Innovations from all over the world – RNDI 2014 (1/2)

by Nicolas Bry

Marc Giget RNDI 2014Radical and outstanding innovations was the focus of the 7th National Meeting of Innovation Directors hold in Paris last June.

‘Radical innovations mark a new era linked to performance far greater than at previous times. They are unusual, hence their “extraordinary” dimension. They appear at the end of a great wave of innovations, after the purely scientific and technical phase.’ explains master of ceremony Marc Giget.

Radical and extraordinary also involve social: are there access to key services (health, education, travel, housing, fulfilling jobs….) for those people who have in the past always been excluded? The 7th National meeting of chief Innovation Officers explores the world of innovations which improve life in an extraordinary way.’

The summit split into two parts, the Hermes award winners ceremony, and a series of thematic panels and lectures.

Marc Giget Hermes RNDI 2014

Hermes Award Ceremony

1. Haier

Haier is headed by his CEO, Zhang Ruilin, toward user-centric innovation for consumer electronics and home appliances: he set-up the washing machine that one can visit! Innovation starts from people’s needs, Haier believes in grassroot innovation, or inverted pyramid where innovation moves bottom-up. Haier runs user-centric platforms for design (‘690 platform’), a network of innovators for R&D, and develops social initiatives (Hope project for education :  “sincerely giving back to society”);


2 Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer Institutes are bridging the gap between research institutes and industry & startups in Germany with a network of 67 institutes and research units.

3 Interface

Interface is an ‘all green’ leader, aiming at ‘mission Zero’:

  • Interface is the inventor of carpet tile which provides flexibility, and lets you reorganize space over time;
  • Its French factory manufactures 13 m2  of carpet tile module per hour,  with a fully carbon-neutral footprint:
  • Carpet raw material represents 65% of the polluting impact; therefore Interface uses vegetal fiber, and carpet standard set-up is performed without any glue;
  • Interface commits to coinnovation to invent future solutions, with new technologies, and develops networks to refine supply chain and build inclusive business.

4 Sharemylesson

Sharemylesson is a sharing platform for teaching resources, designed by, and for professors. It comes near 300 000 online resources, and 3 m teachers are using it: “they want to improve their teaching, be helped to be more effective in their classroom with their students. Suppport is based on what students need, many resources are explicitely for students, for example practice sheets for students. Creativity comes from the teachers. It covers all grade levels. Peer review makes best supports emerge. The resources are owned by the teachers, they get credit, and they have followers. Sharemylesson does not sell, it is public domain: we do not control who uses it. Freedom of speech. Free to share to any teacher”.


5 Rewalk, Argo’s exoskelet

Rewalk is an exskeleton technology that aims at making the user independant. It’s globally easy to use, you just click and start to walk: “ReWalk controls movement using subtle changes in center of gravity, mimics the natural gait pattern of the legs, and provides functional walking speed. A forward tilt of the upper body is sensed by the system, which triggers the first step”.

We had a very impressive and moving demo on stage.

Exoskeleton RNDI 2014

Paralysed athlete Claire Lomas finished the London Marathon in her bionic Rewalk suit, 16 days after she set off.


6 Siel bleu

Siel bleu promotes physical activity as a therapy for health acre and wellness, with specific programs targeted to freshly retired, senior citizen at home or in residence, and disabled persons.

They completed a perfect demo of their concept on stage, drawing the audience into simple and relaxing moves as shows the picture below!

Bataclan audience RNDI 2014

7 Senai Sao Paolo

Senai is a training institute handled and funded by industry representatives: it includes 538 training centers, over 27 Brazilian states, 20 technological domains (bio, nano, and materials research), and delivers free lessons in technology and applied research. It has worked on nano application for water filtering, lab on chip technology to detect disease, simulation programmes and manufacturing control for factories, aerospace with France, and railway with Deutsche Bahn. Senai programs are designed in partnership with industries.

8 Curitiba

Curitiba is a pioneer city in sustainable development: “innovation  is for us the way forward to sustainability, and a better quality of life” shares Gina Paladino. Curitiba metropole has a population of 3 millions, a 34 billion US$ GDP (80% of which are services), a 3% unemployment rate, and a 97,87 alphabetisation rate. Population diversity is at the basis of multiple creative projects. Gina stresses the continuity of the urban vision and planning, and the educational strenghth: 5 universities, and 80 institutes.

Montage_de_Curitiba CC BY SA 3.0 Mr.Jhosimar

Cutibita is also the birthpace of the famous quiet and fuel efficient Hibribus, with subway-akin door system to get in and out of the bus.  Check it out here.

Related post: RNDI 2014 (1/2)

image credits: Pierre Metivier RNDI Album, Montage_de_Curitiba CC BY SA 3.0 Mr.Jhosimar

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    future of TV - Leading by InnovatingNicolas is a senior VP at Orange Innovation Group. Serial innovator, he set-up creative BU with an international challenge, and a focus on new TV experiences. Forward thinker, he completed a thesis on “Rapid Innovation”, implemented successfully at Orange, further developed in his writings. He tweets @nicobry