To serve digital innovation by capitalising on the collective intelligence of experienced engineers and digital natives: such is the challenge launched in 2016 by Orange, ENSICAEN and EM Normandie thanks to the Orange Innovation Academy, a unique scheme in France. Inspired by the success of the first two editions, season 3 was launched last october with the participation of 12 generation Z young talents, supported by expert coaches from Orange Labs. On friday 8 february, they defended their work before a jury of professionals. Eggplant stood out with its project for a community application which shows in real time where downtown vacant parking places are.
A six-month work to move from the idea to the prototype
Spread at random in four joint teams at the start of this new season, eight ENSICAEN student engineers and four EM Normandie students (all from the Start-up & Digital Development Specialised Option) met every week to work on the creation of innovative digital concepts. Their challenge: to identify a useful and novel idea in relation with the themes suggested by Orange, check its feasibility, design the business model and achieve prototyping, supervised by experienced Orange Labs experts.
Professionalism and creativity for all 4 competing projects
On 8 february 2019, each team presented their work before a jury of professionals composed of Guillaume Auneveux, Director of Orange Labs Caen, Christèle Baral, management consultant for Cap Business, Clémence Grincourt, project executive & head of the Normandie Incubation site in Caen, Tristan Héau, Director of innovative projects for Orange Normandie – Centre and Hervé Le Corre, Director of the payment solutions engineering & development service at Orange. After a 15-minute oral defence and a 10-minute Q&A session, the panel were able to draw up the list of winners by taking into account both the quality of the candidates’ oral performance, the relevance and technical viability of the applications as well as the consistency of the business models.
The list of winners
1. #Eggplant, to indicate in real time vacant parking places downtown.
2. #çavientdechezmoi, to rethink local short distribution channels.
3. #Bar2Be, to identify a bar to suit one’s taste on criteria such as the drinks price list, the music played, the events and the number of seats available.
4. #Kinned, to enable students who have recently arrived in the area to meet people.
A training experience to be extended in the future
The Orange Innovation Academy stimulates student creativity and allows them to develop two cultures as well as their potential for adaptation. This also helps Orange in their review of digital transformation. A win/win exercise which could accommodate in the near future students from other study paths, graphic design students in particular.