Awards ceremony for the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies (CNCE)

- Incubator news

Thursday 8th December at Sophia Antipolis. The Amphithéâtre des Lumières at the CICA hosted the cream of the crop of local innovation.

From 3D modeling of photos accessible to all, to cookies to combat dryness of the mouth and floating wind farms, innovation in the PACA region clearly spans many diverse fields, and one of the reasons for this is that innovation is given lots of support here.

Numerous mechanisms have been set up to aid de...

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Thursday 8th December at Sophia Antipolis. The Amphithéâtre des Lumières at the CICA hosted the crème de la crème of local innovation.

Thursday 8th December at Sophia Antipolis. The Amphithéâtre des Lumières at the CICA hosted the crème de la crème of local innovation.

From 3D modeling of photos accessible to all, to cookies to combat dryness of the mouth and floating wind farms, innovation in the PACA region clearly spans many diverse fields, and one of the reasons for this is that innovation is given lots of support here.

Numerous mechanisms have been set up to aid development, amongst which are the business incubators.

Of the twelve PACA award winners at the CNCE, eleven were supported by an incubator: The Telecom ParisTech Incubator (MobiquiThings), the Impulse Incubator (Théravas, Genepred and PixinBio) and the Paca-Est Incubator (Ecoat, NeuroDiff, KneeGuard, AquabioMass, EasyCFD, Acute3D and Solidages).

A ceremony in their honour was organized at Sophia Antipolis with the Alpes-Maritimes Prefect in attendance.

The ceremony was opened by Gérard GIRAUDON, President of the Paca-Est Incubator:

I greet our honored guests the Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes,

the Vice-President, representing the President of the Alpes Maritimes General Council,

the Chancellor of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis,

the representative of the Senator-Mayor of Valbonne, Vice-President of CASA Sophia Antipolis district authority,

Pierre LAFFITE, Honorary Senator,

Ladies and gentlemen the elected representatives,

Dear colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

As the President of the Paca-Est Incubator, co-founded eleven years ago by UNS, USTV and Inria, I have great pleasure in welcoming you to celebrate the PACA region winners of the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies.

Indeed, this is the first time this ceremony in honor of the winners has taken place in the east of the PACA region and I would like to thank Pierre Michel, Regional Delegate for Research and Technology, for this initiative.

Twelve years ago, the law on innovation and research laid the foundations for mechanisms to aid technology transfer and innovation from public research, notably through the creation of businesses for employment creation and wealth generation.

Among these mechanisms, the publicly funded incubators and the institution of the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies, funded by OSEO, are now proving their complementarity, as a great number of the CNCE award winning projects have been supported by the regional Impulse and Belle de Mai incubators based in Marseille, the Paca-Est Incubator in Toulon, Nice and Sophia Antipolis and the Telecom ParisTech Incubator at Sophia Antipolis.

Over its ten-year existence, the Paca-Est Incubator has supported more than 100 projects and 73 start-ups, of which 85% are still in business and employing more than 450 employees. 8 industrial acquisitions have opened the way for the relocation or consolidation of large international groups in the region, with, for example, Dassault Systems in Sophia Antipolis, which bought Seemage, or Alcatel-Lucent which bought Openplug and Optis, which took over Simplysim in Toulon.

The Paca-Est Incubator is now located across premises of almost 700m² here at the CICA, an initiative of the Departmental Council 06, and works with the incubators in Toulon which are managed by TVT Innovation, Grasse and Nice Cote d’Azur.

The mechanisms for support and innovation have become better focused each year and this has been borne out by the results.

Forthcoming investment will see the arrival of new projects and bodies to add to the current set-up.

Here I'm particularly thinking about the development of the Corsican PACA SATT (Society for the Acceleration of Technology Transfer), the activities of which should be deployed alongside those of the publicly funded incubators in the future.

Our objective must be to increase performance right down the innovation chain. Our collective success depends on it. The whole Paca region must work out how to draw the best from the available mechanisms. Innovation is one of the essential keys to our future and the object of the EU's next Framework Programme.

Business creation is certainly one of the most effective ways to get the results of research to market. Innovation is a complex process in which enthusiastic and entrepreneurial men and women are the key, as long as the available mechanisms are able to offer coherent support.

The publicly funded incubators and OSEO have long since taken this on board as their main objective.

Pierre Michel is going to introduce the Competition, then Jean-Marc Battigello, Oseo Regional Delegate for Innovation, will talk about the economic impact of the Competition before welcoming the PACA award winners for 2011 to the platform to give us a 2 or 3 minute introduction to their activities.

