PARIS — The Direction Générale de l'Armement held Thursday a "speed dating" session for inventors to pitch to financial backers at the fourth innovation forum, a showcase for research and technology projects backed by the procurement office.
"Speed dating — innovators seek investors" was set to run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Paris time, according to the DGA program for the exhibition held at the university Ecole Polytechnique at Palaiseau, just outside the capital.
Small and medium enterprises made up the core of the show, which also promoted laboratories and PhD students backed by the DGA.
One of the projects at the exhibition presented pictures of the wreck of a downed World War II German bomber on the seabed, taken on a very high resolution 3-D remote system developed by Compagnie Maritime d'Expertise. The system could be used for anti-mine warfare and for studies for ecology, archeology and offshore oil on the civil side.
Several entrepreneurs made their pitches to financial investors in the main amphitheater, continuing presentations after lunch, and then closed before the plenary session and a visit by the DGA procurement chief, Laurent Collet-Billon, an executive at the show, said.
Companies seeking financial backing would have found it helpful if the potential investors had worn an investor badge, the executive said.
The exhibition of 850 participants gathered more than 100 new projects spanning communications, high performance materials, energy and health technology, the DGA said in a statement. The procurement office sets aside an annual budget of €730 million (US$772 million) for R&T feasibility studies, with an annual €50 million earmarked for small and medium enterprises under the Rapid program.
"These innovations will be at the heart of our future defense systems," the DGA said. The work reflects the SME Defense Pact launched by Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian three years ago and the long-term view of the DGA, the procurement office said.