On November 22, 2018, the DIVA project – which combines human cognition, virtual reality and machine learning – received the "DeepTech" award at the Start-Ulm competition. The DIVA software platform is being developed by teams from the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Curie. It is already being used by scientists for 3D visualization and processing of scientific images, and it will soon also be adopted by surgeons to prepare for complex surgery.
For the fourth year in a row, the finals of the Start-Ulm competition were held at the École normale supérieure in Paris. Set up by the Club des Normaliens dans l'Entreprise (CNE) under the high patronage of Marc Mézard, Director of the École normale supérieure, this competition recognizes the work of startups created by members of Paris-Sciences-Lettres (PSL) University, of which the Institut Pasteur is a partner, and the Institut Curie a member, and members of the École normale supérieure in Lyon, Rennes, Saclay and Ulm.
This year, the panel chaired by Frédéric Mazzella, founder and President of BlaBlaCar, decided to award the DeepTech prize to the DIVA (Data Integration and Visualization in Augmented and Virtual Environments) platform. DIVA is a software platform that was developed at the Institut Curie and the Institut Pasteur, respectively by:
- the team of Maxime Dahan† (PhD, director of the Light-Based Observation and Control of Cellular Organization laboratory; Institut Curie), now run by Mathieu Coppey and Bassam Hajj;
- and the team of Jean-Baptiste Masson (PhD, director of the Decision and Bayesian Computation laboratory; Institut Pasteur).
The DIVA project is currently directed by Mohamed El Beheiry (PhD, post-doctoral fellow - Institut Curie), with assistance from the Institut Pasteur's Sébastien Doutreligne (PhD, software engineer - Institut Pasteur) for the development aspects.
3D visualization already used for research, soon to be introduced in hospitals
DIVA "enables users to analyze, visualize and quantify their scientific images," explains Mohamed El Beheiry in the video below, which shows how users of the platform are placed in virtual 3D environments.
Meet Mohamed El Beheiry, a scientist at the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Curie, presents DIVA, a platform that places users in virtual 3D environments. (This video is in French.)
This software platform has huge potential in aiding with preparations for complex surgery and will soon be used on all the sites of the Institut Curie hospital complex. The software platform will enable surgeons to prepare for surgery (practicing movements before the operation, anticipating the margins around a tumor, etc.) with a much higher level of precision than scanners and other imaging techniques. As well as its value as a teaching aid for surgery, DIVA also has several research applications: it has already been used on the Institut Pasteur campus for visualizing complex microscopy images, recalibrating large 3D volumes and reconstructing neural trees from raw images.
In selecting DIVA, the Start-Ulm awards recognize the excellence of the research carried out by this new startup and the teaching potential of a platform that will be of benefit to society as a whole.
On December 7, 2018 the DIVA software platform will be presented during a special artificial intelligence (AI) day looking at the latest developments in the field and the implications of AI for business, for the 5th edition of the Smart Days conference for companies organized by the Versailles-Yvelines Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its partners.