la rigueur génétique de ses travaux sur la Drosophile au futur de la modélisation humaine in vitro a portée thérapeutique. Il est président de l’Association des Post-Doctorants du Whitehead, pionnière de la promotion et de la formation des chercheurs non-statutaires, et l’ambassadeur pour Boston de la compétition internationale d’entrepreneuriat basée en France, le Hello Tomorrow Challenge.

Register Here

Monday, Tuesday, December 8 & 9th

MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA

The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States in partnership with the CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) the MIT and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, are organizing the 2014 French American Innovation Days to address these questions. This conference will compare how these challenges are met in France and in the United States. In the process, we hope to foster partnerships between academics and industry actors of both countries.

The symposium will feature:
- Keynote speakers and roundtables: Experts from technical, industrial, and economic -backgrounds will discuss their visions of today’s energy storage challenges ;
- Technical conferences: Overview and discussions of tomorrow’s technologies applied to mobile and stationary applications;
- Open Innovation Meetup: Corporate leaders and startups will expose their needs and solutions in energy storage.


The Little Prince at the Charles Mosesian Theater

November 22nd to December 21st

Charles Mosesian Theater
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472

This holiday season, bring the whole family to an imaginative new take on the beloved novella. THE LITTLE PRINCE tells the story of a world-weary aviator and a mysterious, regal little boy who help each other discover rare and unique insights into love, loss, and laughter. Filled with enchanting music and heartfelt lyrics, it has been touted by critics around the country for its appeal to all ages. This classic parable reminds us that “what is essential is invisible to the eye” and that all grown-ups were once children.


Chateaubriand Fellowship 2015 Call for Applications

The Cultural Services at the Embassy of France is pleased to inform you that the Chateaubriand Fellowship Call for applications for the academic year 2015/2016 is now open.

Complete applications must be submitted by January 20, 2015.

The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a grant offered by the Embassy of France in the United States. It supports outstanding Ph.D. students from American universities who wish to conduct research in France for a period ranging from 4 to 9 months. Chateaubriand fellows are selected through a merit-based competition, through a collaborative process involving expert evaluators in both countries.

The program is divided in two sections:

§ STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Health

The Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Biology-Health for doctoral students aims to initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects between French and American research teams. The Chateaubriand Fellowship supports PhD students registered in an American university who wish to conduct part of their doctoral research in a French laboratory.

This fellowship is offered by the Office for Science & Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in Washington in partnership with American universities and French research organizations such as Inserm and Inria. It is a partner of the National Science Foundation’s GROW program.

§ HSS: Humanities and Social Sciences

The Chateaubriand fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences is offered by the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France. The HSS program targets outstanding Ph.D. students enrolled in American universities who seek to engage in research in France, in any discipline of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The HSS Chateaubriand program is supported by the Campus France agency which provides a welcome package and assistance to Fellows upon their arrival. Social networking opportunities are also offered by the Fulbright program in France.

- Candidates must be currently working on their Ph.D.

- Candidates do not have to be U.S. citizens, but they must be enrolled in an American university.

- Candidates must obtain a letter of recommendation from their advisor(s) in the U.S., as well as a letter of invitation from a professor affiliated with a French university or research institution. Please contact your supervisor in France as early as possible.

For more specific eligibility criteria please visit our websites.

- A monthly stipend

- Health insurance for the entire duration of the fellowship

- A round-trip ticket to France

- Academic relevance of the research project

- Student’s command of the subject

- Benefits of a research trip to France for the future of the collaboration

- Background of the research collaboration

- Contribution of the project to France/U.S. academic exchange

STEM Chateaubriand Program:
HSS Chateaubriand Program :

Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program - Call for application 2014

The Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program was established by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development to enable French higher education establishments to attract top foreign students to enroll in their master’s and PhD courses.

It helps shape future foreign decision-makers in the private and public sectors, in priority areas of study, and encourages applications from emerging countries at the master’s level, and from emerging and industrialized countries at the PhD level.

Calendar Session 2015/2016

- Opening of the call for applications: October 21, 2014
- Deadline for receipt of applications by Campus France : January 9, 2015
- Announcement of results: Week of March 23, 2015

More information and application:

PIA2: Call for Applications IDEX/ I-SITE

Since 2010, the ANR has been the principal state operator in the sector of higher education and research of Investments of the Future. This role was confirmed in the context of the second Investments of the Future (PIA 2) program. The pioneer action of the PIA 2, the call for applications IDEX/ I-SITE is now open.

Deadline to Apply: January 21, 2015

Two Types of Expected Candidates:

The expected candidates to this call for applications are of two kinds, the advantages of each kind follow:

IDEX: In continuation of the first PIA, this call for applications aims to promote the emergence of new, multidisciplinary competitive clusters of higher education and world-renowned research on French territory, the "Initiatives d’excellence" (IDEX). Making use of scientific power and impact, these leading structures will come to complete the network initiated by the first PIA, bringing the total number of large research universities to a dozen, similar to the best universities in the world in the influence of their research, the attractiveness of their training, the notoriety of their academic personnel or the quality of their governance,

I-SITE: In order to recognize the transformative ambition and innovative ability of sites whose scientific forces are more concentrated on themes of excellence, this call for applications will also select I-SITEs, "Initiatives Science - Innovation - Territoires - Economie." These projects will be characterized by the ability of the carriers to develop, in their thematic palette, strong and efficient cooperations with the economic world, and to put in place innovative operations of partner research, of entrepreneurial development and professional training that is original and continuous. They will have notably proved this by their success in the first Investments of the Future program (PIA 1) and by their achievements executing in this capacity.

Selection of the IDEX and I-SITE will take place in two waves, each one consisting of two phases: one of preselection and one of selection. Applications for the first round of selection are to be completed by January 21, 2015.

More information here

-  Post-doctoral position in Medicinal / Computational chemistry — Vitry-sur-Seine
Within the departments of Medicinal Chemistry and Structural Design Informatics (LGCR), the purpose of this post-doctoral position is to identify and exploit novel allosteric sites of an oncogenic protein and to design and synthesize allosteric site and/or protein-protein interaction inhibitors with its effectors.

Main missions
- Contribute to the design of the project and expand it with your scientific creativity
- Carry out the realization at the bench of the computation and synthetic chemistry programs (under guidance of experts). Read More

- Engineer in Water Chemistry — Evian les Bains
Within the Danone Group, the Danone waters division is a vital player in the global business of water and bottled beverages, with international and prestigious brands, produced in 15 countries, and delivered to over 150 countries.

The Center of International Analytical Expertise of Danone Waters, the Aqualab, located in Evian, is the base laboratory of the Danone Group in the field of beverages and packaging, in charge of developing the expertise, skills, and scientific network that will enable to proactively assist the central and local organizations of Danone waters in order to protect, defend, and develop the business.

Within a multidisciplinary team of 20 people (microbiologists, chemists, chemical physicists), the chemical team provides analytical expertise (development, incident investigation), guidance, and training for the internal Danone clients in France as well as abroad, with the support of external laboratories and appropriate scientific institutes. Read More

- Biostatistician — Boulogne Billancourt
IntraGen is hiring a Biostatistician in order to strenghten its team of R&D in charge of the programs and development of biomarkers. Read More

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