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Mediterranean geopolitics: when central gets peripheral

Society September 21st, 2017, Cédrick Allmang / Professor of Geography, Lycée Saint-Louis, Paris

Sketching the geopolitics of the Mediterranean area requires to reverse the classical approach and instead of considering the Mediterranean as a center, examining its peripheral character. The geopolitics of the Mediterranean can therefore appear as typical of an era where, in order to understand the world, one must look at marginal spaces.

Silicon Valley: a cluster of venture capitalists?

Business September 21st, 2017, Michel Ferrary / Professor of Management, University of Geneva, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Affiliate Scholar at Skema Business School

What sets the Silicon Valley apart from other clusters? Many other countries have tried to emulate this model, but none have matched California’s ability to host dozens of “unicorns,” not to mention thousands of new startups every year. Why do policies fail to replicate this Californian success? Venture capitalists could very well be the differentiating factor.

What is a smart port?

Industries September 15th, 2017, Yann Alix / General Delegate of Sefacil Foundation, a think tank dedicated to maritime, port and logistics strategies

As nodes of globalization, ports are subject to increasing economic, social and environmental constraints. The digital revolution offers multiple solutions that can help them evolve into smart ports. However, becoming smart is not just about implementing technological innovations. It also involves adopting a collaborative, creative and bold approach to managing port activity.

Towards the platformization of universities

Society September 8th, 2017, Henri Isaac / Associate Professor at Paris-Dauphine University / PSL Research University

How come the EdTech startups are still struggling to penetrate and transform the higher education market? One reason is to the digital players’ poor apprehension of the university’s value chain. Will higher education institutions will resist digitization forever? It seems unlikely.

Capitalism switches from linear to exponential growth

Business September 5th, 2017, Dan Abelow / Inventor, technology consultant and author

The evidence is in: competitors who use exponential growth repeatedly win over linear companies. Which companies will triumph next? Will Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple devour the world’s wealth? Or does the advent of exponential competition open new opportunities for many companies to rise to the top, and start an exponential growth economy and planet?

Reactive transport: when chemistry meets hydrodynamics

Science and Technology July 13th, 2017, Laurent De Windt & Vincent Lagneau / Researchers in Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, Center of Geosciences

Hytec is an innovative modeling tool based on the combined knowledge of chemistry and hydrodynamics. Originally designed to address a very specific need, i.e. the storage of nuclear waste, it evolved over time into a generic platform aimed at dealing with critical aspects of major issues of our time, such as carbon storage or natural resource management. It is a platform for researchers, but ready for industrial applications.

U.S. trade wars with emerging countries: make America (and its partners) lose again!

Business July 4th, 2017, Antoine Bouët & David Laborde / Senior Research Fellow, GREThA-University of Bordeaux and International Food Policy Research Institute (Washington, DC) & Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute

Would a new trade war launched by the US government make America lose again? Indeed. And what could be the economic and trade consequences for US trading partners?

Yes, autonomous cars will radically change our environment

Business July 3rd, 2017, Arnaud de La Fortelle / Professor and Director of the Center for Robotics, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Some automakers such as Renault and PSA are announcing the marketing of autonomous cars with a level 4 of driving automation (the penultimate stage, according to a classification established by SAE International) for 2020 – literally the day after tomorrow. This may be too optimistic in view of the progress that still needs to be made, particularly in terms of driving contextualization. But there is little doubt that in the near future, the autonomous car will be generalized, with a major impact on the entire automotive value chain and our environment.

China’s influence on world markets far outweighs the degree of integration of its own banks and financial markets with the rest of the world. While the country has only gradually eased controls on its capital account and foreign exchange markets, illicit flows of capital are playing an outsized role in some overseas markets and industries. This will change. But how and when? The “New Silk Road” project underlines Beijing’s ambition to keep promoting globalization, in a sharp contrast with the rise of protectionism in the US. But the pace of reforms needed to push that process forward has been slowing. Most than anything, Chinese authorities fear the volatility associated with a higher degree of integration.

