Newsletter Scientifique #17 - June 2013



We would like to start our newsletter with the announcement of the YEi Competition which can get you a chance to win a business trip to France to meet potential partners and learn about the French entrepreneurship ecosystem. A second program, called NETVA, will help the French entrepreneurs to understand the U.S.’s high-technology market through training, mentoring and networking.

In July, the Office for Science and Technology in Chicago will organize jointly with the University of Madison a workshop for American and French (from INRA Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes) scientists on dairy products. The goal of this workshop will be to exchange and share knowledge in this field and promote collaborations.

We would also like to congratulate Patrick Couvreur, Nano-oncologist at the CNRS, and his team have won the European Inventor Award 2013 with their discovery on "Nano-medicines: tiny capsules, enormously effective against cancer".

You will find the links in the highlights section.

Enjoy your read!

Adèle Martial, Scientific attaché
Cécile Camerlynck, Deputy Scientific attaché

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Table of contents



Win a Business Trip to France to Explore Opportunities for your Startup

Apply to the “Young Entrepreneurs Initiative” (YEi) competition and be one of the 12 laureates to win a business trip to France, individual coaching, and 3 month access to French incubators and Business Innovation Centers, partners of YEi. The competition targets innovative startups based in the USA and looking to plan their European strategy. Deadline to apply: July 18th. No application fees
For more information about YEi, visit or contact Audrey Guazzone at


Workshop on dairy products with French Scientists in the U.S.

The Office for Science and Technology at the French consulate in Chicago promotes collaborations between French and American scientists to exchange and share knowledge in the field of food science and especially dairy products, which are part of the area of France’s expertise at the national level. The Office will host a workshop next July with the presence of six French researchers from INRA / Agrocampus-Rennes and American scientists in the field area. The objectives of this workshop are to present thematics of the researchers and of their research team. The final objective is to create collaborations, for example by sharing PhD projects and students between INRA (UMR PEGASE) and University of Madison. Read more

Kickstart Training NETVA: Succeeding in the U.S.’s High Technology Markets

July 1st from 8:30 am to 6 pm at Microsoft France, 39 quai du Président Roosevelt, 92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
"A day of specific training to help understand the U.S.’s high-technology market»
The United States is one of the top places for innovation in the world. American entrepreneurship actors benefit from effective ecosystems that allow them to carry out their projects of business creation. The United States offer all the necessary features to help accelerate the development of a young French innovative company. However, this market approach requires a prior understanding of how its mechanisms work.
For this, a simple and fast solution that is completely free: the NETVA seminar. Please join us on July 1st to understand how to integrate the United States in the technological development strategy of your business.
More than a dozen entrepreneurs and experts will be there bringing you the essential knowledge you need in order to better understand the U.S. market. In French and in English, the day will follow a relevant thread leading to the understanding of the opportunities and challenges of development in the United States.
After a busy day, come and share a good time and meet the seminar’s speakers and participants. This cocktail is co-sponsored by RETIS, the French innovation network and principal NETVA partner, and the Office of Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States. Program & Registration :
About NETVA : NETVA is a unique program for the preparation and exposure to the U.S. market for young high-tech French innovative companies. NETVA’s offer includes 3 major components: training, mentoring and networking.
The selected companies benefit both from entrepreneurial training and practice during a week of immersion in the U.S. (Boston, San Francisco or Washington DC). The companies are also accompanied in order to establish a lasting relationship with the American partners.


R. Morimoto becomes Commander of the Palmes Académiques

The Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) is an award medal, instituted at the start of the 19th Century, for key French and international figures who have played a crucial role in the fields of academia, culture and education. Prof. Richard I Morimoto, Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology, Department of Molecular Biosciences, and Director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research at Northwestern University, was awarded the prestigious rank of Commander in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques because of his crucial work in strengthening ties between France and the USA in the fields of Biology and Biosciences.


Winners of the European Inventor Award 2013 in the category Research - May 30th

Patrick Couvreur and his team have received the European Inventor Award 2013 for "Nano-medicines: tiny capsules, enormously effective against cancer". The invention is described as a coated inside minuscule capsules, anti-cancer drugs which can be transported straight to diseased cells in the human body, where they take action without harming healthy tissue along the way. Read more

Science & Technology in the US

National News


USDA and EPA Launch U.S. Food Waste Challenge - June 4th

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, calling on others across the food chain—including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies − to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste. Read more


Ethanol Improving While Oil Gets Worse - May 24th

The House and Energy Commerce Committee has released its third white paper on the Renewable Fuel Standard, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Impacts.” Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Brian Jennings, responded with written comments that included but were not limited to feedback on the RFS role on the environment, agricultural sustainability and tailpipe emissions. Read more

