“Medi, Vidi, Vici” - new interview series regarding medtech sector
AFAM has recently published an interview with Carla Cornillon, biomedical engineering student at Biomedical Master 1 at Arts et Metiers.
After this interview appeared, the idea of interviewing alumni with biomedical engineering background and professional experience came to us.
Please meet our first interviewee Alexandre Becache (Bo 219), VIA (Volontaire International en Administration) in the French Embassy in Boston.
AFAM: Hello Alexandre and thank you for agreeing to answer my questions. You graduated from Arts et Métiers and hold a double master's degree in BioMedical Engineering from PSL and Université de Paris. Please tell us a few words about your interest towards biomedical. When did this interest appear?
Alexandre: I think the project matured over my time in Arts et Métiers in Bordeaux. I was always interested in the health industry and heard about this research master program that was really appealing. I thought it was a great way to use the knowledge acquired in an industry that can save or improve lives.
AFAM: you have been working as Deputy attaché for Science and Technology in the French Embassy in Boston. Please tell us about your mission and how is it related to the biomedical field?
Alexandre: Our mission at the Office for Science and Technology is to foster French American cooperation on innovation matters, especially in academics i.e. between universities. It goes from organizing learning expeditions in Boston for French delegations to hosting startups seeking technological and R&D partnerships with companies or universities from New England (MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Tufts, Northeastern University…). Since the Boston area is a thriving place for biotech and pharma companies, a lot of subjects are related to my background in biotechnology which then comes very helpful.
AFAM: Boston in the US is considered to be one of the centers of biomedical engineering, research and innovation. Do you take advantage of being in Boston to advance your career in biomedical engineering?
Alexandre: Exactly, this opportunity was not-to-miss in that regard. I consider Boston the number one place to be for biomedical engineering so building a network here is highly valuable.
AFAM: Any biomedical startups in the US or in France you are following or/and have been impressed by recently? Why?
Alexandre: In the context of the NETVA program (www.netvafrance.com) which we are co-organizing, we will be welcoming three very innovative startups in the medtech sector: InSpek which develops a new sensor destined to bioprocesses companies, Myotact which builds a bracelet that aims at reducing phantom pain for amputees and Chipiron, a startup developing a new portable MRI machine that will change the way we perform medical imaging. I truly believe they are candidates to become the next unicorns !
AFAM: Boston is also a beautiful city. How do you spend your weekends, your evenings? Any cultural, social or sports events you’ve attended recently? Any hobbies you found interesting?
Alexandre: Boston is a very pleasant city, not as big as NYC and pretty walkable. On the weekends, I often visit NYC which is not far away or stay in Boston and join friends to our new HO: a pub where we can play pool. There are a lot of sports events in Boston, whether in football, basketball, hockey or baseball. I’ll be seeing the Celtics in a few weeks!
AFAM: in our Shasta program, we often help students interested in the biomedical field. What would you advise to these students who are willing to find an internship in the US?
Alexandre: pursuing a VIA, I can say that students from Arts et Métiers have a valuable resume when it comes to VIE/VIA abroad. One should really keep an eye on the Business France’s job listings platform and apply to as many as needed to maximize chances. VIE/VIA is a great way to obtain visa to come work in the US, where biomedical engineers jobs are filled pretty fast.
AFAM: Any future plans concerning your professional career you’d like to share with us?
Alexandre: I am doing a VIA (Volontaire International en Administration) which is a one-year contract that can be renewed one more year. I don’t know yet what I will do next, whether staying in the US (which requires a visa sponsorship) or going back to France. I’ll stay open to opportunities!
AFAM: Thank you for your time, Alexandre and have a wonderful day!