Pierre ESCOUBAS, founder of Venometech and a winner in 2009, will tell us about his experience and the contribution the CNEC has made to his business before handing over to Jean-Michel Drevet, Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, to close the ceremony.

Thank you all very much for coming. I'm now going to hand over to Pierre Michel, the Regional Delegate for Research and Technology.

Pierre Michel, Regional Delegate for Research and Technology, comes forward to introduce the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies and then Jean-Marc BATTIGELLO speaks on the economic impact of the Competition.

 

The ceremony was closed by Jean-Michel DREVET, Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes:

The winners of the Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies - 8th December 2011

the speech as delivered shall prevail

Mr Vice-President of the General Council,

Mr Chancellor of the University,

Madam the Economics Councillor,

Mr President of the Paca-Est Incubator,

Regional Delegate for Research and Technology,

OSEO Delegate for Innovation,

Ladies and gentlemen the award winners,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It's with a great deal of pride that I'm here today to meet these brilliant minds whose value and ideas have been recognized by the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies.

1. What impressed me when I saw the list of winners was the incredible diversity of your projects. A diversity first of all in terms of the scientific fields in which you employ your talents. Information technology, micro-biology, pharmaceuticals, fluid mechanics... the list is as long as the questions that come to mind on reading it.

You have also set yourselves very diverse, though thorough development criteria and it's this thoroughness that has marked out your projects among the 800-odd submitted to the jury.

Your diversity of approach is also evident in terms of the technologies used but also the financing and the quality of the people carrying projects and this diversity can be seen in the applications you envisage for your ideas. Mr PONS aims to provide the building sector with new 3D modeling solutions; Mrs PRECHEUR has come up with a remedy for dryness in the mouth; Mrs PIERRE is fighting the extinction of fish by cultivating seaweed; and Mr CHOULET is working to improve the performance of emulsion paint.

From industry to health, agriculture to food, diverse fields are involved and no doubt the most attractive aspect of your projects is that they're all extremely practical. I can no longer count the number of friends or colleagues who have needed at one time or another, Mr BEHR, a mechanism to stop them rupturing ligaments on the slopes. And even when it comes to a subject such as fluid mechanics, Mr DURAND, you aim to make the topic accessible to laypeople. Mr CLATZ is making the complex data of medical imaging easier to use. Your research has definite applications and a vocation to serve society and the economy very quickly. I congratulate you.

2. The recognition of your ideas and your capacity to put them into practice is an assurance of the bright future in store for your projects. Of course, nothing is certain, but you're clearly on the right track.

What's more, you're not alone. You have the support of the state, which has always supported innovation. Here we are today in the Amphitéatre Lumière and we might ask what would have become of the genius of Louis and Auguste Lumière without the support of the Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale (French national society for the advancement of industry). The first of the brothers' films was screened in the Society's premises.

And this is the raison d'être of the CNCE: to discover and promote today's ideas and tomorrow's innovative projects. This is also the ambition behind OSEO: to provide talented entrepreneurs with what they often lack, financing. Several hundred million euros are allocated to this effect each year.

3. This has also been one of the - successful - objectives of the Paca-Est Incubator at Sophia-Antipolis since it was set up in 2001. Mr Giraudon, your organization is a gateway for technologies from university labs and public research organizations and opens the way to the creation of start-ups.

Not just any start-ups either but those that provide high levels of added value and which are needed to remain at the forefront of technology and push it forward.

At a time when there's lots of talk of careers, university programs of the future and the need to remove barriers between education and enterprise, your presence at the heart of Sophia Antipolis, with so many prestigious teaching and research centers on your doorstep, clearly augurs well for the future.

Indeed, the incubator is never more deserving of its name than when it serves to herald the future. I have heard talk, Mr LABAT, of your "minikonfs" and while I like the concept, I'm even more excited by the subjects you choose to speak about. I note that you began the year on the theme of recruitment and that you finished it two days ago on that of social responsibility.

It's here that I leave off from my admiration of your scientific and technological projects and once again put on my Prefect's hat as the person responsible for jobs in the department. Your ideas have received support because innovative entrepreneurship is perhaps the most effective of all growth drivers and certainly the most promising. They have also received support because the state is aware that these ideas lead to jobs. I know that the companies that come out of this incubator create an average of a little over seven jobs. We need your ideas as they are part of the solution to the crisis on the job market and this is why it's not too soon to talk to you about employment and social responsibility. The question will, I hope, come up sooner than you think, if it hasn't already.

In the meantime, I wish each of you good luck. Indeed this applies to all project leaders this incubator has taken under its wing. Keep in mind that France is counting on you. I have no doubt that you will continue to show yourselves worthy of the confidence that has been placed in your ideas, your talent and your work.

Thank you!