Digital innovation is a priority for the Atlantic France region. Many local players are developing solutions that are recognised on both a national and international level.
The seventh edition of VivaTech, Europe’s largest tech fair, will be held in Paris from the 14th to the 17th of June. It will bring together both French and international players in innovation, and the Atlantic France region will proudly be represented. This will be an opportunity to take a look at digital innovation projects which are making the news in various sectors.
Smart cities are emerging all over the world and Atlantic France is no exception. Since 2020, Angers Loire Métropole has been working alongside green gas and electricity supplier Engie to reinvent the city through digital technology.
Several solutions have already been implemented, such as intelligent and sustainable lighting, smart waste bins, and sensor-based watering systems for parks and gardens. The aim is to move towards real-time management adapted to the needs of the citizens of the city.
According to the Angers metropolis, the Smart City project meets the dual objective of saving energy and improving public services, to the benefit of the environment and the residents. In fact, the investment should be made profitable by the savings made thanks to the implementation of innovative services.
Improving programming tools
Digital innovation through programming software is at the heart of business and some solutions are emerging in order to improve programming tools. The startup Bump.sh, which specialises in the governance of API ecosystems, has raised €4 million to develop an API hub.
The Angers-based startup offers developers a way to collaborate efficiently in API ecosystems that are becoming increasingly complex. 200 companies are already customers, including Exoscale, Canopy Servicing, Forto, Meilisearch and Memo Bank.
This round of funding will allow the company to continue developing its product, incorporate advanced collaboration features and recruit around 20 new positions.
The future of AI
One of the top topics that will be discussed at VivaTech in June is AI. In Atlantic France, several companies are developing remarkable innovative AI tools in various sectors. This is the case of Laval-based startup Lexistems, which has developed an intelligent semantic engine that is based on AI. The company is one of the winners of the DeepNum20, a new French Tech programme designed to showcase the digital technology champions of tomorrow.
The GAFAM-free startup, which describes itself as the “ChatGPT of the enterprise”, has developed several solutions for the automatic processing of language and the search for specific information which is scattered throughout multiple documents. Large groups such as Total and Enedis, owners of large amounts of data, are among the first customers.
Artificial intelligence can also be used to automate certain quality control operations. Le Mans-based ADG Software Engineering has developed an AI-based software called Theïa that automates the quality control of weld seams on mechanical parts by using cameras and infrared sensors. Its quality control solution is already in use in Renault’s plants in Le Mans, Douai and Cléon.
The region intends to be at the forefront of issues relating to artificial intelligence. For example, the regional consortium Diva, which had already previously been mentioned by us in an article, was officially launched at the West Data festival. Its aim is to pool skills in data management and artificial intelligence in order to better support VSEs, SMEs, ETIs and local authorities in their projects.
Simplify working relationships
Companies from outside the region are interested in the area. For instance, Paris-based startup Vkard, which produces connected business cards, has chosen to set up its second production workshop in Atlantic France. With this new site, the startup hopes to increase its daily production capacity to 500 cards. More durable than their paper ancestors, these cards incorporate a unique QR code, which allows for direct registration in the phonebook of those who scan it. Since its launch in 2021, it has produced 10,000 cards.
In many ways, digital innovation allows businesses and also organisations to simplify working relationships. The Verrières-en-Anjou (near Angers) startup Vorg.fr has created a volunteer management platform that allows users to supervise personnel resources during an event, to communicate with them by emailing and sending SMS, and to edit individual mission sheets. In 2022, it supported 120 cultural and sports organisations.
Cybersecurity and privacy
One of the other main topics that will be discussed at VivaTech is cybersecurity, and the region is not short of strong players in this sector, such as Digitemis. A few months ago, the Vendée-based company opened new offices in Angers where 4 employees now work. But the number of employees is set to double by the end of 2024. Founded in 2014, this company, which has a total of 60 employees, offers protection services against cyber attacks as well as penetration tests and RGPD compliance services to SMEs, ETIs and large accounts.
Centrale Nantes school launches a new research chair with Siemens
Proof that the region is of interest to leading international players, Centrale Nantes and the American company Siemens Digital Industries Software have strengthened their cooperation by launching a new research chair in the field of digital simulation applied to fluid mechanics. The agreement provides multi-year funding of several million euros.