Every year since 2016, apart from during the COVID crisis, Florent Allais has spent two weeks as Adjunct Professor in the BIOPRIA research unit (Director: Prof. Gil Garnier) at Monash University (Australia).
During these stays, Florent Allais exchanges with all PhD students (especially those he co-supervises), post-docs, scientists and professors on their research topics. It's also an opportunity for him to present the URD ABI's latest results and build new research projects.
This year, he has the opportunity not only to meet a new PhD student he is co-supervising, but also to take part in the submission of a new research project to the ARC.
We'd like to extend our thanks to Prof. Youssef Habibi, SUSMAT team's founder and leader, for inviting Prof. Florent Allais to visit UM6P campus and present our research activities.
Our director also had the opportunity to meet with UM6P's President and Vice-President to discuss a future partnership.
As we step into a new year, URD ABI - AgroParisTech's crew want to extend its deepest appreciation for the incredible collaboration and support we've shared. Your dedication and partnership have been instrumental in our shared success. May the coming year bring us new opportunities, shared achievements, and continued growth. Together, we can overcome challenges and reach new heights.
Thank you for your commitment and belief in our shared goals. Wishing you a Happy New Year filled with prosperity, fulfillment, and the joy of making a positive impact.
Looking forward to another year of fruitful collaboration!
The whole team was looking forward to discovering what was planned for the team building exercise by the mysterious TB team. We were not disappointed as Matthieu, Louis, Maxime, Fanny and Kévin prepared a great escape game for us: mysterious thieves stole the Christmas gifts and hid them in a room. We had to pass several tasks to get clues and find the presents. It was not that easy as impostors had infiltrated the teams and sabotaged the tasks... At the end, the impostors won the game, so they got to choose their gift before anybody else, but don’t worry, everyone got a present !
After this exciting game, we all gathered at the restaurant for a great meal.
The participation of URD ABI was notable at the 1st International Congress BIOVASA2023, organized by the UNESCO Chair "Plant Based Green and Sustainable Chemistry" and the Faculty of Sciences Semlalia at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech. Dr. Morad Chadni, team leader in process engineering, and Etienne Diemer, a doctoral student in process engineering at URD ABI, presented the innovative work of their team focused on the valorization of by-products from the agri-food industry. The congress, centered on biomass valorization, served as a platform to discuss green and sustainable chemistry practices and explore innovative ways of using biomass sustainably.
Researchers from URD ABI highlighted significant advances in the extraction of phenolic compounds (p-hydroxycinnamic acids) from different biomasses, thus contributing to sustainable development. Their participation strengthened the position of URD ABI as a key player in biomass valorization and sustainable research and development. The BIOVASA-2023 congress provided a dynamic platform for exchanging knowledge, presenting research results, and discovering cutting-edge technologies in the transformation of biomass into high-value-added products. Participants explored various aspects such as conversion technologies, biorefineries, biopolymers, and sustainable materials.
On Friday, October 6th, the partners met at the CEBB to officially launch the LAGOON project. This ANR-funded project aims at designing a new family of biobased UV filters starting from a cellulose-derived chemical platform.
To address this challenge, LAGOON gathers 4 academic partners - URCOM (Le Havre, France), Prof. V. Stavros' team (Warwick and Birmingham universities, UK), Prof. C. Corre's team (Warwick University, UK) and URD ABI - and a private partner, LVMH Research (France). We look forward to exciting scientific breakthrough!
Louis Mouterde was invited to the Journées de la Chimie Durable of the SCF (September 29th at the CNAM Paris, France) to present URD ABI's approach that combines green chemistry, biotechnologies and process engineering to valorize biomass and co-products.
It was a great opportunity and a privileged environment to exchange with SCF's members.
Mario Bonaccorso, organizer of the IFIB (Florence, 28-29 September 2023), invited Florent Allais to present the history of the Territoire d’Industrie Jacques de Bohan (aka Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery), as well as the activities of the industries and that of the CEBB.
A great opportunity to showcase URD ABI's research activities and meet new potential academic and industrial partners.
From September 6th to 8th, the European Bioeconomy Scientific Forum (EBSF) took place in Vienna.
It was organised on behalf of the European Bioeconomy University Alliance (EBU) and hosted by Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (BOKU). For this edition, the biannual event focused on the promotion of the transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. It gathered scientists, experts, policymakers, industry representatives, youth and other stakeholders from across Europe.
Three representatives of URD ABI were among AgroParisTech’s delegation and took the responsability of leading a workshop whose objective is to set up new collaborations for European research projects.
From August 20th to 25th, the city of The Hague welcomed the IUPAC/CHAINS2023. The conference brings together all disciplines of chemistry and a diverse audience of chemists from both academia and industry, and from all around the globe.
During the event, Beatriz Chicharo, PhD student in between Università Ca' Foscari Venezia and URD ABI-AgroParisTech, received the best poster award in the category of chemistry related to sustainability.
Well done Beatriz! Um grande bravo Beatriz!
Florent Allais spent a week at his alma mater campus (University of Florida) where he's had very fruitful discussions with colleagues from the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, the University of Florida International Center (Susanne Hill), as well as the IFAS Agronomy Department and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
They've reviewed the University of Florida/URD ABI – AgroParisTech Dual degree PhD program that has allowed 4 French students to spend 3 years at UF as part of their 5-year PhD program and get both the PhD from University of Florida and that from AgroParisTech. Very satisfied with the results of this program, we all are more than motivated to renew it with a new cohort of students! Let's find a way to make it happen.
Being a new hosting institution of the NSF-funded REU program, URD ABI – AgroParisTech has been very happy to welcome two students. Next year, we shall be able to not only host new US-REU students, but also to send AgroParisTech students at the University of Florida. Stay tuned for the application call (September).
