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”.
Now it’s all up to the start-ups.