On March 20, 2014, the French Prime Minister announced the first 58 preliminary stage-winners of the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” that will each receive initial state funding of up to €200,000 for their project.
Here we focus on three innovative French projects that were among those selected.
Among the seven strategic fields defined by the French government for this competition, the “big data” field has proven to be the most successful to date, with 15 projects selected from nearly 190 propositions. One of these is “Smart Search”, an employment search engine created by Simon Bouchez and Jérémy Gresser, which uses government employment data (from INSEE, the National Employment Office, Etalab) to match job offers to promising job-seekers. As such, it seeks to use data processing to create a more efficient and customized labor market for recruiters, candidates and decision-makers alike. The “Smart Search” project was presented by a French start-up, Multiposting, founded in 2008 that develops online software solutions for the human resources industry. Thanks to its selection in the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” and the subsequent award of €200,000, this project will enable the company “to strengthen its positioning as a leading player in the e‑recruitment market, both in France and internationally”.
Another innovative project from another sector is “Instent” in the “personalized medicine” field. Involving teams of students and practitioners from the École Polytechnique, the École National Supérieure Cachan and the Georges Pompidou Hospital, the aim of this project is to create an intelligent stent. This device, inserted into the arteries of heart disease patients to prevent heart attacks, will now also be able to communicate data on the state of the blood vessels being treated, and may help to save and improve lives by indicating whether a further operation is required. It also promises to lower treatment costs in the French healthcare system and avoid unnecessary surgery.
The “Move2Chm” project, presented by Veolia Environnement in partnership with SAS PIVERT and Sofiprotéol, was selected in the “plant proteins and plant chemistry” field. Its project leader is Anne-Sophie Lepeuple, head of the “Agronomy & Biotechnology” research group at Veolia Environnement. “Move2Chem” is a renewable energies sector project that reuses waste from the agri-food industry. The idea is to transform the waste into “chemical molecules to create new materials and products (dyes, solvents, polymers, etc.).” This ingenious method not only avoids depleting fossil resources but also reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
These three projects, along with the other preliminary stage-winners already selected, are just a small reflection of the buoyancy of the innovation sector in France.
For further information, please visit:
A list of the first 58 projects selected during the start-up phase of the competition (in French)
The “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” press pack (in French)