French-American Networking at the Materials Research Society Conference in Phoenix

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The Los Angeles Office for Science and Technology organized a French-American networking session involving scientists and companies at the Materials Research Society Congress in Phoenix.

The annual Spring session of the Materials Research Society (MRS) conference was held from April 17 to 21, 2017 at the Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Each year, the MRS organizes two congresses in the United States in the spring and fall. The city of Phoenix, chosen in 2016 after San Francisco to host the spring congress, is expected to host it again at least in 2018. This interdisciplinary international congress is one of the most important in the field and covers many aspects of materials science. For example, and not exclusively: materials for the storage and conversion of energy, biomaterials, materials for electronics, nanomaterials. Materials research is an important science and technology priority in both the United States and France.
This year’s congress attracted 4800 scientists, and 105 exhibitors.

This year, the Los Angeles Office for Science and Technology organized a networking event involving researchers and representatives of French and American companies, in order to promote the visibility of French research, and interactions between the two countries.

The event was attended by about 100 participants, including approximately 60 French researchers, and was opened by the Scientific Attaché in Los Angeles who presented several programs supporting French-American cooperation in the field of science and innovation.

Professor William Petuskey, Materials Science Researcher and Associate Vice President for Science, Engineering and Technology at the Office of Knowledge Enterprise and Development of Arizona State University (ASU) then presented the strategy and highlights of ASU in the field. He was followed by Professor Pierre Lucas, a French researcher working at the University of Arizona in Tucson (UA), who drew up a parallel picture for his university. In addition, Professor Lucas, who has rich scientific interactions with France (he was responsible for an Associated International Laboratory, or LIA, for 8 years, between the CNRS and UA), provided a lot of information on these opportunities, seen from the United States. Two French researchers then described the research landscape in Materials science in France, from the perspective of CEA-LITEN (Dr. Olivier Raccurt, Grenoble) and the Ecole Polytechnique / Paris-Saclay University (Dr. Pere Roca y Cabarrocas).

In the second part of the session, Ms. Alison Gilbreath, Vice-President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (a public-private grouping with the objective of attracting companies and demonstrating the region’s economic attractiveness) explained the benefits of the region’s ecosystem for business location. Then, four innovative French companies, and a start-up from Arizona presented their products and services.

The evening concluded with a reception allowing time for discussion.

Judging by the discussions during the reception, the presentations provoked in many American participants, an awareness of the excellence of the research and the importance of the resources deployed in the field of materials sciences in France, as well as of existing tools for structuring collaborations. The Office for Science and Technology plays to continue this initiative in 2018, perhaps in a more ambitious form, which will be determined after discussion with French and American partners.