NATF Academic reports

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How we perceive risk factors

In their new Academic Report, the National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) – recalling that their motto is ‘Sharing reasoned, chosen Progress – analyses the question of how we perceive risks that accompany any form of innovation. The Report acknowledges the controversies that surround certain applications of science and certain technological innovations and raises the implicit political issue of the ‘city’s project’ and its objectives: what do we wish to do collectively with new knowledge and powers conferred by science and technology?

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Joint Academic Report and Recommendations in regard to implementing Next Generation Genome (NGS) Sequencing techniques in France

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, which allow high speed automated DNA sequencing, DNA sequence analysis and comparisons using big data algorithms are being used more and more in medical diagnosis, to provide prognosis information and for choosing a treatment that best fits the patient. 

The French “Académie nationale de médecine” (ANM) and “Académie des technologies” (NATF) jointly stress the scientific and medical importance of these technologies and call for bringing together strengths of the national computer science industry and the medical community in a public-private consortium in order to build a Demonstrator and Centre network filling up the growing gap between France and the most advanced countries in this field with great potential. They underline also common pitfalls which need to be addressed in technic, legal, economic, education and ethics issues, in order to make this complex project a success.

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Big data: a change of paradigm

The National Academy of technologies of France (NATF) invites French public authorities to intensively develop training schemes in Big Data techniques
Big Data represents a change in paradigm such that public authorities would be advised to accompany the movement, notably in terms of education/training schemes and the major companies should be made more aware of what is at stake. In essence, this is the conclusion to the investigations and debates carried out at the Academy, embodied in an Academic Report* published recently, offering a full analysis of the “Opportunities vs. threats” of Big Data on French enterprises.

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Energy and carbon prints effects of ICTs on energy consumption round the world

What is the impact of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) on the energy consumption levels of Society today and what are the Greenhouse Gas emissions from the ICT domain as a whole?
The National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) conducted hearings of numerous French and non-French experts to assess the energy and environmental balance ‘well-to-wheel’ due to the sole ICT sector, taking into consideration the impacts of operating the various apparatus and infrastructures and the energy and carbon print savings generated in other associate sectors. The net energy and carbon balance, concludes the Academic Report* turns out be clearly positive.

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WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR AERONAUTICAL BIO-FUELS?

In a joint Report, the French Air and Space Academy (FASA) and the National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) provide a state-of-the-art both technically and from a global regulatory standpoint for aeronautical bio-fuels with a specific focus on French achievements in this field and a technological road-map as to the possible future for the development of biofuels.

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HOW TECHNOLOGY IS (AND COULD BE BETTER) APPROPRIATED?

Understanding how innovative products (or services) emerge, identifying the factors that encourage or hold back their appropriation by Society, analysing the questions in terms of wide ranging changes induced by use of technologies and the conditions and constrained needed for a dialogue with Society, constitute the central guide-line of this Academic Report (adopted by vote at the June 2015, NATF Plenary session)

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Methane (CH4): what are its origins and its impact on our climate?

In a recently published Academic Report, the National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) tentatively answers some questions arising from the observed, constant increase of methane released into the Earth’s atmosphere. How are the various geographic source locations identified? How does one measure the global increase of CH4 in the atmosphere? What criteria can be evoked to consider reducing these emissions? Should we prioritize and commit efforts to reduce CH4 or CO2 both of which contribute to man-made climate warming?

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Large Socio-Technical Systems. EDP Sciences, 2014

Large scale Socio-Technical Systems (LSTSs) operating over networks (such as the electricity system , the railways , the airspace system , Internet…) have radically changed our daily lives over the past few decades and also transformed the way our Societies work . They represent a phenomenon that is conducive to enthusiasm , which contributes to the democratization process of societies everywhere, offering new features and services over the coming years , consequences and sources of new techniques and technologies : in this light , LSTSs appeared as a natural field for investigation by our Academy .
They have undergone considerable development already (and continue to do so) not only in terms of technological progress in their on area (photovoltaic arrays to produce electricity commercially , high speed trains (TGVs in France) for rail transport , mobile phones for inter-personal communications…) but also thanks to new ICTs , themselves being sources of change in the way they work and the scope of services they offer.

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First contribution to the Energy Transition National Debate. EDP Sciences, 2014

Production and utilisation of energy round the world are changing, due to a combination of forces. Some of these changes are imposed (redistribution of energy needs and the Earth’s resources, measures that anticipate the depletion of fossil fuel sources); others are vountarily implemented (the search for energy autonomy, the fight against global warming and climate change, industrial competition).
France has launched a nation-wide debate on possible future policies in these areas. The National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) — in its endeavours to gain the widest consensus possible on these thematics — sets out the technical data that will hopefully modulate the Government’s strategies up to a horizon 15 to 20 years ahead. This document is not as such a formal academic Advice Note and does not propose to make particular choices among the scenarios studied.