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  • The UTC Daniel Thomas Innovation Centre

    The UTC-Inno­va­tion Centre is a real hive for crea­tive exchanges. It houses inno­va­tion-condu­cive trai­ning, research and valo­ri­sa­tion acti­vi­ties and brings toge­ther a wide range of plu­ri­dis­ci­pli­na­ry skills and actors. There are mee­ting rooms, work­shops, tech­no­lo­gi­cal plat­forms and test rigs with the most recent equip­ment pos­sible. The Inno­va­tion Centre is a space we see as condu­cive to “crea­tive conta­mi­na­tion” which today plays a key role in the trans­for­ma­tion of new ideas into real inno­va­tive pro­cess and products.

    Key underpinning principles

    For anyone who wants to create and inno­vate, the UTC Daniel Tho­mas Inno­va­tion Centre offers:

    • a site and focal point that is simul­ta­neous­ly open to the world, trans­verse, flexible and adap­table ;
    • a role as a lea­der, a cata­ly­ser whe­re­by poten­tial inno­va­tion sources can be iden­ti­fied and where the actors can be hel­ped to put toge­ther and manage inno­va­tion projects ;
    • a place that faci­li­tates new contacts, attracts talents and skills in nume­rous areas to enhance inter­ac­tions through the pos­si­bi­li­ty to imple­ment a varie­ty of approaches ;
    • ways to inte­grate human fac­tors in the pro­jects and also in the atmos­phere of the Centre, ensu­ring the well-being of all both phy­si­cal­ly and psy­cho­lo­gi­cal­ly ;
    • a constant­ly main­tai­ned and upgra­ded 'excel­lence' site (in govern­ment lin­go), stron­gly orien­ted to both crea­ti­vi­ty and inno­va­tion and ser­ving to encou­rage risk-tal­king and entre­pre­neur­ship atti­tudes and decisions ;
    • a ful­ly ope­ra­tio­nal tech­ni­cal envi­ron­ment with lea­ding edge, inter­ope­rable tools that help imple­ment inno­va­tive practice ;
    • a place that gets the stu­dents dee­ply invol­ved in inno­va­tive pro­jects and makes them become effi­cient actors for the bene­fit of their own trai­ning ;
    • a way for lec­tu­rer research scien­tists to deve­lop novel peda­go­gi­cal styles and methods, pro­mo­ting their research work and hel­ping dis­co­ver high added value inno­va­tive appli­ca­tions ;
    • use of the Centre as a dyna­mic labo­ra­to­ry enabling and faci­li­ta­ting hands-on expe­ri­men­ta­tion and crea­tion of new busi­ness concerns (start-ups) ;
    • a place to deve­lop close ties with the UTC autho­ri­ties, stu­dents and per­son­nel and with enter­prises and/or part­ners who pro­pose pro­jects for the Centre's assess­ment ;
    • a place to desi­gn and imple­ment inno­va­tive data hand­ling and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems enabling pro­jects to be imple­men­ted remo­te­ly, deve­lo­ping and enhan­cing coope­ra­tion and exchanges with other simi­lar inno­va­tion centres and/or with other exter­nal partners.


    The main objec­tive assi­gned to the UTC Inno­va­tion Centre (as its name sug­gests) is to sti­mu­late inno­va­tion wha­te­ver the for­mat and crea­ti­vi­ty with an inter­na­tio­nal vis­ta. It is a focal point, a locus for exchanges, crea­tive ini­tia­tives and enables those with novel ideas to update their scien­ti­fic, tech­no­lo­gi­cal and engi­nee­ring know­ledge bases and to exchange on their inno­va­tions with real field constraints, whe­ther they are socie­tal or technical.

    An area for "creative contamination"

    As well as asso­cia­ting the skills and resources need to ensure a flow of inno­va­tive pro­jects and imple­men­ta­tion, this UTC struc­ture (the Inno­va­tion Centre) has the mis­sion to offer:

    • sup­port with tai­lor-made peda­go­gy (for eve­ry single project) ;
    • a place condu­cive to inno­va­tion-orien­ted research acti­vi­ties ;
    • sup­port for indus­trial col­la­bo­ra­tion enabling added-value for UTC know­ledge bases and skills.