Midwest news


Nematode-Filled Capsules Tested Against Corn Rootworms - June 6th

Each spring, the western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera) awakens from its winter slumber to wreak havoc on corn crops across the United States, causing significant feeding damage to the grain crop’s roots. The toll on U.S. farmers: an estimated $1-2 billion annually in yield losses and chemical control. On the biological control front, for example, a team of scientists from the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE), in Switzerland, is field-testing different formulations to apply beneficial roundworms that prey on the pest. Read more

Tillage and reduced-input rotations affect runoff from agricultural fields - June 11th

No-till management practices can reduce soil erosion, but evidence suggests they can also lead to increased runoff of dissolved phosphorus from soil surfaces. Researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Service compared nutrient and sediment loss from no-till, conventional tillage, and reduced-input rotation watersheds. By keeping a protective layer of plant matter on the soil surface, no-till practices reduce the loss of soil and phosphorus (P) attached to soil particles. But no-till requires herbicides to control weeds, and even after adoption of the practice by many farmers, harmful algal blooms were still occurring in surface waters. Read more


A proposed new facility at the University of Illinois will take biofuel processing to the next level. The state’s Capital Development Board has designated in excess of $20 million to build the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL) in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at Illinois. An outgrowth of the Center for BioEnergy Research (CABER), IBRL “will complete the value-chain link between research and commercial viability for advanced biofuels,” said Hans Blaschek, professor emeritus in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and director of CABER. Read more

Miscanthus for biofuels - May 28th

Two University of Illinois scientists have developed an environmentally friendly and more economical way of pretreating Miscanthus in the biofuel production process. The new technique is a green alternative to current industry practices because butadiene sulfone can be recovered at potentially high yields since the solvent’s decomposition gases are also the raw materials for its production. This means that butadiene sulfone can be re-used after pretreatment, he says. Read more

Ultrasound ’making waves’ for enhancing biofuel production - May 31st

Engineers at Iowa State University are using high-frequency sound waves to break down plant materials in order to cook up a better batch of biofuel. They has shown that "pretreating" a wide variety of feedstocks (including switch grass, corn stover, and soft wood) with ultrasound consistently enhances the chemical reactions necessary to convert the biomass into high-value fuels and chemicals. Read more

Other states’ news


Mapping the Way to Even Healthier Rice - May 28th

With the aid of high-tech tools, Agricultural Research Service and collaborating scientists are closing in on the genes in rice that regulate the uptake and storage of important minerals—a pursuit that could bolster the nutritional value of this cereal grain crop as a staple food for roughly half the world’s population. Ultimately, the team envisions biofortifying rice using traditional plant breeding methods to develop new varieties whose kernels (grain) boast exceptionally high concentrations of essential minerals, including zinc, iron, and calcium. Read more


How to slash oil content in sweet potato chips by 60%: Study - May 20th

The research published in the Journal of Food Engineering found that use of a de-oiling system after vacuum frying was crucial to slashing oil content in potato chips. The de-oiling mechanism used in the study was a centrifuging system - used on the sweet potato chips for 40 seconds after vacuum frying. The researchers also investigated how processing variations could improve the texture and appearance of the reduced-fat potato chips. Read more

Faster detection of salmonella strains on the horizon? - June 4th

A technique looking at DNA sequences has been developed that is said to half the time it takes to identify salmonella strains, according to US scientists. The method focuses on two virulence genes and
two novel regions of Salmonella DNA called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs). Researchers from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences devised a method of multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST) that can detect strain-specific differences in the DNA at these four locations. Read more


Biofuel research may keep tobacco industry from going up in smoke - April 24th

The troubled tobacco industry may be getting some good news for a change. UC scientists are engineering the tobacco plant to produce oils that, when extracted, can serve as drop-in biofuels to power airplanes, cars and other machines. Research success would allow farmers who have been growing tobacco for generations to continue the tradition for a different purpose, while taking advantage of an infrastructure established to serve the diminishing cigarette, cigar and snuff markets. Read more

Oklahoma researchers find promising cellulosic biofuels genes in rumen fungus - June 10th

A group of researchers from Oklahoma State University have published the first analysis of a genome they say has great potential for the cost-effective production of biofuel. The team has described multiple unique features within the genome of rumen fungus, organisms that reside in the gut of ruminant animals. The team found the fungus to be remarkably efficient at digesting plant biomass – something makes it an extremely interesting, and yet-rarely utilized, candidate for biofuel production. Read more

Biofuels will play integral role in California’s energy future, says new EBI study - June 10th

