Professor Antoine Aiello, Director of the Stella Mare Platform (University of Corsica/CNRS), former President of the University of Corsica (2002-2012), is the national winner of the CNRS Innovation Medal for the year 2021.
The CNRS, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, is one of the most renowned French public research institutions in the world. The CNRS Innovation Medal honours men and women whose outstanding research has led to a significant technological, therapeutic or social innovation, enhancing French scientific research.
This medal rewards the work of Professor Antoine Aiello for the creation and development, over the past ten years, of the Stella Mare scientific platform, located near Bastia, in Corsica, in the heart of the Mediterranean, specialising in marine and coastal environmental engineering. This platform was created in 2011 under the aegis of the University of Corsica and is attached to the Institute of Ecology and Environment (INEE) of the CNRS.
By bringing together researchers and marine professionals for the sustainable management of fisheries resources, the platform’s research programmes are innovative in the field of fishing and aquaculture at a European scale. Within an avant-garde technological centre with 1600 m2 of laboratories, hatcheries and study spaces, the Stella Mare team, made up of some fifty engineers, technicians, research lead teachers and computer scientists, carries out in-depth studies which consist specifically of assessing stocks, analysing interactions within the ecosystem and mastering the reproduction and nurturing processes of various local species. Their credo: to promote environmentally-responsible fishing and sustainable aquaculture, to develop and diversify production of species from the Corsican coastline, and to manage natural resources with a view to rational exploitation.
Specific work has thus made it possible to control the reproduction of the purple sea urchin, the flat oyster, the lobster, the denti and endangered species such as the corb. Other work is currently being carried out, particularly on the giant limpet, of which Corsica remains one of the last remaining reserves in the world.
The concrete progress achieved by Stella Mare positions Corsica as a pilot region in Europe in the field of marine ecology: since 2019, Professor Antoine Aiello has been an expert with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in the context of the work carried out on the blue bio-economy.
This recognition pays tribute to the scientific excellence of the research carried out at Stella Mare, the technological transfer established with local stakeholders, and the societal benefits of the results and practical applications. The award of the CNRS innovation medal confirms the relevance of the University of Corsica’s scientific policy and distinguishes the quality of the work of an entire team.
Thursday, April 15th 2021