An overview of marine renewable energy

Industries June 22nd, 2017, Jean Dubranna / Research Engineer, Centre observation, impacts, énergie, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Marine renewable energy takes the form of kinetic energy (winds and currents), potential energy (tidal amplitude), mechanical energy (waves), and even thermal potential or even osmotic pressure. There is still long way to go from theory to practice for this power to unleash its full economic, societal and environmental potential. But some companies are already taking their chance.

When the “Open Wash” comes with “Open Everything”

Science and Technology June 19th, 2017, Luis Felipe R. Murillo / Post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Sociologie Économique (CNAM/CNRS)

The landscape of open projects has expanded substantially, it was (partially) internationalized and became more complex, and different positionings about the future are in dispute among digital technologists vis-à-vis their “non-technical” users/others. This sea-change not only promoted a massive shift toward a business vision and prospect for Free Software, but also undermined a narrative that was anchored on the conceptualization of collaborative software development as a form of practical ethics.

The crisis of liberalism and progressivism is shaking the very foundations of Modernity. Our ability to imagine and build a collective future is under threat. The rise of neuroscience, and more specifically neuropsychology, can help us “relaunch” our societies.

New materials: when chemistry combines metals and organic molecules

Science and Technology June 12th, 2017, François-Xavier Coudert / Researcher at Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris (CNRS / Chimie ParisTech PSL University)

Since the 1990s, chemistry has been able to successfully synthesize hybrid polymers by combining metals with organic molecules. Laboratories are racing to identify the most interesting new nanoporous materials and patent their synthesis processes while new industrial uses are being explored.

To most people, the term “predictive justice” refers to a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick titled The Minority Report in which precogs predict future crimes. But it also covers a complex reality. In the United States, judges use software to assess a suspect’s likelihood of reoffending. Elsewhere in the world, emerging start-up offer to anticipate litigation outcomes and their potential compensations. Legal Tech offers many advantages (automation of repetitive tasks for lawyers, diversion, reduction of judicial risk, etc.) but this isn’t without risk. Indeed, justice could become sheeplike, unfair and dehumanized.

What’s to fear about artificial intelligence?

Science and Technology June 6th, 2017, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia / Professor at Pierre et Marie Curie University, Researcher in AI, Chairman of the Ethics Committee, CNRS

If there is cause for concern about artificial intelligence, it doesn’t stem from the dangers it allegedly poses to humanity but rather from its current applications in our societies.

The New Silk Road: an expansionist project or a new worldview?

Business May 31st, 2017, Hervé Machenaud / President, Paris Innovation Review's Chinese Edition

The Chinese initiative continues to raise many questions and no less controversial issues four years after its creation. What is its exact nature? What economic and political goals does it hide?

AI Regulation: understanding the real challenges

Science and Technology May 25th, 2017, Jia Kai & Tao Tong / Fullbright Visiting Scholar at the University of California in Davis & Cofounder of Komolstar

From Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk, frequent proposals have called for government regulations on AI development. How do we impose effective, but not overly aggressive regulations on a threat that, for now, is imagined, one that has not yet become a reality? In fact, the dilemma of regulation is not how to balance the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, but how to thoroughly understand and contain the potential threats generated by artificial intelligence.

To remain a leader, a company must out-perform the world’s smartest executives at billion-user platforms. But a new disruption could produce a flip of today’s pyramid to people-first. That would help everyone advance, and add a people-first ecosystem that makes everyone a winner, with many people-first companies at the top.

Superalloys: the technological frontier of the metal industry

Science and Technology May 19th, 2017, Nathalie Bozzolo / Professor in Physical Metallurgy at Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, holder of ANR Industrial Chair Safran Opale

Studying metals at a mesoscopic scale is both a major scientific breakthrough and a competitiveness challenge for the aeronautics industry. A research team is involved in this change of scale which resulted in significant progress in terms of industrial control.

Silica aerogels: superinsulators of the future?

Science and Technology May 12th, 2017, Patrick Achard / Senior scientist at PERSEE (Centre Processes, Renewable Energies and Energetic Systems), a research lab of Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Aerogels? Imagine cloud chunks. This family of surprisingly light nanostructured materials has finally moved from research labs and entered the operational phase at industrial scale. Known since the 1930s, they took off some thirty years ago – three challenging and exciting decades for the researchers involved in their development. Three decades of hard work as well, that ultimately paid off.

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