French Academy of Science recognizes Catherine Picart
Catherine Picart (a Grenoble Institute of Technology-Phelma faculty member, LMGP researcher, and, since September 1, director of healthcare research at IRIG) won the French Academy of Science 2019 Émilia Valori award on October 15. The award recognizes a significant contribution to a field likely to have technological applications.
Picart’s research definitely fits that description: she specializes in self-assembling polyelectrolyte films for bone regeneration, cancer treatment, and high-throughput in vitro cellular screening. “I hope that this research will one day bring benefits to patients and create jobs,” said Picart, who had previously won the CNRS (France’s national center for scientific research) silver medal in 2016.
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Hughes Metras takes over as director of IRT Nanoelec
Hugues Metras has succeeded the soon-to-retire Michel Wolny as director of IRT Nanoelec. Metras came from Leti, where he was in charge of strategic international partnerships.
Metras’ arrival coincides with the start of Phase 2 of IRT Nanoelec’s development plan. IRT Nanoelec’s business model will evolve as government funding for its projects decreases. The next IRT Nanoelec roadmap, for the 2021-2025 period, will focus on three main applications: images, energy conversion, and digital trust. IRT Nanoelec’s objective is to develop, for each application, partnerships upstream and downstream from the electronic components to strengthen the ties between the technologies developed and their market applications.
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A year of flipped classrooms at Phelma
A first-year electronics course at Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Phelma engineering school has been taught using a “flipped classroom” approach for a year now. The goal was to find more time in the curriculum for students to play an active role in their learning. The initiative was put forward by
Fanny Poinsotte and Nicolas Ruty, who spent a substantial amount of time creating videos explaining the theoretical aspects of the approach, promoting them, and creating the lesson plans.
The feedback from both students and faculty has been positive. The atmosphere in the classroom is pleasant and promotes interaction. The students are motivated and are making progress faster. Faculty have more bandwidth to identify students who may be struggling and offer them extra support.
In terms of grades, students in flipped classrooms did better than those in conventional classrooms, and the difference is significant, at 0.8 points on a scale of 20.
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BHT2: MINATEC Entreprises exceeds targets
Construction on the BHT2 building was completed last spring, and startup Prophesee moved its R&D department into a 154 sq. m space at the end of September.
Prophesee’s R&D team will be working on the integration of its neuromorphic vision technology into autonomous vehicles in partnership with Leti.
eLichens and Diabeloop to move in soon
Work is underway inside BHT2 to prepare spaces for two more companies expected to move in by year’s end. Startup eLichens (a Leti partner) designs patented gas sensors and air quality testing and forecasting systems. The company will occupy a 320 sq. m space that is currently being outfitted with office and lab equipment for the 25 eLichens employees that will be moving in at the end of November.
Diabeloop will be the last new tenant to move in this year, bringing an additional 50 people to BHT2. The startup is developing a smart system for the management of type-1 diabetes in partnership with Leti. Diabeloop will occupy the entire second floor (900 sq. m).
BHT2 manager MINATEC Entreprises is in talks with other potential tenants. BHT2 offers all of the amenities high-tech companies need, with modular spaces, fluid supply lines, and maintenance and security. However, it does take time to complete the detailed specifications necessary to customize each space to meet its future tenant’s requirements. In December, almost 40% of the building will be occupied—ahead of the initial target of 30%.
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Leti’s 300 mm cleanroom to get 13 new machines in 2019
Leti continues to install and commission new equipment for its 300 mm cleanroom at a steady clip. In 2018 the facility received an immersion lithography system that alone represents 40% of the total budget for the 300 mm equipment purchase plan. In 2019 another thirteen pieces of equipment will be installed—some are already in service. The new equipment includes deposition machines for imagers and memory, as well as thermal treatment, bonding, and mechanical-chemical planing machines.
The equipment purchase plan has enabled Leti to double the volume of its 300 mm R&D in just two years. Ultimately, 300 mm will account for half of the institute’s activities. Staff members currently assigned to 200 mm R&D are switching over to 300 mm and new employees are being hired. Overall, the program concerns several hundred people.
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Dr. Alim-Louis Benabid spoke at 400th Midi MINATEC brown-bag lunch series
Dr. Alim-Louis Benabid needs no introduction. The neurosurgeon, physicist, and founder of the Clinatec biomedical research center was the speaker at the 400th Midi MINATEC brown-bag lunch series on September 13, 2019.
A member of the prestigious French Academy of Science and 2014 winner of the Lasker Award (known as America’s Nobel Prize) for his work on Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Benabid also won the European Patent Office’s European Inventor Award in 2016 for his high-frequency deep-brain stimulation method that drastically reduces the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The Midis MINATEC lunch talks were established in 2007. Since then, they have brought in an impressive 77,000 attendees and their popularity has never waned, with an average audience of 330 people in 2019. The weekly lectures are open to the general public.
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LMGP: Daniel Bellet named Scientific Director of Carnot energy institute
On March 1, Daniel Bellet (LMGP, Phelma) succeeded François Weiss as Scientific Director of Institut Carnot Énergies du Futur. He will occupy the position with a co-director from Liten, which is the institute’s coordinator and partner.
LMGP is currently overseeing two Carnot projects. The first, called Eco-LED is developing low-cost, high-performance, easy-to-recycle white LEDs that ensure high visual comfort. The LEDs will combine a UV LED with a new generation of luminophore powder made from amorphous aluminoborate powders. The second project, Free, is developing efficient, long-lasting energy generators that convert ambient mechanical energy into electricity.
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MINATEC Labs make room for 100 more researchers
The Vercors Wing of building 10.05 is finally ready for moving day after two years of construction work. Nearly 100 nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and spintronics researchers from CEA Sciences/IRIG will start moving in this April. Some 200 researchers have already moved into the Chartreuse Wing of the building. Once the Vercors Wing is occupied, MINATEC Labs will be home to most of the early-stage digital technology research taking place at the CEA’s Grenoble campus. The equipment at the Upstream Technology Platform and chemistry platforms will also be moved.
The researchers concerned will move in gradually through the fall, ending with the quantum nanoelectronics teams. Their cryostats can be up to three meters tall and are equipped with extremely sensitive instruments accurate down to the mK—not the easiest items to move! This state-of-the-art equipment will be installed in pits to make the cryogenic arms easier to maneuver.
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Life-sized IoT experiments underway at Maison MINATEC
In January, IoT-type sensors were rolled out for testing at Maison MINATEC. The sensors are measuring things like air quality, the use of mobile room partitions, and the number of visitors. Some of the underlying technologies were developed at Leti and being scaled up for manufacturing by companies like eLichens, JYSE, and Adeunis RF. The test rollout is giving the sensor manufacturers a chance to demonstrate the benefits of their products, make improvements before they start manufacturing, and have a real-world use case to give their solutions more credibility on the market.
The test is part of the “Territoires Solutions” project run by French Tech in the Alps, which supports local startups. Other locations for further tests have already been identified (subsidized housing complexes, schools, sports fields, farmland, mountainous areas, etc.).
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