Narbonne: an agglomeration in search of talent to develop its economy

One hundred participants (project managers, students and trainers) gathered this weekend at IN’ESS for the first hackathon dedicated to innovation.

Weekend to present the best innovations. It was a challenge given by Greater Narbonne to fourteen project managers during the first edition of the National Engineering Challenge hosted by IN’ESS. For two days, March 26 and 27, these creative and enthusiastic students, mainly from Montpellier, were accompanied by 53 engineering students from the Institute of Mining and Telecommunication Technologies (IMT) in Ales, in Gard, and territory trainers (accompanying kindergartens, technicians agglo, contractors, experts) to build and secure your project.

“Engineering students went to projects that attracted them, explains Cyril Oliver, Economic Development Project Manager at agglo. The choice was made by proximity, this is a feature of this challenge, which makes it more motivating”. Thus, the participants are divided into 14 teams, and this is one hundred participants who worked all weekend on a variety of projects to answer the theme: “Feed and protect our planet.”

“These students give us hope for a better world”

Solar energy co-op, low water showers, student car sharing network, agri-food production in harsh environments and in space, K-Way creation using recycled materials, etc. “We’ve been to Niger, Guadeloupe, Drome… says Yves Zambrano, director of the Center for Economic Attractiveness and Social Innovation at the Grand Narbonne. These students are very creative and show incredible adaptability and they give us hope for a better world, what more could you want, that’s great!”

During this intensive hackathon, project leaders were able to discuss, compare their ideas and work on the three main stages of their project development: desirability, feasibility and sustainability. Before the last stage on Sunday afternoon: presentation of projects to the jury. The latter, made up of representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Aude, the Youth Economic Chamber, FACE Aude, PFT Aude-PO, Ad’Oc, Grand Narbonne and Ecole des Mines, had the difficult task of choosing two winners. The key to these three winners is free incubator accommodation and IMT support.

“It was very difficult to make a choice”

“The selected projects are very beautiful. It was very difficult to make a choice, eight were really interesting, emphasizes Jean-Michel Alvarez, Vice-President of Greater Narbonne, responsible for the economy and economic recovery, innovation, the attractiveness of higher education and training. This first edition is a complete satisfaction. Since there is no engineering school in Grand Narbonne, our children go to study elsewhere. Our goal is to get them back so they can start here. We are working for the future: the purpose of this challenge is to stimulate economic activity, to have ambitious projects in the territory.”

Two winners and favorite prize

Solution to facilitate aircraft landing

oneuh The prize for this challenge was awarded to Antonin Arnaud, a student of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Montpellier. This young man, passionate and charming, with a pilot’s license, is developing an electronic solution to facilitate the landing of aircraft, in addition to existing solutions, especially for light aviation and small airfields. His team of three engineering students provided him with important information about the technology to be used and the priority target audience. We can’t say more because a patent will be filed to protect his idea.

Shower with very low consumption

The second prize goes to 31-year-old Florian Bernard from Bourges. After working for 8 years in aeronautics in Toulouse, Florian resumed research in renewable energy at IUT Montpellier-Sète. His project: to develop a water-saving shower, or how to go from 60 liters per shower to 2-5 liters with a fogging system. “I participated in this challenge for the purpose of getting technical assistance and an outside perspective.Florian explains. The result exceeds my expectations. Thanks to my team of five engineering students, I saved a lot of time. I was able to finalize my project, get out of certain deadlocks. This strengthened my idea both in terms of the desirability of the project and in terms of its feasibility. So everything is positive!” A patent will also be filed to protect his idea.

Access to sports for people with disabilities

The RARE (Rêve Agit Réalise Expérimente) project became the favorite of the jury and the public. Theo Bross and Lena Lenhart, STAPS students in Montpellier (Sports Department), are developing holiday packages for people with disabilities. Tailor-made offers that allow active recreation for those who are too often deprived of it.

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