Sponsors, BNP and Val de Marne, ushered a slew of young innovators to inaugurate it’s first ever MIT Tech Review’s Awards event.
To recap the highlights, Tariq Karim’s intro alone was worthy of an entire TedX event. He discussed a dystopian future via technology and social modernization. Like the irreversible damage done to the rainforest, users are constructing a digital infrastructure that will replace traditional tools and outdated customs that a few of us are still holding on to e.g., handwritten letters/archaic methods of cataloging.
The minister of higher education, Geneviève Fioraso, (ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche) recognized France’s meager share of technological R&D in its GDP- essential to strong SME performance. Gilles Babinet’s talk was much more succinct and convincing. He focused on data to raise France’s sense of urgency- 4,000 business angels in France vs. 200,000 in the US- but who’s counting?
Among the 10 innovators on stage, there were only two crowned “Innovator of the Year.” The MIT Tech Review Innovator of the Year was David Fattal, who was honored for his 3-D static image research. While working at HP and devoting 20% of his time to launching his startup, Fattal’s team has successfully launched a prototype whose application could be for mobile entertainment, video/audio communications and personalized uses. His product is more famously described as the 3-D hologram of Princess Leia, which is a fantasy of nearly anyone who wants quantum teleportation.
The MIT Tech Review Humanitarian of the Year, Pierre-Emmanuel Grange, launched a micro-donation startup, Microdon in 2007. His pitch was simple: painless donations by rounding to the decimal point on an employee’s monthly salary. The employer can match the donation, which was a strategy that succeeded in raising € 165,000 in 35 2012. If you’re able to give a few cents to a homeless person, the digital platform makes for a very clever and convenient maneuver.
Congratulations to all who made the honorable mention!
Massimiliano Salsi, 33 years old, optic telecommunication cables research.