EnerBee, Damae and VoSS. After months of suspense, the wait is over! 200 entries in 3 categories were received, 100 projects were pre-selected, then 13 candidates were invited to pitch their innovations to a jury of experts, which whittled them down to just 6. Now, at last, the 3 winners of the 2015 EDF Pulse awards have been announced. After a ceremony at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris on 4 June, an audience of start-up founders, journalists, bloggers and investors found out the results of the votes cast by almost 122,000 anonymous people online, who were given the important task of choosing the finalists. Here are the prizewinners with their supremely promising projects, all sharing the same challenge: to promote a sustainable and meaningful future.
In the Smart Living category, the EnerBee project got the most votes from the public for its micro-generator, which converts the energy from our day-to-day movements into electricity. It's an eco-friendly solution that replaces batteries and cells, and makes the devices we use every day self-sufficient in energy. When they collected their trophy, Jérôme Delamare and Pierre Coulombeau, the creators of EnerBee, said that they derive great pleasure from inventing things that solve the challenges of our day-to-day lives. They added that, even if they hadn't won the prize, just getting to this stage of the competition was already a victory in terms of the media coverage and commercial benefits it has brought.
In the Health category, the Damae project received the majority of votes on the EDF Pulse website for its medical imaging device that provides non-invasive screening for skin cancers. The purpose of Damae is to allow dermatologists to carry out early diagnoses of malignant tumours through simple contact with the surface of the skin. David Siret and Anaïs Barut, the 2 representatives of this innovative technology, said: "The competition has been a long adventure, full of suspense, which, since the end of 2014, has enabled us to accelerate our prototyping and keep to our timescales."
Finally, in the Science category, the VoSS project won over voters with its low-cost solar energy storage solution: a flywheel made from ultra high-performance concrete. As they took to the stage to pick up their prize, Anne and André Gennessaux, the founders of Energiestro – the company that created VOSS – simply said that they were happy to have gained such recognition from their peers and hoped that the prize and the support from the EDF Group would maximize the usefulness of their project.