Bordeaux research shines at the Étoiles de l'Europe awards

On December 2nd, at a ceremony in Paris, Frédérique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, announced the 12 winners of the Étoiles de l'Europe awards. Two of the winning projects were carried out by, or involved the participation of, scientists from Bordeaux.

  • 05/01/2022

© Horizon Europe © Horizon Europe

Created in 2013 by the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the Étoiles de l’Europe trophy is awarded to the coordinators of European research and innovation projects led by French organizations. These honorary trophies recognize the commitment of our scientific teams to Europe and encourage participation in the European program Horizon Europe.

Commitment to Europe

For this 9th edition of the Étoiles de l’Europe awards, twelve projects were selected by an independent jury for their scientific quality and their international scope. The winners for 2021 included two projects carried out by, or involving research teams from, Bordeaux.

The EBOVAC2 project, Special Jury Prize

Since the 2014 epidemic in West Africa, the development of an effective vaccine against the terrible Ebola hemorrhagic fever has become a health imperative. The EBOVAC2 project has worked towards meeting this challenge, by providing evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of a vaccine developed by the Janssen company.

This project, which received €50.7 million in funding between 2014 and 2021 (6.5 years), is headed by Rodolphe Thiébaut, professor at the University of Bordeaux, attending physician at the Bordeaux University Hospital, director of the university's department of public health research, deputy director of the Bordeaux Population Health(BPH - Inserm and the University of Bordeaux) research center, and director of the Inserm-Inria SISTM team. This consortium, coordinated by Inserm, brought together clinical research specialists, immunologists, anthropologists and immune response modelers. With this multidisciplinary approach, EBOVAC2 provided an opportunity to set up two phase 2 clinical studies focusing on a vaccine candidate designed by the pharmaceutical company Janssen.

A safe and effective vaccine against Ebola

The results confirmed the ability of this vaccine, administered in two doses, to induce an immune response in humans against the Ebola virus. This work, which has already resulted in six publications in top-level scientific journals, also provided comprehensive and solid data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, and demonstrated its high tolerance in subjects both young and old, as well as in HIV-infected subjects.

All of these results were then submitted by Janssen to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Based on this evidence, the EMA issued a marketing authorization for the pharmaceutical group's two-dose vaccine regimen as of July 1, 2020. Not only did EBOVAC2 help make numerous advances in the fight against the Ebola virus, it also helped lay the foundations for the development of an animal model to study this virus in Europe. The project ultimately resulted in the development of a vaccine platform now being used in the fight against Covid-19.

The SeaDataCloud project, winner of special honors for open science

The SeaDataCloud project is part of plans to facilitate sharing of the body of data generated by oceanographic research. This research generates a substantial mass of information, consisting of data collected in a heterogeneous manner by more than a thousand research institutes, government organizations and private companies.

With a budget of €10 million and a 4.5 year duration (2016-2021), this project was the sequel to the SeaDataNet and SeaDataNet 2 programs, which resulted in the creation of a unified virtual data center with the participation of oceanographic data centers from 35 countries bordering the seas of Europe. The objective of SeaDataCloud was more specifically to reinforce access to this data by using digital tools such as the cloud and high-performance computing.

A cloud for oceanographic data

Coordinated by Ifremer and involving a large number of partners including the Oceanic and Continental Environments and Paleoenvironments laboratory (EPOC – CNRS, EPHE and the University of Bordeaux), SeaDataCloud drew on the skills of data managers, web developers and IT engineers to make it possible to bring together scientific results from 113 different data centers. The consortium's work also resulted in the publication of new international standards for the description of ocean-related data and metadata. By the end of the project, 2.7 million pieces of data were aggregated in a single cloud computing infrastructure.

This platform brings together a set of parameters (ocean temperature and salinity, chemical composition, bathymetry, marine biodiversity, concentration of contaminants in the water column, etc.), 90% of which are freely accessible. The consortium also worked on redesigning the data query interface and made analytical tools available in a virtual research environment. This development allows scientists to work on their own data while also giving them the ability to cross-check them with all the results listed in SeaDataCloud.

Interested in starting a European project?

The University of Bordeaux (Proposals & Projects Support Office / Europe team) helps those lecturer-researchers who wish to start a European project. See contacts below.

Contacts

Katel Goeden
Proposals & Projects Support Office Manager

Camille Le Borgne
Europe Team manager (SMSP)