The International Tech4Islands Awards The Innovation For The RECOVERY Of The “islands Of Tomorrow”
Converging the forces of innovation of French Polynesia, LA FRENCH TECH POLYNÉSIE will launch the second edition of its international TECH4ISLANDS AWARDS 2020 competition this Tuesday 26 May. The main objective of this event - the only one in the world - which will run until 20 July 2020, will be to respond to the urgency of the RECOVERY of island economies with a view to development that is more self-sufficient, sustainable, and resilient.
Start-ups, innovative businesses, research bodies and universities in public-private partnerships have until 20 July 2020 to apply and propose concrete innovative solutions that can be rapidly deployed on islands, based on five main axes: Health technology & e-Health, sustainable and resilient Blue Tech, Clean Tech and the Circular Economy, environmentally responsible Smart Tourism and Digital inclusion.
LA FRENCH TECH POLYNÉSIE invites the international innovation and research community to mobilise to promote the “islands of tomorrow” and apply to the three Tech4Islands Awards 2020: the WORLD Tech4Islands Award (aimed at all candidates in the competition), the OCEANIA Tech4Islands Award (aimed at candidates from the Oceania region) and the OVERSEAS Tech4Islands Award (aimed at candidates from French overseas departments). Recipients of these awards will be invited to present their solutions at the next TECH4ISLANDS SUMMIT in Tahiti.
Technological tools, levers for the RECOVERY of island territories
With confinement measures accentuated by the closure of borders and the suspension of air traffic, the international health, economic and social crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of island economies.
This “Great Confinement” has also highlighted the essential role of technological tools, both in the management of the health crisis and in the continuity of education and the preservation of social ties and solidarity.
Thus, technological tools have enabled people to remain in contact with each other using free video-conferencing or chat applications, continue their education despite the closure of schools and continue to share the Culture. Home telemedicine, remote diagnosis and teleconsultation have facilitated patient follow-up; with the adaptation through social distancing.
Businesses and economic agents have also remained in operation thanks to distance working and the adoption of professional instant messaging, collaborative work tools and even videoconferencing applications. Enterprises and the mass distribution industry also attempt to protect their turnover with e-commerce solutions and Drive services.
Innovative solutions for the recovery of the “islands of tomorrow”
The urgency of the RECOVERY of island economies is thus the main objective of the two main events of the Tech4Islands approach, which in recent years has been driven on a global scale by LA FRENCH TECH POLYNÉSIE: The international TECH4ISLANDS AWARDS competition, which aims to highlight innovative solutions developed BY and FOR islands, and the TECH4ISLANDS SUMMIT (ex-Digital Festival Tahiti), the 4th international meeting of smart islands and lands of innovation, to share them.
“La French Tech Polynésie is proud to launch this competition, the only competition that highlights concrete innovative solutions that can be rapidly deployed on islands. We will give preference to solutions designed by and for islands, solutions that will allow them to develop in a manner that is sustainable, resilient, and inclusive and which protect island populations and develop job creation on remote islands”, explains Olivier KRESSMANN, the president of La French Tech Polynésie.
To incorporate the undeniable constraints, specificities and assets of island territories, the TECH4ISLANDS AWARDS 2020 launch their call for applications around five main priority axes:
- Health tech & e-health: Concrete solutions that protect populations and allow equal access to healthcare on remote islands, and provide support to persons who have been made psychologically fragile by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Sustainable and resilient Blue Tech: Concrete solutions that accelerate recovery and reduce social crisis while at the same time preserving the islands, oceans, and biodiversity, reinforce the resilience of the islands to climate change and develop shared, low-carbon sources of wealth.
- Clean technology & the circular economy: Concrete solutions that reinvent how we produce and consume, so that island territories become models for environmentally-friendly consumption that incorporate global waste management and recycling.
- Smart tourism: Concrete solutions that allow access to the new professions in the tourism sector for populations on the islands, foster the rapid resumption of regulated and controlled activity and value the balances of culture and nature.
- Education technology & digital inclusion: Concrete solutions that reduce inequalities and allow universal access to public services, training, higher education, economic activity, and employment, and encourage teleworking.
The Tech4Islands Awards 2020, a global competition
The success of the 2019 edition of the event - it attracted 66 high-quality applications from ten countries and territories worldwide, at which prizes were awarded for BiOceanOr (a connected underwater weather station) and LeadBees (a connected hive management solution), has consolidated French Polynesia as part of the Tech4slands approach to foster the emergence of Tech For Good solutions for the sustainable and resilient development of island territories.
This year, among the various endowments given, recipients will be invited in particular to participate in the next TECH4SLANDS SUMMIT in Tahiti and the next CES, the world’s largest tech expo, in Las Vegas. Recipients will receive exclusive support to obtain the “Efficient Solutions” label awarded by the Fondation Solar Impulse, which recognises sustainable solutions that benefit our planet. They will also be offered several coaching and mentoring sessions by renowned figures such as Fleur Pellerin, former minister and co-founder of the investment fund Korelya Capital or Inès Leonarduzzi, CEO of Digital For The Planet in order to help them structure their solution.
This Tech4Islands vision to promote technologies that are more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and resilient, and which are good for the islands (and therefore “good for the planet”), now has international support and partners around the world who are also working towards a RECOVERY that is fairer and more sustainable. These include:
- Bertrand PICCARD’s Solar Impulse Foundation, which selects, supports, and promotes clean technologies through its 1000 Solutions Challenge in water, energy, infrastructure, transport, industrial processes, and agricultural production. Watch Bertrand Piccard’s videotaped message;
- Raphaëla LE GOUVELLO’s RespectOcean, an association that brings together an open community created to “develop solutions to ensure progress towards a transition with the ocean, for the ocean and for our planet.”
- The reCOVery initiative launched by Philippe ZAOUATI, the CEO of MIROVA, and Stéphane DISTINGUIN, the CEO de FABERNOVEL, which brings together networks and businesses that address social and environmental responsibility issues, emphasising that “the main threat posed by the post-crisis world would be a “back to business” approach that fails to address societal challenges.”
The Tech4Islands approach of innovation BY and FOR the “islands of tomorrow” has also received the full support of Bpifrance, Le Fonds Pacifique, the Ministry for Overseas Territories and Business France, as well as the support and strong commitment of the La Mission French Tech and of its international networks, which promote French innovation in all four corners of the globe. La French Tech has also helped overseas territories build up their capabilities with the recent labelling of the communities of New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, which have joined La French Tech La Réunion and La French Tech Polynésie in the ultramarine innovation process. The convergence of forces, followed by… and this is just the beginning.