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The June 21, 2011
On June 21st, the Paris Region Economic Development Agency (PREDA) hosted a delegation of 10 German companies led by the President of the Rhineland-Palatinate Parliament as well as representatives of the Ministry of the Economy, Energy, Climatic Protection and Land Settlement. The issue of agronomical research is crucial to the Rhineland-Palatinate State, which has extensive farming land.
The delegation was in Paris on June 20th and 21st and in Lyon on June 22nd and 23rd, as part of a session of individual meetings organised by the French-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry with a view to establishing initial contacts with potential French business partners, in parallel with a series of conferences about the issues of eco-construction and biomass, and the touring of a few sites.
Delegation members were received at the National Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA) in Versailles by Sylvie FAUCHEUX, Chairperson of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), and INRA Chairman Pierre-Henri DUEE.
The UVSQ began specialising at a very early time in the issues of environment and sustainable development. Nowadays it is the only French university to take part in the Climate-KIC (Knowledge Innovation Community). It was at the inception of two partner foundations: MoveoTech (about mobility) and Fondaterra (sustainable land development). The latter went on to develop an Urban Living Lab, acknowledged by the European Network of Living Labs, which consists in a programme of experimental initiatives for the transition towards low-carbon cities. Two examples that can be cited are Smart Campus (demonstrating a full-scale smart grid) and Grand Versailles Numérique (a 3D modelling of the Château and web services). As the European leader and No. 2 worldwide in agronomical research, INRA is developing its research in genomics, focused on sustainable farming. One of the projects, Biomass Crops for the Future, expects to produce renewable energy from the genetic improvement of the miscanthus plant.
INRA is working closely with the Le Vivant et la Ville group of enterprises, labelled by the DATAR in January 2011 and supported by the Versailles Grand Parc Agglomeration Community and the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Agglomeration Community. Le Vivant et la Ville group gathers businesses and research laboratories from the Saclay Plateau, along the entire urban spaces value creation chain, in relation to living organisms.
Afterwards, the delegation went on to visit the greenhouses at the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute, hosted by INRA, which is developing its research on the adaptation of plants to their environment, and on genome dynamics and expression. The tour ended at the laboratoire de cytologie et d'imagerie végétale (Cytology and Plant Imaging Laboratory), featuring highly specialised microscopy equipment and devoted to plant research (confocal microscopy, immunocytochemistry, on-site hybridisation and microdissection, and cytogenetics).
In the course of the visit, teams from PREDA and the General Council of Yvelines presented the economic benefits of the Paris Region, especially in terms of Research and Development, as well as their respective support departments.
update April 17, 2012