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Are you ready to innovate ? Count-down starting!

You want to find a child in a crowd? You aim to recycle a bomber aircraft as urban, road-side features? You’d like to improve safety for vulnerable people in heavy traffic? In just 24 hours the students teams must come up with solutions to problems set by partner industrialists and laboratories for the “24h Innovation” event where, every year, some 20 student teams from various engineering schools from several countries participate.

Are you ready to innovate ? Count-down starting!

The three teams who came top at the UTC selection tried to answer these questions in the form of a 2 min video clip. “Our aim was to form a team to ‘have a go’ and spend a sleepless night together. Coffee, adrenaline and sheer willpower kept us going – only one fell asleep!” laughs Elza RESZCAN, member of “The Clever Futon Team” who was the laureate of the UTC Compiegne version.

Localising someone with a wifi bracelet

The Clever Futon Team worked on the crowd problem, which fitted the skills and wishes of the team. “Our knowledge, skills and varied talents turned out to be quite complementary. At first we wanted to wrap up the project in just 3 hours”, recalls Jean-Baptiste FOURNIER, another ‘CFT’ member. “When you think about it, it’s a question that interests students who no longer are of an age to get lost in department stores, or on the beach, but they might want to keep track of friends on a night out, for example.”
The seven team members, all students in Mechanical engineering at UTC imagined a bracelet they called the’ Futeon’. It could be hired out at the entrance to a festival, to an attraction park, to a shopping mall – that way a child or a friend could easily be located. The proposal was detailed: pricing of bracelet and components and developments were advanced (applied to city areas, to groups, etc). “It turned out to be an excellent experience, but I don’t really’ think we’ll develop this idea much further”, concludes Jean-Baptiste.

Turning jet engines into ping-pong tables

For the 3rd time running, UTC Compiegne took part in the international version of “24h Innovation” and it is noteworthy that more and more teams are registering for the event. “It’s the sort of competition that suits UTC-Compiegne perfectly; it offers a great opportunity to do team work, to apply course-knowledge, and all specialities can take part”, explains Marina BRUNEAU, currently doing her PhD and who organised the local version at Compiegne.
And what a success! 65 students in 9 teams competed this year. “I personally wanted to put together a team with a wide set of skills to be able to introduce real and innovative variations in our proposals” says Nicolas GRANJEAN, a student in Mechanical engineering. “We all got very excited, all the more that we had to go beyond our limits – so what happened was that I in fact recruited too many students. That led to two teams; one called CCP looked at how to recycle an aircraft into urban equipment, the objective being to use as many parts as possible in an artistic manner, with special attention to design features without forgetting the technicalities”.
The jet engines of the Bombadier aircraft were cut in two or in four to become benches, ping pong or picnic tables. The wings were place on either side of the motorway that marks the entrance to Montreal’s Innovation Area. The cockpit became a sandwich vending kiosk while the hydraulics were recycled to become ‘mist-machines’ for an open-air pergola, etc. “During those 24h we totally enjoyed the team spirit together. We presented our ideas to the Jury at Montreal and some of them were found of interest by the partner industrialists. And we are keen to register for next year too!”

Finding local partners

“Next year, the mission assigned to the students organising the event (UV GE37, Project management) will consist of identifying local partners, integrating Picardie Region industrial problem thematics and UTC research topics. The student engineers who take part in the 24h Innovation can be approached to pursue their ideas and proposals through to building and developing working solutions” underlines Marina BRUNEAU, who has noted increased quality in the proposals made by the teams to the Jury. “The teams took part of their inspiration from the presentation made by last year’s international level winners”.
The fact is that winning the UTC level version is one way of judging possibilities with world class teams. This year, for instance, contrary to what happed in the 2012 edition, the ‘local’ event winners did not prove too successful faced with the winners from the other engineering schools. But never mind, UTC Compiegne will be back next time!