Following in the footsteps of Languedoc-Roussillon, the Hauts-de-France, Normandy, and PACA regions will be hosting local innovation competitions.
EDF Pulse just keeps expanding. After travelling to Languedoc-Roussillon last year, across the Channel this summer, and to the Hauts-de-France region in September, our innovation competition is now settling in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Normandy regions. These new regional events demonstrate EDF’s willingness to take the time to carefully search for new technological gems: “We realized that the national competition conveyed a positive image of EDF, but at the same time, few local start-ups applied. To help them gain access to this opportunity, we have emphasized regional participation”, stated Virginie Monnier-Mangue last year. Ms. Monnier-Mangue is the director of EDF offices in Languedoc-Roussillon.
This is the perfect opportunity to showcase the dynamism of local ecosystems, with representatives from universities, prestigious institutions, public and private laboratories in the north, French-Tech Aix-Marseille and Marseille technology incubators. “In our region, many start-ups create products and innovations relating to the major issues facing society, including digital life, electric transportation, energy efficiency, and health. They are tackling challenges like the energy transition and progress. We hope to support them by holding this competition”, stated Philippe Vasseur, president of the Hauts-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the competition organisers.
As with any tour of France, ours came across a number of regional specialities. In addition to the categories used in the national competition, including low-carbon city, connected surroundings, and e-health, the Hauts-de-France competition included a fourth category: smart maintenance. “In this historically very industrial region, companies in this sector also require innovation related to maintenance to always strive to be more efficient and competitive”, emphasized Philippe Vasseur.
This concern is shared by businesses in PACA, where the “industry of the future” category aims to recognise the most innovative start-up in the field of mechanics, materials and industrial processes. “That could be a start-up working to address energy issues, for example by trying to reduce the environmental impact or the cost of setting up transportation and production facilities for electricity, gas or heating. Or it could be a start-up working on stronger, lighter or more intelligent materials, advanced manufacturing processes, data processing systems, or digital technologies more generally”, explained Thierry Jacques-Thierry Monti, a general representative of EDF PACA.
It’s the same in Normandy in the ‘Industrial Performance’ category, which will reward innovation in areas of development aimed at improving technical, energy, and environmental performance in industrial processes. For Alban Verbecke, EDF Normandy’s regional representative, “EDF is a major economic stakeholder in Normandy, with an annual economic impact of approximately €2 billion. The EDF Pulse awards in Normandy are a win-win situation: the innovations we support help us in turn to improve performance in our business lines”.