Building on the two above successful initiatives between the Department of Chemistry and URD ABI, we've decided to work on expanding further this collaboration the IFAS Agronomy Department and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences… to be continued in the next episode!
In summary, a short but very productive stay under the Florida sun.
For two years in a row, Florent Allais is back in Venice, Italy (Università Ca' Foscari Venezia) for the 2023 IUPAC Green Chemistry Summer School (July, 4th - 7th 2023) chaired by Pietro Tundo and organized by Fabio Arico, Aurelia Visa, Mirabbos Hojamberdiev, Graziana Gigliuto and Beatrice Tassotti.
Many thanks to Sylvain Guyot (from INRAE) and the scientific committee of GROUPE POLYPHENOLS for having given Florent Allais the opportunity to present a plenary lecture on "Sustainable production and modification of p-hydroxycinnamic acids: an access to valuable biobased functional additives and materials" during the XXXI International Conference on Polyphenols (ICP2023) that was held in Nantes, France (July, 4th 2023).
A great opportunity to talk about the Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery, the European Center for Biotechnology and Bioeconomy's and URD ABI - AgroParisTech's research activities, but also to catch-up with colleagues!
Delighted to announce that our LAGOON project has been selected for funding by the ANR (Agence nationale de la recherche) !
URD ABI - AgroParisTech is looking forward to working with LABORATOIRE URCOM (Michel GRISEL, Ecaterina GORE) and LVMH RECHERCHE (Cédric PEYROT, Patrick Choisy) to find new safe and sustainable functional additives/ingredients.
From June 25 to 29, Célestin BOURGERY, Horiya Nassiba HAM, PhD students, and Kévin AMRANI, engineer in biotechnology in the ReSolute project at ABI, attended the Biotrans 2023 conference on biocatalysis to present their work.
Célestin B. was present as a member of the organizing committee and presented his work on "Enzymatic synthesis and immobilization of coenzymes of interest: the example of NADP+ and coenzyme A".
Horiya H. presented her work on the “development of an enzymatic process for alkyl hydroxycinnamates synthesis”.
Kévin A. presented the Resolute BBI European project and the latest results of our work package "Scale-up of the enzymatic process to produce Cyrene™ from LGO and demonstration of the use of metal-free Cyrene™ in pharmaceutical and electronics manufacturing".
It was a great moment of conviviality, scientific exchange and encounters.
On June 26-28th, Damien Breilly, post-doc fellow at URD ABI, was awarded a prize for his poster presented at the SCF Congress organized by the "Société Chimique de France" in Nantes, France. The presented work is part of the PIMyBone ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) project and deals with the synthesis of new biobased additives for bioresorbable bone filling materials and the caracterization of the newly formed biomaterials.
Well done Damien !
On June, 26th-27th, it was great to welcome all 10 National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 2023 US REU students (Chloe Hansom, Erica Rosa Hengartner, Zoe Vetter, Madison Ross, Melissa Estrada, Jasmin Bioteau, Leopold Westrey, Jonah Perry, Marco Ortiz, Brandon Gonzalez), the US-France REU program advisors (Prof. Valeria D. Kleiman and Dr. Tammy Davidson) as well as Dr. Jason Portmess and Prof. Adrian Roitberg from the Department of Chemistry at University of Florida.
The US-France REU program, led by the University of Florida, has been existing for more than 25 years and allows French students (Université de Bordeaux, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, University of Strasbourg and Sorbonne Université (Jussieu) and AgroParisTech) to do their Master 1 internship at University of Florida while students from different US universities do their undergraduate internship in the aforementioned French universities.
During their stay at European Center for Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, the students not only presented their research project, and got important information about graduate school/studies, but they also had the opportunity to visit our facilities and discover European Center for Biotechnology and Bioeconomy's research activities, especially that of URD ABI - AgroParisTech, as well as that of the Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery industrial players.
They also had the chance to climb to the top of the CRISTANOL mill and visit Givaudan Active Beauty.
From June, 12th to June, 16th, URD ABI welcomed 35 students and their tutors coming from 6 different leading European universities in bioeconomy (University of Hohenheim, University of Eastern Finland, Wageningen University & Research, Università di Bologna, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) and AgroParisTech).
During the whole week, students had the opportunity to: 1) Attend high level presentations related to bioeconomy; 2) Visit the European Center for Biotechnology and Bioeconomy (CEBB) and discover URD ABI – AgroParisTech’s and Chaire de Biotechnologie 3) CentraleSupélec’s labs and activities; 4) Visit the Bazancourt-Pomacle biorefinery; 5) Learn about Région Grand Est’s and Communauté urbaine du Grand Reims’s bioeconomy strategy; 6) visit Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne's ICMR, RIBP, Unité Mixte de Recherche FARE labs and know more about their activities.
At the end of the week, students presented their challenge (i.e., they worked for three months on a project related to the valorisation of one selected biomass) and they were all rewarded with the project certification.
Very happy to welcome again Prof. Gil Garnier from BioPRIA (Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia)- Monash Chemical Engineering - Monash University who's also a Visiting Professor at AgroParisTech - URD ABI - AgroParisTech.
Gil's catching-up with several URD ABI - AgroParisTech's members with who he's been already working with (Antoine Gallos, Louis Mouterde, Sami Fadlallah, Matthieu Mention and Célestin Bourgery...) and he'll meet colleagues who joined us recently.
Since mid-May, we're pleased to have Chloe Hansom (Texas State University) and Erica Rosa Hengartner (University of Florida), two National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded REU program students, at URD ABI - AgroParisTech within the European Center for Biotechnology and Bioeconomy.
Chloe Hansom works with Sami Fadlallah on biobased polymers and Erica Rosa Hengartner works with Célestin Bourgery and Louis Mouterde on biocatalysis.