Report from July 1990
Interest in polar science and engineering is growing in France, and the Association Francaise du Pergelisol (founded in March 1988) includes both professionals and research workers. The Association's President is Dr J. Aguirre-Puente, Vice President Professor J. Malaurie, Secretary General Professor A. M. Cames-Pintaux, and Treasurer Dr J. P. Lautridou. General Assemblies
of the Association have been held in January and December 1989, and another is planned for July 1990. Links between the industrial and research communities are promoted by CNRS, and the development of polar industries is encouraged. Polar research in France has traditionally focused on Antarctic co-ordination, but promulgation of Arctic research at a political level is now found. At Ministerial level there is a Franco-Canadian agreement which includes polar research (science and engineering). A symposium on polar engineering organized by the Club "Etudes Arctiques" in February 1989 was a product of such interests, and a further outcome of Franco- Canadian co-operation was a 2-day workshop on Cold Regions Technology held in Paris in March 1989. Other classic scientific research themes include permafrost on the Planet Mars, thermal behaviour of low temperature materials, and acoustics in frozen soils. The French permafrost community is seeking liaison with civil engineering associations.
Report from December 1990
The French Permafrost Association (IPA), created on 23 March 1988, met in General Assembly in January and December 1989. The next session was held on 4 July 1990.
In France, interest in Polar Engineering and Research has increased notably in the past few years.
From the laboratories working on Physics, Geography, Geomorphology, Geology and Ethnography, several institutions have been created, gathering together different specialties:
- The "Groupement de Recherche Etudes Arctiques," principally supported by the CNRS.
- The "Club CRIN Arctiques". This is an action of the CNRS Committee of Industrial Relations, meeting Industrials, Professors and Research Workers.
- The French group for the Development of Polar Industries (DIPOL), created by several industries and having the CNRS, The Ministry of Research. the TAAF and the French Polar Expeditions as associated members.
- The Cold Regions Aspect of the French-Canadian Agreement of Cooperation.
- A program of the Ministry of Research on Civil Engineering (PROGEC). The Aspect of the Natural and Artificial Cold is notably included.
- Project MATERLOC (Chalky materials-Frost Action aspect).
Two major activities occurred:
- Cold Regions Technologies: a bilateral workshop (an initiative of the Canada/France Science and Technology Co-operation Program), Paris, 28-29 March, 1989.
- Arctic Technology and Economy. International Symposium organised by the Club CRIN "Etudes Arctiques" with the participation of the "Banque Nationale de Paris," Paris, 15-1 7 February, 1989.
General programs are:
Ice-structures, Interaction (Ice-breakers), Freezing of Saline Solutions, Planetary Permafrost (March), Thermal Behaviours of Materials under Low Temperatures, Acoustics and Metrology of Frozen Soils, Influence of Organic Matter in Frost Susceptibility, Terre Adelie Research.
The French Permafrost Association is conducting formalities for its admission as correspondent member of the UIJA and a member of the Liaison Committee of Associations interested in Civil Engineering.
In the next congress of The International Institute of Refrigeration (Montreal, 1991 ), a session will be held concerning the applications of research regarding freezing on non-alimentary fields. The French Government is preparing a re-organisation of the research on Polar Regions, both Arctic and Antarctica. It wishes to establish an Agency for coordinating, evaluating and financing fundamental and applied research.