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September 22, 2017 | French Armed Forces Minister visits CEA Saclay campus to explore digital ecosystem

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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly came to Nano-INNOV at the CEA’s Saclay campus on Tuesday, September 19 to hold a meeting of the Ministry’s Executive Committee to discuss digital transformation.

Cluster Systematic extended a special invitation to French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly to hold a meeting of the Ministry’s Executive Committee on digital transformation in Saclay. Saclay has become one of France’s major digital technology ecosystems, concentrating a broad range of support services for digital technology research and development at a single location.

Representatives of the CEA and of Systematic1 and SystemX2 presented their organizations. Systematic and SystemX are now housed at DigiHall3, the Paris-Saclay campus’ new digital technology hub set up to bring businesses end-to-end R&D and innovation services and unite digital technology stakeholders at a single location, the CEA’s Nano-INNOV platform in Palaiseau.

Five innovative startups and SMBs launched with these organizations’ support presented products and services with potential military applications. All of these companies were initially created to respond to civil market needs. However, virtually all of them are currently running projects with major French military and defense companies and the French Directorate General for Armaments, the French military’s procurement wing.

And three of the companies are startups spun off by List4, an institute of CEA Tech, the CEA’s technology research division.

  • Diota, was set up in 2009 to develop industrial-grade augmented reality software to give industrial companies the tools they need to interactively link data and human workspaces and enhance performance.
  • Kalray, founded in 2008, offers a new generation of field programmable gate arrays that leverage a massively parallel several-hundred-core architecture and that can be reconfigured after fabrication.
  • Krono Safe, established in 2011, commercializes a software suite built on more than fifteen years of CEA R&D in nuclear- and automotive-industry operating safety; the company is the only one on the market capable of automating the real-time critical software development process without compromising on performance or safety.
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French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly with (from left to right) Philippe Watteau, Director, List; Pascal Cléré, Director, IRT SystemX; Jean-Luc Beylat, President, Systematic Cluster; and Christophe Gégout, Deputy Administrator General, CEA. © Systematic

Minister Parly highlighted the importance of innovation and digital technology in the Armed Forces Ministry’s own transformation process, stating that the credibility of the nation’s military now depends on the defense industry and defense-specific technologies better integrating more of the innovations being developed by the kinds of new digital-technology stakeholders in the CEA ecosystem she met during her visit to Saclay.

The CEA is, of course, a major digital-technology stakeholder, a leadership position that can be attributed in part to the organization’s Military Applications Division, one of the world’s leaders in high-performance computing. The Division’s supercomputers, developed for nuclear dissuasion, are at the international state of the art.

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Startup Diota presents its technology to French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly. © Systematic
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Staff from the French Armed Forces Ministry attending a presentation with (from left to right) Michel Bédoucha (in the red tie), Director, CEA Saclay; Christophe Gégout, Deputy Administrator General, CEA; and Philippe Watteau, Director, List. © Systematic


1 Systematic Paris-Région is a cluster founded in 2005 to build an ecosystem of software, digital-technology, and industrial professionals poised to address tomorrow’s industries. The cluster counts more than 800 members and the CEA is a permanent member of its Executive Bureau.

2IRT SystemX is one of eight Technology Research Institutes established by the French government in 2012 to create a more attractive and innovative French economy. Each Institute focuses on developing markets related to its area of expertise through strategic and balanced public-private partnerships.

3DigiHall, formerly called Digitec, was set up in 2017 by the CEA, Télécom ParisTech, Inria, Systematic, and IRT SystemX, with the support of the Île-de-France Regional council, Paris-Saclay University, and the Paris-Saclay Development Authority. By 2020 DigiHall will be home to more than 1,500 research scientists and engineers.

4List earned the prestigious Institut Carnot seal in 2006 (Institut Carnot TN@UPSaclay).


September 19, 2017 | RobMoSys expands model-driven engineering (MDE) to robotics

robotique list robmosysEU H2020 project RobMoSys will give robotics software development a boost by creating a shared design method and environment.

