Radical and outstanding innovations was the focus of the 7th National Meeting of Innovation Directors hold in Paris last June.
The summit split into two parts, the Hermes award winners ceremony, and a series of thematic panels and lectures.
My friend Yann Cramer and I had the chance to moderate thematic sessions. They are the opportunity to listen to brief presentations, followed by a debate between panelists. Below are a few take-aways.
Health, Fitness, Beauty, and Well-being
- Taking temperature without contact with an optical point, and reading it on the wall or on the forehead of your child, is now possible with Tecnimed;
- Makeup Genius by Loreal is a mobile app, a make-up simulator to test make-up products on your face with your mobile phone;
Some insights from the panel:
- ‘For an innovation to work, it requires meaning; innovation needs time to incubate, it nurtures in an environment of goodwill;’
- ‘One shall not remain stubborn, and know when put things on hold: an idea can make a come back 20 years later, some ideas are persistent!’
- ‘Innovation doesn’t fit into boxes: we did not limit ourselves, and they thought we were crazy.’
Handicap and dependance
- Essilor holds innovation in its DNA thanks to 25% of his employees being shareholders, and a strong policy of partnership (over 200 since 2005). It focuses now on low cost glasses at $2, and wishes to address a 50 millions people market;
- Tobii provides an eye tracker for every device;
- With Nao, Aldebarran designs a cute robot which wants to be accepted by human beings, ‘for what it is more than for what it does’. It interacts with voice and eyes, and initiates an emotional relationship. Aldebarran has created a specific Ask Nao line for autism, and also works on embedded robotics in cars.
Education, culture, and knowledge
- Share my lesson believes tablet is a fabulous opportunity for teaching: ‘we are digital, always open, we plan to build upon tablets, it’s non conflict at all, even more, 100% complementary. Tablets are an incredibly disruptive tech for the class room, to meet the children with a collaborative tool, design adaptative learning, put every kid in front of the tablet and feed where they are, and move at various spaces’;
- Senai adds a comment: ‘let’s not give all the responsabilities to digital, we’ll always need the touch of the machine’.
Industry, systemes, and networks
- SolideXpress opens a new era of 3D manufacturing, printing bricks for houses, 50% lighter, prosthesis that can be frequently replaced, unbelievable parts in sugar or chocolate or without shape, for nano tech, and via biomimetism.
- Fives brings flexibility in manufacturing: by enabling instant-settings in the manufacturing line, it delivers mass-customisation. Factories are heading toward smaller sites, producing sophisticated and lighter materials, and getting smart (connected factories) for maintenance, and quality monitoring;
- BA Systemes is a leader in automated handling and storage, and especially Automated Guided Vehicles, and a pioneer in open innovation since 2007. It has recently designed a robot able to drill 11000 holes for a swimming pool, a robot used in radiography, a Cobot (Mobile Collaborative Service Robots), and a robot for reeducation;
- Enovasense measures thickness without any contact, through laser and infrared sensor: no more probe whose contact with a part can spoil it, Enovasense heats up the workpiece with laser, and detects the thermal flow, brilliant! Applications in the industry are endless;
- Sigfox is the low-cost operator for Internet of Things: below 1 yearly euro to connect your object, and soon without battery, with self-powered objects through future Sigfox radio chips; at the opposite of high throughput, Sigfox promotes low bandwidth for electricity meters, alarms, tensiometers, glucometers, city sensors, in a frugal innovation move. Sigfox uses a radio network with antennas covering dozen of kilometers, so you can bring your connected object with you within this surface.
- PSA Head of Research and Advanced Engineering Jean-Marc Finot presents an Hybrid Air car, on the path toward fuel consumption of 2 l/100 km, which is the amazing result of a fast-track entrepreneurial innovation process: a small team with a commando state of mind, acting in a start-up mode, with a sense of urgency and a feeling of pride;
- We were bluffed by Patrice Reilhac, Innovation & Collaborative Research director at Valeo, presenting the car that parks itself in; intuitive driving combines connected car, embedded sensors, cameras and a laser scanner, with partial automation, and offers you a valet in your pocket: the car can even get out of its parking place to fetch you.
Food and Agriculture
- Terrena, is a new type of agriculture: the ‘watchkeepers of the earth’ as they call themselves, are testers who experiment, infocasters who spread and convince, passionates who talk to consumers, and share their love for ‘their’ agriculture. It entices accuracy (the unit is a parcel, sowing is precise to 1 cm to do without weedkillers), and several technologies to coinnovate to map the soil, use SMS to monitor fungal disease, or measure himidity and physcal stress with probes;
- PAT is a companys which seems coming out Encounters of the Third Kind: it develops carnivorous plants which produce rare compounds like liquid proteins similar to human genes;
City life and Public services
- 27eme region is headed by Stephane Vincent. It is an amazing task force which impulses, and coaches innovations in the public sector. Public sector is adopting modern innovation methods, like immersion (among users), observation, participation, design, and prototypage. 27eme region supports various kind of challenges: 1) re-thinking a regional policy within 5 days, helping public servants to redesign their organization; 2) connecting high-schools to digital, more than a new equipment, revisiting behaviors with ‘inverse class’ (students viewing lesson on video at home, and raising questions at school), and Q&A or QCM executed on mobile handsets; 3) simplifying social administrative request from a user point of view, and testing the new process with 2000 people; 4) imagining oneself in the shoes of a start-up, and retracing the entrepreneurial path in the administration labyrinth.