Space data in France & detection of Covid-19 olfactory signature

French researchers and startups remain committed to developing crucial innovations to solve the most pressing challenges in global health, technology and industry. To find out more, check out our monthly roundup of innovation news!

1. Space data may seem like a niche market at best, but the last few years have revealed the tremendous diversity of this field, especially in France. In fact, SpaceTech has already produced a wide array of solutions to challenges in fields as varied as agriculture, transportation and insurance. A clear sign of its growing relevance: some 35 startups have raised a total of 260 million euros since 2018, according to calculations by the Centre national d’études spatiales (Cnes). This public structure, created in 1961 to coordinate French activities and funding in the sector, anticipates a sharp rise in interest in satellite data. This is good news for Paris-Saclay, which has fostered several noteworthy startups in this industry, including Exotrail, ThrustMe, OPUS AEROSPACE, Venture Orbital Systems and more.

2. Covid-19 leaves a specific olfactory signature in the air breathed out by intubated and ventilated patients, which teams can use to design new approaches to diagnosing Covid-19 with a less invasive and faster method than PCR tests. This discovery was made by research teams from the Foch Hospital and the Raymond-Poincaré AP-HP Hospital, in association with teams from the CEA, INSERM, the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and University of Université Paris-Saclay. From March through June 2020, teams used a mass spectrometer to study the exhaled air of nearly 40 patients, in order to analyze the volatile organic compounds of a patient placed on respiratory assistance and to obtain rapid results in less than two minutes. The results of this study have cleared the way to new test procedures to detect Covid-19 quickly and reliably, using portable devices known as electronic noses or even disease sniffing dogs.

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Jérémy Hervé
Head of Innovation & Economic Development

Speaks : French, English, Japanese and Spanish

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