Biofuels developed from plant biomass and purpose-grown crops can substantially move California toward its ambitious energy goals, a new report says, but only through the wise allocation of feedstocks and the success of energy efficiency measures throughout the state. That’s the conclusion of "California Energy Future: the Potential for Biofuels," a report of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) co-authored by Energy Biosciences Institute scientists Heather Youngs and Chris Somerville. Read more

Science & Technology in France

At the National level


Report on agro-ecology - June 11th

Marion Guillou, former President and Director General of the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), presented on Tuesday, June 11th, the report on agro-ecology to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.This report is part of the mission entrusted by the Minister in order to identify all levers development of new agricultural models. Based on the review of specific initiatives, this report aims to provide keys to go to the doubly efficient agriculture to reconcile competitiveness and environmental protection. Read more (In French)


French system for displaying products environmental information - March 20th

As provided by the Grenelle II law, France is currently conducting a national experimentation on consumer product environmental information that has started on July 2011. The trial covers the quantification of environmental impacts and the communication of environmental footprints to the consumer. 230 companies applied and 168 of them have been selected. Read more

Companies and Research Cluster


Assessment of cumulative risks: ANSES contributes to the development of methods for plant protection products - March 29th

The assessment of the cumulative risks of chemicals is currently one of the major challenges in the understanding and management of risks. With regard to pesticides and their residues, assessment methods are currently under development and tend toward the grouping together of substances with effects on the same organs and/or those that share mechanisms of action. The regulations regarding the marketing of plant protection products and the maximum residue limits for pesticides specify that the cumulative effects and/or synergistic effects of pesticides should be taken into account in the assessment of food risks when the methods used allow it. Read more

An international vision for wheat improvement - May 21st

By 2050, a 60% increase in wheat production will be needed to meet the demand of a growing population. The Wheat Initiative, an international consortium(1) gathering public institutions and private companies, was created as part of the 2011 action plan of the G20 Agricultural Ministries(2) to coordinate global wheat research and participate to global food security. On May 15, 2013, the Wheat Initiative issues its vision document paving the way for its actions. Read more


Infant Total Diet Study - April 23rd

Following the Second Total Diet Study (TDS 2), a national surveillance study of dietary exposure to chemicals, in 2010 ANSES launched the Infant TDS. This also aims to assess dietary exposure, but by focusing on the population of children under 3 years old. The primary objective of the Total Diet Studies (TDSs), which are carried out on a national scale, is to monitor population exposure to substances of interest in terms of public health. These studies provide data on the estimated composition/contamination of foods "as consumed" and on individual dietary exposure, which is then used to support the implementation of public health policies. Read more

Get in touch with science

Many organizations give you the opportunity to learn and improve your mind about agriculture and food science. Please find below some of website about these:


Website to see this month

For the United States information

Federal agencies

JPEG : The United States Department of Agriculture gives you information about the U.S. Food waste challenge launched by the USDA and the EPA last June.

JPEG : The Environmental Protection Agency addresses the issue using the latest science on Climate Change.

JPEGhttp:// The Fermilab Laboratory releases its latest research and gives you information about the transport of the Muon g-2 (a 50-foot-wide electromagnet) towards Chicago.


JPEG : Shereen Jegtvig, nutrition guide on this website, informs you about the New Dietary Supplement Label Database, and the features of the existing diets.

News articles

JPEG : News from the United States covering advancements in science and technology (French articles).

For France information

Research centers

JPEG : The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety give you some information about its latest opinions and reports (bisphenol A, diets, food safety, ...).

JPEG : The French National Institute for Agricultural Research has published several papers about the agriculture and food challenges regarding the growing population.

Information centers

JPEG : News from France on advancements in science and technology (French articles).

JPEG : Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fishing, Rural Affairs and the Planning issues the latest plan and regulations about Agriculture and Food (food waste, agro-ecology, ...).

JPEG : You will find information about the food waste plan in France, the "Bleu Blanc Coeur Association", which is an Agriculture Initiative for Human Health, and some traditional French products.

European informations

JPEG : The European Food Safety Authority releases information about bees, pestivides, and Allura Red.

Coming events
International Conference Dream Project EU FP7 - From model foods to food models City of Congress Nantes, France June 24-26, 2013
Plant signalling in a changing environment University of Evry Evry, France July 4-6, 2013
Joint Annual Meeting of the American Dairy Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science Indianapolis, Indiana July 8-12, 2013
IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference Hilton Chicago Chicago, Illinois July 12-13, 2013
2013 Annual Meeting & Food Expo McCormick Place Chicago, Illinois July 13–16, 2013
2013 IAFP Annual Meeting Charlotte Convention Center Charlotte, North Carolina July 28-31, 2013


French Office for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in Washington, DC - website:
Consulate General of France in Chicago - website:


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Last modified on 20/06/2013

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