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Sophie Hombert is only 32 years old, but she already has confidence, a force of conviction and a passion for moving mountains! The young founder of the start-up aglaeinstalled in the incubator of the Cité de l’innovation du CM 101 in Chartres (Eure-et-Loir), is simply at the origin of the creation of a process unique in the world favoring the plant luminescence🇧🇷
About what metamorphose an environment like the planet pandora from the blockbuster Avatar 2 that she has just provided the sets to premiere in cinemas in five major cities in France. But beyond this window she sees much further and Chartres is on its way to becoming pilot city for an amazing projectecological urban lighting🇧🇷
The domestication of plants
Sophie Hombert spent her entire childhood and adolescence in Saint-Marcel near Vernon (Eure).
Her studies took her to Brittany where she specialized in Project at the European School of Art in Brittany. With her Bac +5 in her pocket, she continued on her way towards a path that wasn’t fully traced in her initial studies, heading towardsagrocampus from Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine).
And it continues to partner with the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris-Saclay and experts in biochemistry.
It must be recognized that, from design to biochemistry, these are two worlds that rarely meet, but in fact I have always been fascinated by biomimicry and started this path during my Master 1 Erasmus in England.
In Master 2 she pursues this original path to plant domestication inspired by the bioluminescence of plants to generate soft lights.
She created her company Aglaé in 2016 in Seine-et-Marne.
avatara showcase, but also a vision of society
The recent release of the second work byavatar highlighted the start-up since it was selected to offer an immersive trip across five cinemas in France in Paris🇧🇷 Lyon🇧🇷 Marseille🇧🇷 reindeer and Roan🇧🇷
With the support of 20th Century Fox France, Pathé France, Dolby and Disney, these routes were designed to welcome spectators who highlight these incredible creations “and I think james cameron must have seen our scenarios since they were approved by their teams,” adds Sophie.
The release of a global blockbuster obviously offers a welcome showcase for the young company, but Sophie is fondling a project with much bigger ambitions.
A nourishing serum for all plants
She particularly likes the idea of contemplationin the sense of what the philosopher practiced Aristotle that placed the contemplative life – the theoretical activity – as the activity of the sage who practices virtue. Contemplation becoming an action in itself, the highest of activities.
Sophie, with Aglaé, wants to push the boundaries of bioluminescence like what Glowee and her bacteria from the abyss can do, for example in the Yvelines🇧🇷 Nor does it change the genome of plants like what the MIT in the United States.
She wants to establish her process in the long term, bring new vision of our urban centers with a utilitarian and ecological dimension to add to the visual aspect and its invention fits into a nourishing serum with fluorophore that reacts to black light. a serum in symbiosis with the plantbiodegradable and bio-based.
molecules react to ultraviolet and the serum is injected into cut flowers and the reaction takes place by capillary action, or into plant roots and this time the serum is inoculated into the root system. It lasts for about three to four months before requiring a new injection.
Chartres pilot city in France
Aglaé is currently collaborating with Metropolis of Chartres and the Center-Val de Loire Region being able to create lasting luminescence in urban crops without having to uproot them to provide their quarterly dose of whey.
The research work is carried out in lucé’s greenhouses🇧🇷
Because the long-term idea is to be able to create an ecosystem with reduced handling costs, a decrease in traditional urban lighting. We had Chartres in lights, tomorrow we will also have Chartres and its plants in lights.
Sophie was able to test this concept recently at Thoiry Zoo. She wants to create that bridge between the‘artisticthe conceptual exposed in a museum and the utility size, at the service of the greatest number.
With Chartres Métropole, collaboration revolves around projects heart of the citythey roundabouts and berms with urban signage and parks and gardens🇧🇷
A triple objective pursued
With this approach, Aglaé pursues a triple objective:
■ Substantially reduce light pollution in urban areas, because one-third of the 60% of traditional light poles in France emit light into the sky, which is unnecessary and expensive and seriously harms biodiversity. Switching to LEDs has the merit of consuming less, but often the loss of light is still present.
■ Bring lighting to a human scale and no longer fixed to the top of poles. The black light can be produced by solar energy with panels, which will also allow this energy to be re-injected into the city. A collaboration is being made in this direction with French and Quebec engineers in urban planning and optics.
■ Urban trees bringing more quality of life, reconnection with nature. It is also another way of looking at our cities, a less artificial one.
“We really enjoyed the whole Chartres ecosystem”
The mayor of Chartres, Jean-Pierre Gorges, often compares his city to a flower with a heart and petals, its neighborhoods.
Such a project could only convince the agglomeration to swarm and Sophie Hombert admits to having been seduced by “the whole Chartres ecosystem when we decided to incubate our start-up there in March 2022, we were really looking for an incubator geared towards a tourism dimension”.
In the eyes of the young entrepreneur Chartres is the ideal city to know Aglaé“We elected managers who were very open to innovative concepts, whether ecological, landscape or urban transition, which allowed us to develop the concept”.
The Coeur de ville project has just gone through a regional commission with Atout France, a tourism promotion agency. It must be said that with the cathedral and all that revolves around Chartres in lights, there is a real card to play.
The idea is to imagine a route connecting the buildings, for example, greening the banks of the Eure with luminescent plants, this will be unprecedented in France and Chartres will act as a pilot city. We can then imagine a standardized solution.
The creation of this project should happen in the next eighteen months.
Who wants to be my partner on the M6
If you want to know more about Sophie and her project, you can find her on January 11, 2023 on M6 in the program Who wants to be my partner🇧🇷
“A very good experience, but a little stressful” confides Sophie because the principle of this program is to raise funds in forty minutes.
Sophie essentially highlighted her international development projects, Canada which is not bad luck with the investors present, he defended in particular his research and development contracting needs.
Aglaé is increasingly requested for events such as very recently the 20th anniversary of the Cosmetic Valley Congress, but it is clear that the start of seven employees to date points much further, to the metamorphosis of our cities, “we must may utopia be stronger 🇧🇷
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