Students drive innovation at Safran

The first Safran Innovation Challenge was organized on March 26 at the ISAE aeronautical engineering school in Toulouse, within the scope of Safran's partnership with this school.

Coordinated by a team of Safran ambassadors (employees representing the Group at their alma maters), this event was designed to engage students in a problem related to air mobility and the challenge of the energy transition. They addressed the subject: "Modular air vehicles: will they benefit sustainable mobility?" 

To engage these young engineers, we wanted to address their primary motivation, namely innovation. Since this is also a major part of Safran's DNA, it was easy to come up with an action plan that would spur these young people's interest in our sectors.

Guillaume Bothier (Snecma employee and ambassador to ISAE)

It was a multi-step action plan: ISAE students first visited Aircelle's plant in Toulouse. They then participated in a "jam session" (brainstorming) led by Safran's ambassadors to select a subject related to the issue of air mobility and the challenge of the energy transition. On March 18, Safran had already organized a roundtable discussion on the subject "Fragile Innovation: doing more with less – applications for Safran?", introduced by Corentin de Chatelperron from the Gold of Bengal association, and including three Safran employees.

A total of eight teams of six students each participated in the last phase of the Challenge on March 26, with the aim of coming up with ideas that would reduce the environmental impact of air transport.

After working all afternoon, the students submitted their projects to the two juries, chaired by Pierre Fabre (CEO of Snecma) and Bruno Even (CEO of Sagem).

Students really got into this challenge. The most important outcome was certainly their realization that innovation can also be simple and cheap, but above all that it's part of daily work at Safran. For us, it was important to show that innovation could be stimulated in an informal setting, and that our engineers weren't just huddled in front of their computers.

Simon Gavillet (Snecma employee and ISAE ambassador)

First prize  (a VIP visit to the Paris Air Show) went to the Clips Wing team, for their project on the "Fuselage interconnectable with terrestrial structures, and capable of being clipped on an independent motorized wing."