National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)

22 Oct The patient, technologies and ambulatory medicine

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2008
Due to the increased life expectancy and the related increase of chronic diseases (as opposed to acute disorders when patients are younger), an alternative approach to hospital care has become necessary: a third of the population of France and the US now suffers from chronic diseases.  Ambulatory medicine, which is a health care system that keeps the patient at home while offering him the same outstanding quality care that he would receive at the hospital, is such an economically viable approach, responding at the same time to the wishes of patients, to economic requirements and scientific, technological and medical developments. This report describes recent advances of ambulatory medical care, identifies obstacles to overcome and incentives to encourage and makes recommendations for future development with the aim of optimizing the management of healthcare costs, with special emphasis on the role of information technology to master the complex system of information flows between the many stakeholders.  It does also identify the potential hurdles and necessary incentives and looks at issues of compliance with existing law and legal adaptation to the new requirements.  It also evokes the necessary training of the various actors in order for the system to function adequately. Working-group Leaders: Francis Lévi, Professor of Medical Oncology and NATF Fellow, and Christian Saguez, Former Professor at École Centrale de Paris and NATF Fellow.
Read More

21 Oct Population Growth, Climate and World Food Supply

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2011
This report studies the possibility to adequately feed 9 billion people in 2050, and shows that it is feasible, on certain conditions: - Give priority to the agricultural question among the political concerns of nations and set up ambitious programmes of agricultural development in the poorest countries. - Subsidize, for short periods, certain local agricultural markets, in southern countries whose populations live in self-sufficiency with a small production surplus. - Attenuate the effects of speculation in agricultural markets by better regulation of raw-material futures markets. - Build up stocks to constitute regional, or even family, reserves to avoid the risks of chronic deficits. - Maintain the strong production capacities of European agriculture but redirect it towards healthy and ecologically acceptable food production; - Encourage everybody to eat less animal food products; strengthen regulations governing agro-food industries and collective food preparation; combat waste, currently up to 30% of the production. - Tightly control or ban first-generation bio-fuels which are in direct competition with food production but continue research on 2nd and 3rd generation products. - Create an Observatory for Predicting World Food Situations and Markets to independently observe developments, interpret evolutions, propose hypotheses and scenarios, and anticipate dangers and suggest lines of solution. These recommendations are both for the public authorities and the entire civil society: individual behaviour must primarily change.
Read More

21 Oct Food Innovation and Consumers

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2012
The aim of this report is to throw light on the following question: is innovation in food systems compatible, as they exist today, with what consumers want, viz., natural, healthy food? The authors demonstrate that consumers are indeed in the heart of the innovation process but also that new marketing techniques tend to mask technological innovations. Although professionals in foodstuffs have long since learned how to handle and satisfy consumers, offering healthy, safe and tasty food, simple too cook and serve, the same professionals are at a loss when it comes to meeting the demands of consumer-citizen, often close to saturation level with a series of cultural ingredients, even ideologies, who represent a population on whom technical or economic argument have no or little effect.
Read More

21 Oct Risks related to manufactured nanoparticles – Ways of protection and prevention

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2012
In research labs as well as in industry, nanomaterials (at least partially made of nanoparticles) are the object of a growing interest. The have lead to many new industrial applications during the last few years and more are on the way. Knowledge about the hazards related to these new materials and nanoparticles issued of these nanomaterials is nevertheless limited, as well as their impact on the Human Health or on the Environment. The purpose of this communication is to assess this problem and to propose ways forward. It lists the present knowledge on the toxicity hazards for populations and the environment. The risks to workers, whether into the Research field or the industrial one are more particularly discussed.
Read More

21 Oct About Robots

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2009
Man has always sought to free himself from inevitable, fastidious and boring work. Technological progress has partially satisfied his desires through two generic tools: the computer for mental tasks and the robot for physical labour. This report addresses questions about robots frequently raised by the public at large. People regularly hear about them but never actually see them. The main questions concern reasons for their absence, their intelligence and a comparison with human capacities. Since the future cannot be written in advance, where there are no guidelines, the author expresses his own assumptions.
Read More

