All the buzz at Paris-Saclay : the monthly picks by our team

  • Danone fuels innovation at Paris-Saclay : Danone Nutricia Research, the food giant’s subsidiary in charge of the research and innovation strategy, has laid the first stone for its new international research center at Paris-Saclay. Known as In’Cube, the center will focus on microbiota and biotics, new protein sources and alternatives to plastics. A complement to Danone’s research center in Utrecht, Netherlands, the new facility will replace the current Daniel-Carasso center and house teams in life sciences, nutrition, consumer experience and product design. The building is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2022.
  • CentraleSupélec rolls out the counting carpet : To ensure that the capacity limits tied to health restrictions are respected, the CentraleSupélec engineering school has set up a smart carpet from Technis, which is equipped with sensors that count entries and exits in real time. Two floor counting systems are connected to a mobile app, which gives security guards real-time visibility on the flow of people. After an initial trial phase, the school decided to continue using the system and consider other applications beyond the health crisis, particularly to meet security requirements imposed on buildings receiving the public.
  • France’s award-winning verification platform : Why3 is a platform that facilitates the automated “proof” of critical programs, making it possible to ensure they are nearly infallible. While a “test” runs software to make sure it produces the expected result, a “proof” verifies that the program works correctly by examining its source code and justifying each operation with mathematical formulas. “In the 1990s, the ‘proof’ of the 90,000 lines of computer code for the automatic metro line No. 14 in Paris kept 16 engineers busy for three years,” recalls Jean-Christophe Filliâtre, CNRS research director at the Laboratoire de méthodes formelles (LMF), a joint project with the University of Paris-Saclay, the ENS and Inria. Automating this process to save time and resources, Why3 has already earned several distinctions and won the VerifyThis competition in March 2021.
  • Enhancing airport runway safety : Created by Arthur Ni in 2017 and one of this year’s winners of the X-Grant Silicon Valley Prize, Flyinstinct aims to expand the use of artificial intelligence in industrial activities. Specializing in the airport industry, the start-up has developed a digital inspection platform that can detect Foreign Object Debris (FOD) with a minimum diameter of 2 cm in real time. When present on runways, this debris can cause serious damage. To meet this safety challenge, the company enables airports to equip their inspection vehicles with smart cameras connected to a platform that includes a machine learning algorithm. Data collected in this way also allows airports to perform predictive maintenance on their runways. Already in use at Paris-Orly and Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airports, Flyinstinct has now launched its platform internationally.
  • Greening the clothing industry : Created in 2019, the startup Fairbrics was selected among the 10 finalists for the SEIF Awards 2021 Tech for Impact, which recognizes innovative companies working to create positive change. Mobilizing a diverse and collaborative group of scientists and engineers, Fairbrics aims to transform the conventional way of producing fibers and change the future of fashion. Its vision is to fight climate change by developing circular manufacturing process, notably by incorporating waste CO2 as a feed-stock to limit reliance on expensive fossil fuels.
  • Improving telecoms for emergency services : Innov’Up launched a call for projects to develop new technology for fire and emergency services. Among the program’s 5 winners is Eversat, a startup working on innovative satellite telecommunications solutions for the audiovisual, defense and security sectors. Its project aims to experiment with a portable, flexible, cost-effective, easy-to-deploy “Swiss Army knife of telecoms” that is compatible with new-generation satellites.
  • Innovation to improve health and safety : Another winner of the Innov’Up call for projects, MOTEN Technologies is working on a measurement technology that “listens” to the sounds produced by muscles, in order to reveal their level of activity and fatigue in any situation. Its project aims to test a sensor solution that characterizes the muscular condition of firefighters, in order to adapt the health and safety prevention plan. Meanwhile, Imescia has announced the finalization of their €1 million seed round, allowing the startup to continue pursuing its mission to bring new treatments for patients with incurable cancer.
  • Promising developments in FoodTech : A startup that reuses egg shells, a by-product of the agri-food industry, for the animal feed and nutraceutical markets, Circul’Egg won the 2021 Circular Economy Prize from the Deloitte Foundation. Biocontrol startup Cearitis launched its crowdfunding campaign on May 24, 2021 with a goal of raising €40,000.
  • Quantum startups rake in the cash : Investors are excited about France’s potential in deeptech. Among their favorites is C12 Quantum Electronics, a startup that develops specialty hardware to solve the main challenges of quantum computing and which recently raised $10 millionto develop its quantum computer that is Made in France. In addition, following Emmanuel Macron’s ambition to make France one of the Top 3 global leaders in quantum computing, the Ministry of the Armed Forces set aside €25 million in funding to French startup Pasqal, whose solutions have gained attention from some of the top industrial companies and research institutes.
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Jérémy Hervé
Head of Innovation & Economic Development

Speaks : French, English, Japanese and Spanish

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