Straight Outta Maisons-Alfort: Xavier Niel

At Presans, we like the idea of commandos. It captures a vital aspect of project-oriented management. When you think about it, everything great starts that way: the seminal force of a tightly-bonded team is a creative act we can witness in all historical moments of greatness. One just needs to think of the foundation of Rome, or to reminisce about the origins of Public Enemy. Closer to us here in France, the story of Internet access provider Free and its founder Xavier Niel is equally full of commando-style signature moves. Niel is our own supreme digital barbarian, and one could say that the epic tone of his saga was set from the start by the name-choice of his main holding company:

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Thierry Mandon’s Four Point Plan to Save the French Industry

Techinnov happened a couple of weeks ago. Now in its tenth year, this cross-industrial trade fair has become an important component of the Île-de-France innovation ecosystem. Once a year in February, the upper floor of Orly airport thus turns into a marketplace for large industrial companies, suppliers, labs, consultants, startups and investors. Together they represent a big chunk of the local innovation ecosystem. They were there mostly  to do business: 9000 scheduled meetings took place. A dedicated free meeting zone added a touch of spontaneity to the proceedings. Presans CEO Albert Meige participated in a roundtable organized to kick things off, alongside Sébastien Couturier, Innovation Manager at Aéroports de Paris, and Thierry Mandon, Minister of State for Higher Education and

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Trust within the (French) pact for competitiveness

“Promoting innovation and quality, entrepreneurship and risk-taking, breaking down barriers and working together, developing skills and (re)giving a taste for technical progress, opening new spaces for dialogue and stimulating collective intelligence. Here are all the ingredients to mobilize forces in the country and in particular its youth. This is where confidence and optimism will come from, and therefore success. “ Will the approach proposed by the Gallois Report create confidence? The 10th, 11th and 12th proposals certainly will contribute towards this goal: a “Small Business Act” to fix the rules of the game, requiring large groups to combine their suppliers (to obtain state support) and to develop their exchanges (IRT, clusters, industry committees …), increasing opportunities to learn or relearn to play  as a team. But perhaps

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Innovation Barometer 2012

Crisis and paradox   GE France commented on the results of the second annual GE Innovation Barometer a while ago. The results bear witness to the damaging impact of the economic crisis on the ability of businesses to engage in innovation. Managers who responded to the survey appear to expect innovation management to undergo a renewal. This would confirm a growing awareness of the need to adapt strategies and models to the new reality emerging from the crisis. The role of openness however still remains complex to describe, as underscored by the “partnership paradox” revealed by the survey: “However, a disconnect surfaced between the importance of partnerships and the need to pursue them in the near term. A “partnership paradox” presented

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Innovation in France : the View from Austria

The outside view on efforts undertaken to enhance the French innovation system is refreshingly severe: the new organization introduced by reforms conceals the unshakable hold of the old system, as well as the low appetite of France for globalization. Having eliminated the analytical room usually provided for wishful thinking, such a non-accommodating message invites us to renew from the ground up the way we view innovation and the economic and social changes it is a part of. First post of a series.

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Innovation & Open Innovation at Schneider Electric

At the seminar “Innovation, convergence of approaches” co-organized by INOVA and  Alma Consulting Group, Xavier Bonnaud, Innovation Manager of the “Services Industrie” Department at Schneider Electric, has presented some aspects of their innovation policy. The team of PRESANS was there to collect their feedback. “My 3 convictions” Xavier Bonnaud, in office since 1997, Schneider began by introducing his three convictions about innovation: Innovation is needed: innovation is not just a fad, it is a necessary condition for the survival of a company. A company that does not innovate dies. Collective Intelligence: by comparison with Web 2.0 (where readers are also contributors) that is much richer than Web 1.0 (where readers and contributors are distinct), Xavier shows that the so-called collaborative innovation, involving various

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French Public Research is Not Wired for Innovation

At the Roundtable “SMEs: how to integrate advanced technologies, in partnership with public research” held at the “RDV Carnot” on May 5th and 6th in Lyon, Florin Paun, Deputy Director for Industrial Innovation at ONERA, explained why “the French research is not wired for innovation”. TRLs After a few provocative remarks, Florin Paun, explained the concept of Technology Readiness Level. It is a concept widely used in the aerospace and defense sectors that helps to qualify the level of maturity of a technology. “Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure used by some United States government agencies and many of the world’s major companies (and agencies) to assess the maturity of evolving technologies (materials, components, devices, etc.) prior to incorporating that

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Google Search on Open Innovation in France

A Google Search on the key words open innovation france (click here to see) yields PRESANS in first position, www.openinnovation.eu in second position and openworldforum.org in third . Open Your Innovation appears only at the 6th position. To be improved!

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Open Innovation : Obama vs Sarkozy

In August 2009 White House sent a memorandum to the executives of various research agencies and departments regarding Science and Technology priorities for 2011 budget. The memorandum explains the prioritization regarding science and technology activities and emphasize the importance to increase the productivity of the research institutes and universities. “Agency budget submissions should also explain how the agency plans to take advantage of today’s open innovation model – in which the whole chain from research to application does not have to take place within a single lab, agency or firm – and become highly open to ideas from many players, at all stages.” Along the same line, the French Ministery of Higher Education and Research announced in the “29 propositions

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