Hanifah Locate, director of research and innovation at the Réunion Region: “Réunion is a territory of solutions for tomorrow’s challenges”

Outremers360: Réunion has, once again this year, set up its stand dedicated to VivaTech… What does this represent for you?

Hanifah Locate: This second participation demonstrates our interest in this show, which is a reference in terms of innovations and technologies. The first year was conclusive and significant for the start-ups present. This encouraged us to renew our participation by expanding the pavilion to 10 start-ups, compared to 7 last year. Three start-ups from last year are present again, showing the interest of the start-ups themselves to return. This operation is part of two main objectives: to encourage innovation, essential to the competitiveness of our companies, and to deploy the Réunion brand during high added value events to show that Réunion is a territory of solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

Outremers360: Which start-ups are being highlighted this year? Which contractors have you selected?

Hanifah Locate:We received nearly 20 applications and selected impactful start-ups capable of offering solutions for major environmental and societal challenges. For example, Réunion Technologie Services (RUNTECH) offers smart solar street lights; Green Skin shows green roofs to reduce building temperatures; Flaxib innovates in sustainable mobility; Eyako in cybersecurity; Chiron delivers revolutionary, game-changing deep tech solutions in marketing and decision-making; and Torskal is an international biotech/medtech company, a pioneer in green nanotechnology. We have a great diversity of subjects on our stand, despite a more modest surface area compared to that of large groups.

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Outremers360: What is the Region’s investment for this event?

Hanifah Locate: The investment is around €80,000, covered by the Region, not including development costs. This effort is justified because it is crucial to make our start-ups visible. We also cover 50% of their travel costs. The added complexity of distance for overseas businesses is an important factor. In addition, we have put in place support to maximize their presence at the show, including pitch coaching in English to capture the attention of investors among the big names present such as L’Oréal and Meta.

Outremers360: What feedback do you have?

Hanifah Locate: Everyone agrees that it is a high-level show, frequented by important decision-makers. Preparation is essential and the real work begins after the show, with following up on prospects and making appointments. Start-ups have benefited from a notable acceleration. We noticed it. There are start-ups like Green Skin which was exhibited at the Élysée. We also have Crowdaa which was on our pavilion last year and which now has its own pavilion, without forgetting the fact that its founder raised 1.2 million euros. All these successes show the value of our participation and motivate us to go even further next year.

Abby Said Adinani

#French

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