21 Oct Technology, development and the SMEs

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2010
How to help the SMEs to take into account technology evolutions, with all their consequences and how to encourage them to play an even more important role in the innovation process? This report suggests a few elements of answers to these questions. In particular it insists on the necessity of a technical education and training of the highest quality. It advocates the technology education system to be profoundly renovated. It also invites to evaluate the present adequacy of the permanent training system to the needs of SMEs.
Read More

21 Oct The automobile of the future

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2012
The report gives an overview of world-wide automobile production and its foreseeable development: the position of the electric vehicle, the market for hybrid vehicles and ‘green' fuels (including hydrogen). It suggests that mobility might evolve into a simple service (car ownership no longer being the first choice) where the electric vehicle for urban use finds its place, given that the majority of the world population will live in large urban areas. The car is then looked at from the perspective of a global mobility system with inevitable changes in patterns of movement, infrastructures, regulation and multi-modality. Considering the technological dimension of the car of the future, how will it impact future domestic technological and design capabilities and the industrialisation process and which are the key technologies to remain in control of French companies to maintain a competitive automotive industry. Recommendation: Preserve an automotive industry in France. It is a vector of technological innovation and provides millions of jobs. Working-group leader: Olivier Morel, President Competitiveness Cluster NOV@LOG, President of PREDIT’s Logistics and Transport of Merchandise Group (GO4), and NATF Fellow
Read More

21 Oct Freight Systems

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2012
The report assumes fuel and pollution-related costs of transport will rise substantially.  However, such costs are only a minor part of the overall costs of a transport system that includes logistics for managing the “Production – Transport – Distribution” chain.  The report looks specifically into the transport of manufactured goods, representing 50% of total volume, but growing at a rate of 8% per year.  On a global scale, this marine-based system appears to be resilient and self-adapting to market conditions, while the local chains include rail, road and waterways.  Potential cost reductions are mainly linked to the power of IT in logistics, including in production (M2M), collection, shipping and distribution: the “second invisible arm”. The study takes account of both world and European trends, and draws comparisons for gaining a better understanding of the French issues.  It also looks at related French Research capabilities and how to improve cross-fertilisation between different disciplines, the linkage to the private sector and international collaborations for greater impact.  Last, not least, it points to the need of making this sector more attractive to talented young people and adapt the curriculum at the “Grandes Écoles” to the needs of the market. Group Leader: Jean-Claude Raoule, NATF Territorial Delegate West, Technical Advisor to the French Railway Industry Association, Director of the European Association of Railway Interoperability, and NATF Fellow.
Read More

21 Oct Mobile phone relay antennas

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2009
The NATF, along with the Academies of Sciences and Medicine, approves the conclusions (October 2009) of the independent French Agency of Environmental and Work Sanitary Security (AFSSET) related to radiofrequencies. A very complete and extended analysis of 226 recent publications shows that, in the experimental conditions and measurements employed, there is no convincing proof of any biological effect of radiofrequencies at non-thermal levels. The 3 Academies consider that the AFSSET’s study does not justify any reduction of human exposure to relay radiofrequencies antennas.
Read More

21 Oct Artificial, man-made, Intelligence

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)
2009
The dream of creating an artificial Intelligence (AI) is as old as the computer, if not as old as humanity (think of Golem). Since the fifties, theorists like Alan Turin have expressed their belief that machines could match men in performing complex tasks in an intelligent way. Despite the continuous advances of computers can we really say that they have intelligence? If so, how does it relay to human intelligence? The document defines AI and answers many such questions as: what characteristics of human intelligence can be modelled, what are the concepts and tools for AI, what are the industrial successes of AI techniques, how far can and will AI go and what further efforts are needed for future developments of AI?
Read More