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The Equipex “equipped with excellence” projects are initiatives that have been awarded funding through the French government’s “Investing in the Future” program in 2011 and 2012. Equipex funding seeks to equip France with top-of-the-line, internationally compliant scientific equipment and has become an essential factor in boosting France’s international competitiveness in several fields of science.
By nature diverse, Equipex funding can be for databases, digital collections, observatories, simulation platforms, grid networks, computing mesocenters, and imaging or structural biology equipment.
International juries select grantees on the basis of application packages submitted in response to calls for proposals. PSL currently hosts 8 Equipex-funded teams.
Hosted by the Institut Louis Bachelier and the CNRS Eurofidai lab, the BEDOFIH (Base Européenne de DOnnées FInancières à Haute fréquence) project is working to create a heretofore unprecedented high-frequency European financial database that will provide more accurate analysis of the European financial markets, moving at an ever-accelerating pace. Researchers will have access to high-frequency historical data for Europe, thereby allowing them to build more viable models and to define new methods of financial regulation.
The D-FIH project, launched and hosted by PSE, is conducted in partnership with TGIR Progedo, Institut Louis Bachelier, and the IODS (INSEAD-OEE Data Services) aggregator of financial data. Its objectives are to:
- Build a database of the prices of all types of financial assets listed on the official market of the Paris stock exchange between 1795 and 1977
- Identify all events changing how the prices of these assets were calculated, to create a series of uniform prices
- Collect information on listed companies and their executives
- Provide researchers a French alternative to the U.S. database CRSP.
The Equip@Meso project aims to develop equipment and interactions at regional data processing centers. Coordinated by GENCI, the project brings together ten university and academic partners. Its objective is fourfold:
- Develop GENCI’s national strategy for intensive computing at the regional level, with university data processing centers
- Build the computing capacity and competency of these centers
- Provide excellent, accessible services (training, education, computing) to supplement national resources
- Expand, at the local level, the initiative that GENCI launched with INRIA and OSEO to boost the innovation and competitiveness of SMEs.
Sponsored by the Institut Curie and INSERM, this project aims to “advance the integration of genomic data into large-scale research programs into the mechanics of how cancer develops.” It covers everything required to meet the challenge of personalized medicine, with automation of a biological resources center, high-speed sequencer, and the development of bioinformatics software. Eventually, physicians will have access to the genomic profile of each tumor, with the rapidity and degree of precision needed to be able to incorporate this information into their therapeutic decision-making. The biological data generated could also open up new avenues of research.
The IPGG Equipex (Pierre Gilles de Gennes Institute for microfluidics) works alongside a Labex with the aim of creating a new institute dedicated to basic research in microfluidics and its applications for labs-on-a-chip (LOC). Around the cross-disciplinary topic of microfluidics, it brings together experts in complementary fields (physicists, biologists, chemists, technical experts) to develop fundamental research and open doors to new applications in the fields of health, energy, agribusiness, cosmetics and instrumentation, among others.
The Paris-en-Résonance project uses NMR spectroscopy, MRI and high-field 800 MHz dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP). Sponsored by the Biomolecules laboratory at ENS, the project’s goal is to develop an original method for improving NMR detection sensitivity and acquisition speed, for study of the molecular interactions between biomolecules and within cells. The project will develop new, higher-performing tools than what currently exists, for the study of biomolecules and materials. This in turn will allow for scientific advances in biology, medicine, and materials science.
The Planaqua project, sponsored by the École Normale Supérieure, consists in building an experimental aquatic ecology platform ranging in volume from just a few liters (microcosms) or a few cubic meters (mesocosms), to the size of an artificial lake (macrocosms). The project will be equipped with innovative instruments allowing for variations in temperature and luminosity, for example, or the generation of waves. This equipment will make it possible to conduct research in four areas:
- Measuring the impact that certain human activities have on ecology and biodiversity
- Conserving or restoring a healthy ecological state
- Developing synthetic indicators of the condition of the environment
- Developing mathematical models for sustainable farming in aquatic ecosystems
Sponsored by the Fondation Pierre-Gilles de Gennes and the Institut Langevin, this project will receive equipment for the generation and use of ultrasound, which will be used to conduct experiments on the use of ultrasound to destroy, via heat, limited targets such as brain tumors, without needing to open the skull, and to stimulate targeted brain areas through non-invasive procedures.