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A new chair in mobility and quality of life in urban areas sponsored by Renault

08 April 2014  17:00

Paris, April 8, 2014: chemical and noise pollution in urban areas has become a key concern for health and environmental policymakers. The new chair, endowed with €1.5 million through Pierre and Marie Curie University’s Partnership Foundation, is headed by Dr Laurence Eymard, director of the Ecce Terra Observatory of the Sciences of the Universe, jointly run by Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) and France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). Dr Eymard, a professorial fellow at CNRS, is a world-renowned expert on the water cycle and air-sea interaction.

The impact of atmospheric and noise pollution on the health of urban populations. The chair in mobility & quality of life in urban areas will measure the impacts of pollution by gases, particulates and noise on the quality of life and health of the residents of a city. In response to this societal issue, the car manufacturers PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault have realized the importance of supporting the sponsored research project that UPMC is running together with France’s Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Atmosphere, Media and Spatial Observation Laboratory (LATMOS), Ecce Terra, the Jean le Rond d’Alembert Institute and the Institute for Acoustics and Music Research and Coordination (IRCAM). “By taking the many factors involved in chemical air pollution into account, as well as unconventional sources of pollution such as noise, the chair can bring a new dimension to the concept of the urban environment, which may be promising for the future,” commented Laurence Eymard .

A chair headed by Laurence Eymard, coordinating an inter-disciplinary team of experts in acoustics, air quality and health. Laurence Eymard will coordinate a scientific community of more than 1,000 people specialized in earth system and environmental sciences, ranging from biodiversity to health, and from deep-earth science to planetary science, via climatology. Régis Marchiano , a professor at UPMC, works on linear and non-linear acoustic wave propagation in complex media at the UPMC/CNRS Jean le Rond d’Alembert Institute. Nicolas Misdariis is joint head of the Perception and Sound Design team at the Institute for Acoustics and Music Research and Coordination (IRCAM). Sébastien Payan , professor at UPMC and a research fellow at LATMOS, researches various issues on the boundary between molecular physics and atmospheric physics. In health, Isabella Annesi-Maesano , head of the INSERM/UPMC Epidemiology of Allergic and Respiratory Diseases team, runs research projects to understand the etiology of rhinitis, asthma, chronic obstructive broncho-pneumopathy, and identify subjects at risk. Annick Clément , professor of pediatric pneumology at UPMC, runs the pediatric pneumology ward at Trousseau Hospital. She also coordinates a European research group on rare lung diseases in children and sits on numerous scientific boards in France and around the world.

UPMC’s Partnership Foundation, a bridge to industry . In less than four years, the UPMC Foundation has raised almost €15 million from private-sector sponsors and partners. Seven research and training chairs have been set up on themes as diverse as robotics, connected cars, therapeutic education, and cryptography. Through the Foundation, UPMC is strengthening synergies with the business sector, investing in innovative projects, and further extending knowledge.

Sylvain Allano, Scientific and Future Technology Director at PSA: “We thought a sponsored chair was an appropriate way to support high-quality inter-disciplinary research in areas with a strong societal dimension, such as air quality and noise pollution. The research results should provide the kind of solid, recognized scientific basis that often is missing from societal and environmental debates.”

Rémi Bastien, Head of Innovation Engineering at Renault: “Society expects mobility, which is both a necessity and a fundamental freedom, to contribute to a higher quality of life, especially in urban areas. Current forms of mobility have increasingly unacceptable impacts. As manufacturers, we are part of the problem, so we want to be part of the solution. The best way is to cooperate with high-level inter-disciplinary scientists. The new chair offers us a unique opportunity to pave the way for sustainable, reliable solutions backed by in-depth scientific expertise.”

Claire Martin, Vice President of CSR at Renault and Managing Director of the Renault Foundation: “The better we understand impacts in their complexity, the more able the government and industry will be to develop appropriate responses. It is also legitimate and necessary to analyze the technical, economic, social, health and other aspects of phenomena in order to send clear, objective messages to all audiences.”


Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) originated as the Science Faculty of the Sorbonne. UPMC is now France’s leading science and medical university and covers a broad range of disciplines (chemistry, electronics, information technology, mathematics, mechanics, physics, earth and environmental science, life science, and medicine). Research at UPMC is both fundamental and applied, spanning all fields of knowledge. UPMC explores key sustainable development issues in the fields of health, climate change, water, biodiversity, energy, and communications. A key actor in knowledge development and innovation, UPMC supports research findings through SATT Lutech, a technology transfer company, Agoranov, a start-up incubator, and Quadrivium, a venture capital fund. UPMC has exceptional institutes in vision, neuroscience, degenerative diseases, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, immunology and infectious diseases, cancer and public health. UPMC has strategic international partnerships in Europe, South Africa, North America, Brazil, China, etc. UPMC is a member of the Sorbonne Universities group with its partners the National Museum of Natural History, Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4) University, INSEAD business school, Compiègne Technology University (UTC), the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and the Institute for Development Research (IRD). Key figures: 33,000 students, including 6,900 international students; 10,500 staff, including 8,200 at research centers (including CNRS, INSERM, IRD and INRA); 100 research laboratories; 6 main university teaching hospitals; and 7,300 publications a year (approximately 11% of total publications in France).
Prizes and awards:  Nobel Prize for Physics 1997 and 2012; Henri Poincaré Prize 2012; Fields Medal 1994 and 2010; CNRS gold medal 1996, 1998 and 2009, and numerous silver medals; INSERM Grand Prix 2007; Irène Joliot-Curie Prize 2007 and 2011; 16 ERC grants 2008-2013; more than one-quarter of the members of the French Academy of Sciences are from UPMC.

Established in 2009, UPMC’s Partnership Foundation contributes to UPMC’s development to enable the university to respond to the challenges of a constantly changing world. The foundation works to enhance UPMC’s reputation and standing, both in France and internationally, and to build synergies between the university and the business sector.
The foundation seeks to:
• attract funding for UPMC’s major future projects,
• build capitalized funding to provide sustainable resources,
• involve the UPMC community of alumni and everyone with a connection to the university.
Ambitious, innovative projects:
•  Chairs of excellence in target fields for the future: information technology, robotics, medicine, mathematics, environmental science, etc.
•  Grants to assist students from disadvantaged areas, to attract new audiences to science degrees, e.g. women into engineering science, and to promote academic mobility.
• Convergence programs to bring together UPMC’s researchers through an inter-disciplinary approach to strategic themes.
In May 2013, the foundation elected to support the creation of the Institute of Therapeutic Education in France to promote university teaching and research in this field.

ABOUT RENAULT : The Renault Group, with operations in 118 countries, designs, develops, manufactures and markets passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under three brands: Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors. To respond to new environmental and economic challenges facing the automotive industry, Renault relies on two strategies: improving existing technologies with new generations of low carbon emissions engines, and its pioneering “Zero Emissions” program. Renault has launched a “Zero Emissions” range with Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E., released in 2011, followed by Twizy, the new compact urban two-seater, in 2012, and ZOE, released in spring 2013. The “Zero Emissions” range makes innovation accessible to retail customers. With its partner Nissan, Renault is aiming for global leadership of mass market zero emissions vehicles. For more information, visit:

ABOUT PSA PEUGEOT CITROËN : Under its three international brands – Peugeot, Citroën and DS – the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group sold 2.8 million vehicles worldwide in 2013, 42% outside of Europe. Europe’s second-biggest car maker, PSA Peugeot Citroën reported revenues of €54 billion in 2013. The group is a European leader in terms of carbon emissions, with an average 115.9 grammes of CO2/km in 2013. PSA Peugeot Citroën has operations in 160 countries. Its businesses extend to vehicle finance (Banque PSA Finance) and automotive parts manufacturing (Faurecia). For more information, visit:

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A new chair in mobility and quality of life in urban areas sponsored by Renault

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A new chair in mobility and quality of life in urban areas sponsored by Renault
A new chair in mobility and quality of life in urban areas sponsored by Renault