The PANORAMA project: winner 2019 Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN (Innovative Training Network)

A new success for Géosciences Rennes: coordination of an innovative doctoral training network Marie Sklodowska-Curie

REE

The defence and space industries also use REE or the manufacture of sensors, radars, sonars, etc. It is therefore now impossible to not use them ! Access to these elements is therefore strategic for Europe, which wants to develop and guarantee access to these essential resources, the bulk of which being currently produced in China. .But the extraction, refining, and increasing use of rare earths produce toxic wastes. A number of research and industrial projects have therefore recently been devoted to the identification of geological resources (potential stocks) of REE on the European continent or the development of more virtuous and eco-responsible extraction processes. However, although disturbances in some rare earth biogeochemical cycles have already been identified, the environmental risk inherent in the operation of REE and their dissemination has not been to date subject of an in-depth impact assessment.

The PANORAMA project is therefore an interdisciplinary project aimed at: studying the whole environmental behaviour of rare earths, that is their occurrence, speciation, transfer, bioavailability and biotoxicity from their sources to the various environmental compartments and their associated effects on environmental health.

ITN PANORAMA - Figure 1. Global production (filled area) and consumption (lines) of REE oxides (1960-2015) and forecasted production/consumption (dashed lines) (2016-2030 ) (Huang, X., G. Zhang, A. Pan, F. Chen, C. Zheng (2016). Protecting the environment and public health from rare earth mining, Earth’s Future, 4. - © AIlne Dia

 
To this end, PANORAMA brings together the skills of (geo)chemists, (hydro)geologists and (eco)toxicologists, working within a consortium of 14 partner universities and 4 private partners to train 15 PhD students. The project will combine training and cutting-edge research tools through field/analysis/experimentation/modelling approaches. The close partnership of members of the academic and non-academic sectors within the consortium will give PhD students a unique opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in both basic research and cross-cutting skills.

The training objective of this project is to provide them with all the elements that will enable them to obtain lasting jobs in the academic, industrial, commercial or political sectors, all within a high-level European intersectoral collaborative framework.

This success in this very selective European call is also the result of the decisive support of the European Projects Platform (2PE) Brittany, which since 2013, accompanies and enhances the participation of the Brittanian academic community in the programmes-European frameworks dedicated to research and innovation, particularly in the framework of Horizon 2020. Since June 2018, Claire Bajou, engineer projects in charge of the 'Life and Earth Sciences' sector at the Rennes site, is present at our premises every Tuesday (301, Bldg. 14B) or by appointment. This personalized support enabled the success in 2019 of another S2S-Future ITN project (also supported by Géosciences Rennes). This success is all the more admirable since these calls are extremely competitive with a success rate of about 7.5%. In view of this exceptional result, we can therefore only be delighted with this close collaboration, source of current and future European successes!