This year, once again, the EDF Pulse Start-up Awards attracted many innovation pioneers. With 332 applications, of which 44% were submitted by mixed-gender candidate groups, the 6th-ever Pulse awards promise new discoveries in the competition's 3 main thematic areas: connected well-being, sustainable regions, and work 4.0.
Want to learn more? We will let you in on some of the trends that may wind up winning the innovation prize.
Data-based connected wellness
With an ageing population, climate change, pollution-related illnesses, healthcare staffing shortages, new consumption patterns, and the constant search for greater well-being, the Healthcare sector is being revolutionised, and technology is at the forefront. Large tech firms have been focusing on this area for several years already. Apple includes health apps on all of its devices, and even provides equipment for American hospitals. Amazon is getting into the insurance business and buying an online pharmacy that delivers medication at record speeds. Google is working on increasing life expectancies by detecting and preventing illnesses such as cancer. And what do these initiatives all have in common? Data, which is used to better anticipate problems, improve daily life, and make healthcare more effective.
Besides these (health)tech giants, there are plenty of startups getting involved. For proof, look no farther than the 95 projects presented at the 2019 EDF Pulse Start-up Awards that use technology to improve human lives. From teleconsultation equipment to fall detectors, and including chatbots that follow each patient as they receive treatment, connected socks to monitor babies’ health, and UV index indicators, many 2019 candidates were inspired by revolutions in the health and well0being sectors!
Data has become the holy grail of the healthcare sector. It is revolutionising all of the new opportunities that are being created.
Arielle Le Bail, Fabernovel Innovate Project Analyst
Sustainable regions, the sharing economy, sustainable mobility, and green energy
Faced with daunting demographic and environmental challenges, many regions are trying to reinvent themselves, making themselves more sustainable and attractive. Public spaces and infrastructure have gotten a facelift, and even organisational structures are evolving. Some of the most important innovations of the last few years have included the explosion of Third Places, increasing user participation, the use of experimental and temporary locations, the revitalisation of unused and “blighted” spaces, the sudden surge in green mobility, the accessibility of public spaces, and the growth of the sharing economy.
Amidst all of this upheaval, startups have an essential role to play. There were 141 projects submitted as candidates for the 2019 EDF Pulse Start-up Awards that are already ahead of the pack. An app for sharing grocery shopping among neighbours, an inter-company circular economy network, energy-saving container homes, independent green energy production, bicycles that can be converted into electric mini-cars, hybrid-engine aircraft that can be used as flying taxis...This year's awards prove that there are no bounds on imaginative solutions for building the cities and regions of tomorrow!
Innovation often makes a region more attractive. It's even better than traditional regional marketing!
Ghislain Delabie, OuiShare Mobility Connector
Work 4.0, or how digital technology is disrupting the business world
The world of business has not remained immune to these sweeping changes. On one hand, there is an unprecedented wave of technology that is impacting all companies. AI, blockchain, edge computing, bots, 5G, 3D printing, virtual reality, and digital workplaces are all challenges that many companies are facing. On the other hand, millennials are entering the market and new modes of working have arisen (flex-offices, coworking, microworking, remote first, etc.), which are marked by increasing nomadism and a greater desire for independence.
The cross-roads between these technological and organisational revolutions is an incredibly promising area for new innovative upstarts! This can be clearly seen in the EDF Pulse Start-up Awards, that saw 96 new ideas submitted to us this year. These ideas include several cobots, virtual reality training, a marketplace with an algorithm for reselling industrial parts, a document filing system that uses AI, a social network that allows you to find nearby colleagues, an algorithm-based recruiting solution, and a dedicated platform for new workers...There's no doubt about it, the "Future of Wor" is here!
The future of work raises many questions, but one thing is sure: no matter what happens, the key is to increase competitiveness!
Vincent Charlet, General Representative of the Think Tank ‘La Fabrique de l’Industrie’