The French Tech ‘ecosystem’ is astonishingly diverse and impressively efficient for preparing and seeding emerging markets such as virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchains, artificial intelligence and the smart city. It boosts innovation and renewal in real-life business fields that might seem ossified.
Jean-Baptiste Geissler, French Tech’s CEO, says the fields most commonly involved: are agriculture (green tech), health and transport. These are sectors with long histories and therefore ripe for regeneration. Though we can’t list all the region’s many startups, a few examples will show what their technologies and their creativity have to offer.
AGRICULTURE, TRANSPORT, HEALTH...
Agriculture’s origins are lost in the mists of time, but today’s farms are under threat from climate change. Ombrea and Telaqua are two Aix-based startups creating technology to address this increasingly worrying issue. Ombrea has invented a system that generates a microclimate that meets a crop’s needs very precisely and protects the plants from weather hazards such as drought, frost and hail. Telaqua’s system monitors, programs and optimises irrigation.
On the land transport side, with the massive increase in home deliveries since the pandemic began, Ciotaden DeKi offers a new model for carbon-free urban transport logistics to make the “last mile” more socially and economically beneficial. Marseille-based startup Tchek works with imagery and AI to find solutions for vehicle inspection and automated remarketing that could revolutionise the motor repair and body work trades. In sea transport, Searoutes in Marseille has designed an ecocalculator that works out the most economical and eco-friendly sea route from A to B, minimising carbon emissions.
In the health sector, a number of diagnostic solutions have emerged. C4Diagnostics in Marseille is developing fast in-vitro tests for human infectious diseases (particularly Legionnaire’s disease and urinary tract infections) and sensitivity to antibiotics. Visitadom in Aix helps users quickly find a nurse, physiotherapist or osteopath who does home visits, while Hellocare in Cassis and Rofim and Keeskee in Marseille are working on remote consultations and document sharing to optimise patient care.
These examples show how dynamic the region’s startups are and how they are rejuvenating traditional activities. French Tech Aix-Marseille Région Sud gives them unfailing support through ongoing activities and ad hoc projects. One such project was Le Grand Bain, which last September brought together players from many disciplines and business fields to immerse them in a positive, unifying future perspective. Their discussions, based around practical measures, lead towards effective responses to upcoming technological, environmental and social challenges.
By Maurice Gouiran