Hello Tomorrow 2023: Safran focuses on innovative “deep-tech” solutions
On March 9th and 10th, 2023, Safran took part in the annual Hello Tomorrow trade show which brings together the players of the highly-innovative world of Deep Tech*. To mark the 8th edition of the event, the Group sponsored the “Aerospace” category of the “Global Challenge”, while Safran’s exhibition areas showcased innovations and promoted the startup ecosystem. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look of this major event centered around innovation!
It is 8:30 am at the Centquatre-Paris cultural center, located in the capital's 19th arrondissement. Under the colossal glass ceilings, the first conversations mixing French and English begin to echo throughout the building – the undeniable sign of an international event. The various exhibitors – both startups and major companies, such as Orano, l'Oréal or Natixis – welcome the first visitors to their stand
Diving into the world of Deep Tech
As of 9:30 am, attendance begins to peak. Researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, incubators… All industry players are gathered to talk about the technical and business-related opportunities offered by the development of these disruptive technologies. And so began the first day of the Hello Tomorrow trade show.
Over these two days, visitors could attend various types of events (debates, conferences, workshops, mentoring sessions, etc.). These events covered a broad range of topics, including health, agrifood, artificial intelligence, sustainable development and even... aeronautics and space.
Safran, a major player in decarbonization and the New Space
It was hard for Safran's stands to go unnoticed by attendees as they were located right in front of the main aisle. The Group was present in two areas: a first one dedicated to the decarbonization of aviation, and a second area, called "New Space", which was dedicated to the space sector.
Given that Safran was just named among the Top 100 Global Innovators for 2023, the trade show was another opportunity for the Group to demonstrate its position within the high-tech sector, and its commitment to placing innovation at the heart of its strategy.
As such, both days were marked by conferences and keynotes concerning topics of interest for the Group, such as questions tied to sustainable aviation, sovereignty issues or even the development of the Deep Tech ecosystem.
Safran also had the pleasure of welcoming Jean-Noël Barrot, French Minister for Digital Transition and Telecommunications, to one of their stands for an informal exchange. Florent Illat, Head of Safran Corporate Ventures, shared his thoughts on issues relating to the funding of Deep Tech in France and Europe. He was joined by Danone and Positron investment fund representatives.
A spotlight on Safran Explore and the startup ecosystem
In line with its ambition to promote and support the emergence of Deep Tech solutions, Safran brought together startups innovating in the space sector and those selected as part of the Explore H2 program. Launched in 2022, this program is in line with the Safran Explore initiative and aims to develop and accelerate collaborations with startups working on hydrogen-related innovations. As such, the Safran Corporate Ventures teams, Safran's investment subsidiary for innovative startups, worked alongside the startups to promote the program.
This event is very important for Safran. It represents the perfect opportunity to consolidate our startup ecosystem network, which is different yet complementary. Startups are vital for major groups such as ours: not only do they provide R&T and internal innovation, they also bring their expertise just like an extended R&T team. Therefore, Safran's goal is to foster and energize this ecosystem through mutually-beneficial partnerships.
At the "Decarbonization" stand, next to the German startup Ineratec (specialized in the production of carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, and in which Safran has invested), the six startups of the Explore H2 program seized the opportunity to showcase their products. The following startups were present:
- Touch Sensity: a French startup that is developing a technology capable of locating and analyzing in real time the pressure, traction, deformation, impact and damage exerted on a material (such as a hydrogen tank, for example) without the addition of sensors.
- Insplorion: a Swedish startup that is working on sensors capable of detecting hydrogen in the presence of other gases and in various scenarios.
- Hynology: a French startup that develops and industrializes electro-chemical parts for electrolyzers and fuel cells for the heavy transport sector.
- Calogy Solutions: a Canadian startup that develops innovative thermal management solutions for electronic components (batteries, fuel cells, etc.) destined to vehicles.
- Delta Vision: a German startup that develops and produces cryogenic fluid management solutions for the space and new mobility sectors.
- EH Group: a Swiss startup specialized in the development of Hydrogen fuel cells.
As for the "New Space" stand, it welcomed representatives of Safran and ArianeGroup's Space Department in order to showcase their products.
Today, it is within big companies that all major decisions for the new-tech sector are taken. So, for a startup like ours, which develops very specific solutions, the support provided by major industry player such as Safran represents a tremendous opportunity for our development.
From a strategic point of view, it is important for a startup to establish a partnership with a large company such as Safran, as it offers invaluable technological means and expertise.
The Global Challenge: a highlight of the trade show
Every year, the trade show’s highly-anticipated “Global Challenge” rewards startups that are developing projects deemed innovative and beneficial for the future of the technology industry, and for society in general. Divided into 11 categories, this year’s 70 finalists were selected among more than 4,000 candidates.
Once again this year, Safran sponsored the "Aerospace" category. In a dark room, the category's six candidates worked on their pitches. The startup Aliena was named the category's winner, taking home the 15,000-euro prize. Established in Singapore, Aliena won over the jury with their electric propulsion engine project, allowing satellites to fly closer to Earth while providing high-resolution data.
The Global Challenge's Grand Prize was awarded to Sweetch Energy, winner of the "Energy" category. This startup from Brittany was awarded a 100,000-euro check for its innovative project to produce 100% clean energy on a large scale from osmotic power. Touch Sensity, one of the Explore H2 program's startups, was awarded first prize in the "Industry 4.0 & Autonomous Machines" category.
The awards ceremony marked the end of the 8th edition of the Hello Tomorrow trade show. With more than 3,000 visitors, and exhibitors from more than 115 countries, the event's atmosphere was exciting and highly-conducive to innovative ideas. See you next year for the discovery of new innovations!
*"Deep Tech" refers to disruptive startups, or young companies developing highly-innovative techniques.
**Osmotic energy (also called "blue energy") is a renewable energy produced from the encounter between two waters with different salt concentrations.