Currently, there are as many robotics software development platforms as there are types of robots—and they are virtually all different! EU H2020 project RobMoSys kicked off in January 2017 with the goal of creating a shared design method and environment to support the development of high-quality software and control development costs. Stakeholders from across the robotics community will be given opportunities to take part in this project.

The shared platform will leverage modular software models. List, a CEA Tech institute, is contributing its know-how in model-driven engineering (MDE) to the project. "MDE is very widely used in the automotive industry. It can really help with the design of complex systems, which also makes it ideal for robotics," said the List project coordinator.

The RobMoSys platform will support existing platforms without compromising their unique features or independence. "Ultimately, what developers will have are off-the-shelf software components that can be reused from one robot to the next." And, to ensure the widespread involvement of the robotics community, half of the project budget will be allocated to open calls for sub-projects.

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September 5, 2017 | List and Thales join forces to innovate new cybersecurity solutions

cybersécurité list thalesList recently reached a new milestone in cybersecurity, proving that its Frama-C formal verification software can be used to make sure that encryption software code is secure. The advance was part of research conducted under FormalLab, a joint List-Thales R&D initiative.

For the first time ever in the world of cybersecurity, the operating code of software used to encrypt sensitive data was analyzed using formal verification tools developed at List. The advance addresses a vast potential market: Encrypted communications software is currently used for the majority of digital communications, and vulnerabilities in the software can potentially compromise the security of large amounts of data.

In research conducted under the Thales-List joint R&D lab FormalLab, List applied its code analysis and verification know-how to Thales' encryption software.

The partners began by stating the software's security requirements in everyday language. They then drew up specifications for the features of the target software. The specifications were compared with the existing software code using advanced mathematical reasoning.

List researchers worked closely with developers at Thales on the project, which provided List with an opportunity to implement its Frama-C software on a real-world case. Thales is now rolling out the use of Frama-C on a test basis with the ultimate goal of using it on all of its encryption software code, thus eliminating security vulnerabilities. In other research, FormalLab continues its work to develop future generations of code analysis software.



August 24, 2017 | Toward improved production monitoring for manufacturing

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© - Laurentiu Iordache

List, a CEA Tech institute, has developed a method that makes production monitoring indicator calculations more reliable. The novel and practical method, developed for a food production plant, is also compatible with the needs of other industries.

The calculations used for the ongoing monitoring of production processes in industry depend on sensors on the production line. If a sensor is faulty, the calculations will be inaccurate. The extrapolation techniques generally used to fill in holes in the data are not always effective.

Researchers at List developed a more sophisticated prediction algorithm to make production monitoring more reliable. The algorithm uses a statistical regression analysis that takes into account the sensor's history and measurement redundancy. The algorithm then determines the best prediction strategy and creates a model. To confirm the method's effectiveness, actual data and data obtained through different algorithms were compared. "When there are not a lot of holes in the data, all of the methods perform similarly," said a List researcher. "However, when the amount of missing data is more substantial or if the process is very irregular, regression analysis is more effective."

The algorithm was validated on a wide range of data and is currently being scaled up for use in a food manufacturing plant. Its use will then be expanded to other industries. This very generic approach can be used for any continuous manufacturing process as well as for energy monitoring.


August 10, 2017 | Handling contaminated waste safely

Romans manipulation secure webList, a CEA Tech institute, recently developed a new robotic system to remotely handle waste for the nuclear industry. The research was conducted as part of the EU RoMaNS project.

Nuclear plants represent one of the EU's largest environmental cleanup projects. The H2020 RoMaNS project set out to develop a remote operation system to safely sort and separate contaminated waste.

The demonstrator system built drew heavily on robotics technologies developed at List, a project partner, including master-slave force-feedback systems in which a slave robot operates in the contaminated environment "mimicking" the movements made by a master robot controlled by an operator.

On the master side, the system is made up of a force-feedback glove mounted on a haptic feedback arm developed and sold by Haption, a List spinoff. The compact, lightweight glove allows precise handling of objects in the environment. The slave robot is made up of a gripping system with a structure similar to a human hand mounted on a six-axis robotic arm, "to provide the most natural and intuitive handling experience possible," said one researcher. To achieve the level of dexterity required, the intuitive control of the coupling between the master and slave components will now have to be finalized.