The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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ANR and ClimateResearch Highlights

Research Highlights

Could insects represent an alternative resource for animal feed?

Insects are rich in proteins and fats, and they constitute the basis of the diet of many animals. They have been used in Asian cooking for hundreds of years and today are used by the food industry to produce ingredients that enter into the composition of everyday food products. The cochineal (also known as scale insect or mealybug), for example, produces the natural dye used as a colorant in certain sweets. In a context of increasing scarcity of resources, insects - so far underexploited as a commodity - could be a source of raw materials. This, at least, is the postulate of the Desirable project, which has been funded by ANR since 2013 under its Sustainable Food Systems programme.

 

The ASTER project shines a light on rare earths

In an era when producing sustainably is paramount, critical resources are undergoing rapid supply-side changes. The ASTER project (Systemic Analysis of Rare Earth Elements) has looked into some of today's most pressing challenges, including dependence (rare earths are actually abundant, though highly spread out), societal challenges posed by their extraction and the upheaval of production relationships. The project, which benefited from French National Research Agency (ANR) funding, also addressed how to recycle and make the best and most responsible use of natural resources.

 

JPI Climate: transforming Europe’s future through climate issues

Few issues are of greater importance for Europe’s common future than climate change. For several months now, ANR has chaired this inter-governmental initiative which works to secure a better future for Europe, protecting its citizens and natural wealth through informed and inclusive action in the shift toward more sustainable development trajectories.

 

Marine mammals as oceanographic platforms, a new tool for recording physical and biological data in remote areas

Research on the effects of climate change on oceans remains held back by a lack of in situ data, particularly from Polar Regions. To make up for this deficit, diving marine mammals have become a critical part of the ocean observation system. On June 1, the international MEOP portal opened up access to information collected by animals tagged with tracking devices. The following is a presentation of three projects led by the initiative’s French branch and funded by ANR.

 

Tara: transforming the way of studying the oceans

The first results of the “Tara Oceans” expedition (2009-2013) were the subject of a special issue of the periodical Science. In order to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis on our oceans, the schooner has been sailing the seas since 2003, taking measurements in situ and collecting samples. Overview of the projects funded by ANR in connection with the Tara expeditions and the data that they made it possible to generate.

 

Soil resources at the centre of a web of conflicting issues

Soil is the foundation of all human activities, particularly agriculture. But there is a growing need among today's industrial, energy, urban and mining sectors for more space and more primary resources such as water, materials, mineral resources and energy. This places soil resources at the centre of a web of often conflicting issues. On the occasion of the International Year of Soils (IYS), spotlight on ANR’s activities related to that issue.

 

Belmont Forum and JPI Climate: launching of an international call on climate services

ANR, in collaboration with partners from twelve countries, launched in April 2015 a transnational call for proposals on the role of inter-regional links in climate variability and predictability. This call comes within the framework of a partnership between the Belmont Forum – which brings together the world's main funding agencies around the theme of global environmental changes – and the Joint Programming Initiative on climate (JPI Climate).

 

SUBGLACIOR: revolutionising paleoclimatology with a new type of probe

Design, build and deploy a new type of in-situ ice-corer probe in the Antarctic in order to record, within a single season, the oldest available data on the earth’s climate sourced from natural ice that formed over a million years ago. These are the goals of the SUBGLACIOR project developed since 2011 and notably supported by the French National Research Agency under the "Blanc" funding programme.

 

FACCE SURPLUS: strengthening European collaborative research for sustainable agriculture

The objective of FACCE SURPLUS is to support sustainable intensification of agricultural production. As part of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), this research funding programme brings together many European partners, including the French National Research Agency (ANR).

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