Revolutions come with new notions. “Deeptech” is one of them and refers to the new generation of companies founded on disruptive scientific discoveries. As France has a long track record in building bridges between sciences and industry, the “Hexagon” is recognized as one of the 5 most promising country in the deeptech ecosystem according to a report by Wavestone, a consultancy.
Some French companies which emerged from domestic research institutions have unleashed new waves of innovation for industry. Soitec, founded by two engineers of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a R&D centre have introduced the unique Smart Cut technology. It’s like a scalpel at atomic scale, allowing for the creation of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers. These are used to manufacture chips that go into smartphones, tablets, computers, IT servers, boosting performance more than other technologies. That is why Soitec provides 100% of SOI wafers across the world. Another ground-breaking technology developed by a researcher of the CEA is the Ultra Fast Carbon Battery by NawaTechnologies. It is a unique electrode material that combines nano and clean technologies, rechargeable in only few seconds! It could reinvent smartphones, cars and computers.
Building on its world-class research ecosystem, France aims to strengthen the innovation dynamics with industrials and entrepreneurs. In 2019, the French government – through its public investment bank BPI – announced a €1.3bn ($1.4bn) plan over the next five years to invest in deeptech and support their growth. Industrials and research institutions also reinforce their collaboration to foster innovation. The Systematic cluster (Paris greater area) thus gathers more than 820 members – research institutes like the CEA, numerous start-ups and SMEs, along with multinationals such as Renault, Engie, Safran, Airbus, etc. – working hand in hand to develop disruptive inventions in AI, data science, cybersecurity, IoT, optics & photonics, among other fields. Small is beautiful and big is powerful but La French Fab has all it takes to embrace the 4th industrial revolution!