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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The C-K theory: a model for creativity

Science and Technology April 28th, 2017, Pascal Le Masson / Professor at Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, Deputy Director of the Centre for Management Science

The C-K theory encompasses methods widely implemented in the industrial world and that have achieved several notable successes. Ultimately, this theoretical breakthrough has revolutionized our approach to design.

Quantum control: when automatic control supports experimental quantum physics

Industries April 11th, 2017, Pierre Rouchon / Professor at Centre automatique et systèmes, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

In September 2011, Nature published a paper about the first experiment involving quantum state feedback. This breakthrough offers many perspectives: the ability to monitor in real-time typical quantum states without disrupting them opens new paths, both in terms of basic research and practical applications. Gathered around the specialist of quantum mechanics, Serge Haroche, the experiment was carried out in combination with other disciplines. Here's the story of this collaboration.

A philosophy of data

Science and Technology April 10th, 2017, Bruno Teboul / Senior Vice President of Science and Innovation, Keyrus Group

Ongoing digitization has placed data at the center of economic and social life. We are producing a growing amount of data that are exchanged, secured and analyzed by increasingly sophisticated technologies. Data economics defines the value of these operations. Data policies are implemented both by governments and large corporations. An emerging business revolves around big data. But the precise nature of a datum remains unclear. A philosophical approach, as led by Luciano Floridi, can help us refine the definition.

Research exploitation: catching up at a quick pace!

Science and Technology February 15th, 2017, Jacques Lewiner / Professor and Honorary Scientific Director of ESPCI ParisTech, Dean of Transformation, PSL Université Paris

In France, there has been a long-standing contrast between the high level of academic research and the modest result of research exploitation. Old habits die hard, but the situation is changing fast. PSL's Jacques Lewiner, sometimes nicknamed as the man with one thousand patents, was among the pioneers.

Proponents of synthetic biology introduced in molecular biology a number of principles directly inspired from engineering. Their goal: alter living organisms to make them produce new molecules. Numerous applications are expected in the areas of health, energy, materials, environment and agriculture. How will the transition to the industrial phase take place? This, today, is the main issue.

As automation technologies such as machine learning and robotics play an increasingly great role in everyday life, their potential effect on the workplace has, unsurprisingly, become a major focus of research and public concern. The discussion tends toward a Manichean guessing game: which jobs will or won’t be replaced by machines?

Artificial intelligence: the fear is from the unknown

Science and Technology May 12th, 2016, QIN Zengchang / Director, Intelligent Computing and Machine Learning Lab, Beihang University

Artificial intelligence (AI) research has gained major headways over the past few decades. Relevant technologies have grown from being just lab myths to mass market products. Some computing technologies are sophisticated enough to replace human minds and solve real world problems. Regardless of the professional systems widely adopted in areas such as national defence, finance and medicine, search engines, social networks and apps on smart phones are the real vehicles that have allowed the public to feel the massive power of AI. Whether it is for academy or industry, AI talents detected that this renaissance would bring a different historic meaning to the technology. With Google, Baidu and other tech giants joining the ranks, the public has given different interpretations of AI from their own perspectives, with some of them being off track. Which stage has AI technology reached? Is the arrival of machine intelligence a blessing or a curse?

Why AlphaGo is not AI

Science and Technology March 29th, 2016, Jean-Christophe Baillie / Founder and President, Novaquark

Culture is the essential catalyst of intelligence and an AI without the capability to interact culturally would be nothing more than an academic curiosity. However, culture can not be hand coded into a machine; it must be the result of a learning process.

Since her departure from JP Morgan Chase to become CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters, the renowned economist and market operator, initiated a speaking tour dedicated to blockchains. During the Exponential Finance Conference held on June 2nd 2015, she declared that “financial blockchain applications will be measured in the trillions.” Since this sensational announcement, specialized firms have been receiving many calls that all revolve around the same issue: “How will the blockchain technology help us take the ascendancy in our industry?” Today, there is a real curiosity, but above all, a need for education on the subject of Bitcoin and Ethereum protocols, as well as “blockchain technology.”

All around the world, construction methods have begun an accelerated shift towards increased innovation and efficiency, whether in building design, the implementation of constructive solutions, or the distribution and placement of building materials. One dimension of this revolution is the energy efficiency of buildings. Insulation solutions, in particular, are undergoing an unprecedented wave of innovation.

Carbon capture and storage: what’s up?

Science and Technology November 7th, 2015, François Giger / Chairman, Club Mines Energie

The COP21 provides an opportunity to review the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS). The International Energy Agency expects this technology to contribute to the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions by 15-20%, in line with the Copenhagen target to keep global warming below 2° C by 2100. In its 2014 World Energy Outlook report, the Agency presents a 2° C scenario where, in 2040, global emissions would be reduced from 46 GT, including 21 Gt from the electricity sector (business as usual), to 20 Gt, including 4 Gt from the electricity sector. Combining the use of coal with global climate objectives requires the implementation within the next 25 years of an industry with a size comparable to that of the oil industry. Expectations, hopes and obstacles are briefly presented before we examine the three phases of the complete chain of capture, transport and storage of CO2. Finally, we will offer an outlook regarding the measures that need to be undertaken.

How to calculate the environmental impact of renewable energy

Science and Technology October 21st, 2015, Isabelle Blanc / Senior Researcher, Mines ParisTech, PSL Research University

The development of renewable energy since the early 2000s should continue and intensify in the coming years, changing significantly the electricity mix of the future while reducing the associated environmental impacts. It is therefore crucial to study the environmental impact of the different production sectors.

Four scenarios of China’s R&I landscape in 2025

Science and Technology October 8th, 2015, Stavros Mantzanakis / Director, Phemonoe Lab, CEO, Emetris Consulting

What are the main factors that will affect the Research & Innovation Environment in China until 2025? A recently released report, China 2025: Research and Innovation Landscape, identifies 16 factors that could drive various evolution scenarios.

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