Cosmetomics is a catalyst for several French platforms associated to laboratories. Cosmetomics@ucp was the first of its kind to be launched in the Île-de-France region, with the university of Cergy-Pontoise and major facilities such as the elementary particle accelerator Synchrotron Soleil, a flagship of French research. Cosmetomics focuses on the efficiency of skin and hair products. Two other platforms will be launched: one in Evreux by March 2017, which will focus on product safety. The other platform, located in the Centre-Val de Loire region, will focus on clinical imaging (tests on humans).
The objective is to structure research in this field, to create a sufficiently strong “cluster” with an international dimension. Companies from all over the world will have access to the platform’s services. To maintain leadership in the field, French cosmetics must use its capacity to deliver evidence of the quality, efficiency and safety of products. Our aim is to promote the quality of French products abroad.
The university of Cergy-Pontoise innovated by launching a FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) four years ago in the university itself, on the Gennevilliers campus. The concept, which originated at MIT in the United States, consists in making available various high tech tools to the public to encourage creativity and innovation.
The FabLab, named FacLab, welcomes professionals, students, researchers and other DIY enthusiasts who come for laser cutting or to use 3D printers, drilling machines, saws or sewing machines. In 2016, the FacLab received more than 2000 visits in ten months, with regulars using the workshop to build furniture, to repair washer parts, to make jewelry, etc.
These 2.0 craftsmen constitute a real community, as one of the principles of the FacLab is the sharing of knowledge and skills. It can be compared to a real-life Internet forum, open to apprenticeship “by doing” and a source of significant fertilization – a geek may help a fashion designer who is designing a coat, and an engineer will advise a student in design who is making a coffee table for Christmas!
Biologists study cells, chemists study polymers, and experts in civil engineering know everything about cement while geologists are experts on rocks. These scientists all have one thing in common: their work involves materials at different levels, soft or hard, small or large. At the University of Cergy- Pontoise, researchers had the original idea of creating a materials institute to bring together various knowledge on materials. Since 2010, the materials federation named i-Mat thus brings together biologists of the ERRMECe laboratory, chemists of the LPPI laboratory, engineers of the L2MGC laboratory and geologists of the GEC laboratory. They share their measuring equipment (technical platform) and skills to explore new avenues of research. For example, chemists and biologists have worked together to create a gel made of polymers and proteins that acts as a dynamic dressing. The researchers of the four laboratories have also joined forces to work on heritage issues. Geologists and microbiologists have focused on bioweathering processes that affect the stones of historical monuments, biochemists have worked on the aging effects on leather, and chemists have provided solutions to restore ancient works based on paper.
The materials institute not only serves the advancement of research; it also answers the needs of companies. The four laboratories have the tools to analyze any type of imaginable material, and companies often use the services of the materials institute in the framework of their R&D program. Companies from various fields (oil, construction, automotive, etc.) are interested by this unique crossdisciplinary approach. The i-Mat platform is also interesting for students who can attend conferences organized by the materials federation.
Patrimex brings together tools that use light wave interactions for the characterization, conservation and restoration of material heritage in all its forms (monuments, statues, paintings, manuscripts, archives, old music instruments). Patrimex is expected to become a leading center in the coming years for the understanding of the physical, historical and cultural characteristics of material supports. New laser tools will be developed on the Neuville campus of the University of Cergy-Pontoise to address the challenges related to the characterization and restoration of material heritage.
These innovative tools will be designed in collaboration with Ipanema (Institut Photonique d’Analyse Non-destructive Européen des Matériaux Anciens), a research platform dedicated to the study of heritage materials located within the prestigious Synchrotron Soleil itself. “This huge instrument enables non-destructive exploration of the heart of matter thanks to the radiation produced by the movement of electrons at a speed close to the speed of light”, explains Romain Thomas, science correspondent for Patrima.
The platform’s outputs provide a much more detailed understanding of material heritage, which may open the way for example to new restoration techniques. These innovative tools will be available to the scientific community and Patrima’s partner institutions. Embedded versions on mobile platforms enable the LRMH (Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques) to perform on-site analysis of any historical monument.
Finally, the collected information is stored in digital format and available to relevant laboratories through a highly sophisticated database, which constitutes a dedicated information system for material heritage studies and knowledge transfer in the field.
In Cergy-Pontoise, the twenty researchers of the PeptLab technological platform focus primarily on peptides. They are chemists or biologists who join efforts to demonstrate the therapeutic value of the millions of known peptides. Platform leader Anna Maria Papini explains that peptides have long been neglected in pharmaceutical research. “Laboratories thought that peptides were degradable and ineffective”.
Today, researchers are proving otherwise all over the world. In Cergy-Pontoise, Anna Maria Papini’s team proved the efficiency of peptides in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and in the diagnosis of cancer tumors. Other avenues of research are explored by researchers who work on autism (Rett syndrome) and autoimmune diseases (lupus). “Peptides can be administered using a patch or by inhalation, adds Anna Maria Parini. Action is more specific and has limited side effects compared to other treatments.”
PLACIS (collaborative platform in systems engineering) was selected in the framework of the IDEFI program (initiatives of excellence in innovative training). It is managed by EISTI, ENSEA, SUPMECA and has partnerships with Dassault Systémes, Politechnico Torino and Politechnico Milano.
Originating from the needs of “systems” engineers and engineers working in an international environment, the platform enables to implement, experiment and complete a collaborative platform for education that will connect academia and the socio-economic world at the European and international level. This program will use the PLM (Product Live cycle Management) CATIA V6 platform, a leading French product in the field.
Each research project submitted to the platform by a company includes at least one international academic partner. Students will thus communicate and work remotely on a sub-project, which is an efficient way for future systems engineer to get used to working in an international environment.
The ambition of PLACIS is to design projects for the future, leveraging the skills of European and international students in engineering and companies.
This technological platform brings together researchers from the EMA laboratory and other laboratories of the university of Cergy-Pontoise, working on education science, sociology, didactics, psychology, and computer science. Together, they are shaping the school of the future by raising questions such as: how to set up a connected, tech-saturated classroom to improve teaching and training? How to mobilize and enable the convergence of digital technologies to enhance and diversify interactions in which students actually play an active role?
How to adapt these technologies and spaces to the actual needs of students? To answer these questions, the TecheduLab researchers have an experimental room located on the ESPE campus in Cergy. This room is equipped with digital boards, tablet computers, video projectors, a digital touch table and many local and remote digital resources. It welcomes students and teachers of the university of Cergy-Pontoise who test the innovative pedagogical means set up by the researchers. François Villemonteix explained: “Researchers who work here build training scenarios during which students use different technological tools and spaces according to specific criteria. Our objective is to test experimental pedagogical scenarios, to track instrumented activities, interactions and movements during sessions and to analyze the different variables involved in training processes”.