The winners of ArcelorMittal France's inaugural Innovators Award, the Prix des Innovateurs, have been announced.
Six winners were named at an awards ceremony in Paris last week and, claims ArcelorMittal, each of the winning projects is set to make an impact in the months and years to come.
The chief objective of the awards is to promote a climate of innovation in France by supporting new projects in industry and services, as well as rewarding those who are developing solutions that may have a genuine impact on society. More accurate forecasts for wind power, harnessing unused heat sources and cutting energy consumption are just three potential outcomes of some of this year's winning projects.
In total 103 candidates including students, researchers and young entrepreneurs, entered the awards, putting forward 53 projects. The 12 best teams were then invited to present their ideas to a jury, resulting in six winners – three in each category.
Inventiveness, maturity of analysis, feasibility, the potential for further development and quality of presentation were key selection criteria used to choose the most promising and innovative projects.
Each category winner won a EUR50,000 and the winning projects will benefit from the support of ArcelorMittal experts.
In the Big Data category of the awards the winner was a wind forecasting project known as Meteo* Swift. By combining meteorology and artificial intelligence the project team's objective was to provide more accurate data about a wind farm's expected output. Second prize in the Big Data category went to MyTraffic, a tool of reference for identifying commercial property sites through the geo-targetting of catchment areas and auditing of business locations in real time. Home in Love took third prize; it is a matching site that facilitates property searches through an innovative algorithm, placing the user at the centre of the search to assist in the quest for the perfect home.
In the energy storage category first prize went to Ecostock for its innovation in reducing energy consumption; second place went to Airthium, a compressed air storage system that stores energy in batteries without using any chemical agents; and third place went to Stolect, a large capacity electricity storage technology suitable for mass storage of renewable energy.