    The UTC Inno­va­tion Centre covers:

    • matu­ra­tion (after 'pre­ma­tu­ra­tion'), of inno­va­tion-inten­sive projects
    • pro­to­type desi­gn and development
    • pros­pec­ting for finan­cial sup­port and aids
    • accom­pa­niment to set up viable busi­ness models

    The UTC-CI target groups

    With a domi­nant pro­jects-orien­ted approach, a wide varie­ty of publics are invi­ted to work toge­ther, namely:

    • the stu­dents: come to the UTC-CI on various occa­sions offe­ring them oppor­tu­ni­ties to fur­ther deve­lop their skills and know­ledge (spe­ci­fic pro­ject and action trai­ning, entre­pre­neur­ship projects …) ;
    • UTC per­son­nel: lec­tu­rers, research scien­tists and UT admin staff also meet regu­lar­ly and exchange on pro­jects that involve entre­pre­neur­ship, pro­ject deve­lop­ment, Conti­nuous Edu­ca­tion acti­vi­ties and pro­grammes, pro­ject accom­pa­niment and/or the spaces for various CCF trai­ning modules ;
    • enter­prises: nume­rous ser­vices are on offer (pro­ject deve­lop­ment, Conti­nuous Edu­ca­tion schemes, pro­ject accom­pa­niment, event mana­ge­ment, expertise… ;
    • asso­cia­tions and other bodies: there are also nume­rous exter­nal offers (event mana­ge­ment, Conti­nuous Edu­ca­tion schemes, pro­ject development …).

    Innovation tools

    To meet the needs expres­sed by the popu­la­tions above, the UTC Inno­va­tion Centre has 4 main 'poles' of activity.

    Technological platforms and rigs

    Various tech­no­lo­gi­cal, plat­forms and test rigs were spe­cial­ly desi­gned and ins­tal­led in work­shop areas to house the UTC lab wor­kers and their equip­ment, to help them pro­gress in their research and deve­lop­ment work:

    • The Heu­dia­syc Hall (auto­ma­tion & control): dri­ver­less vehicles, a full-scale rail­road test faci­li­ty, a vir­tual rea­li­ty (VR) room ;
    • The Rober­val Hall (mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring): vibra­tion and acous­tics sciences and engineering ;
    • The BMBI Halle: motion capture.

    An entrepreneurship and creativity-intensive pole

    In order to sup­port and accom­pa­ny pro­ject mana­gers, various exter­nal ser­vice struc­tures have offices at the UTC Inno­va­tion Centre:

    • INPI (Ins­ti­tut natio­nal de la pro­prié­té intellectuelle) ;
    • Bpi­france ;
    • ADIT (Agence pour la dif­fu­sion de l'information technologique).

    Entre­pre­neur­ship-orien­ted busi­ness coaches are on hand to constant­ly help, if nee­ded, through their advice, to per­sons with pro­jects in progress

    An innovation-intensive pole

    At the UTC Inno­va­tion Centre, you will also find spaces set aside for inno­va­tive crea­tion, including:

    • stan­dard, mul­ti-use pro­ject 'stands' ;
    • spe­ci­fic stands (for given pro­ject configurations) ;
    • a Fab'Lab, pro­to­ty­ping area ;
    • open spaces for stu­dents, lec­tu­rers, research scien­tists and indus­tria­lists to meet and exchange ;
    • 2 'crea­ti­vi­ty rooms' ;
    • pro­ject work­shops.

    An event-intensive pole

    An event-inten­sive pole for those who wish to put toge­ther events with a strong inno­va­tive touch.

    Various ser­vices are offe­red, among which:

    • a 100 seat poly­va­lent lecture-hall
    • an exhi­bi­tion area
    • a pro­ject show-room
    • convi­vial areas

    A few projects currently at the Centre

    Desi­gning and imple­men­ting a spon­ta­neous, self-orga­ni­zed net­work of smart­phones, as and when people, meet, exchan­ging data and requests, based on a rela­tive gui­dance sys­tem used by wire­less mobile devices with an assess­ment of power gra­dient of mes­sages received.

    This pro­ject aims at desi­gning and pro­du­cing drones less than 1m in dia­me­ter, capable of sta­tio­na­ry, auto­no­mous or constant pro­gress flight, with excellent manoeu­vra­bi­li­ty, nota­bly in win­dy areas, fit­ted with high per­for­mance col­li­sion avoi­dance sensors.

    The research groups pro­pose various tac­tile, mobile and inno­va­tive game-orien­ted "apps" at the point of conver­gence of tow research trends: tac­tile inter­faces (ini­tial­ly for the blind or those with impai­red vision) and 'alter­na­ting' games, viz., a mix of video gaming and real world parameters.

    The liquid looks like a dry pow­der but contains 908% liquid, in nano­cap­sules that free the water content when cru­shed. The advan­tages are safe­ty for trans­por­ta­tion of cor­ro­sive or toxic mat­ters, and a slo­wer releases rate for example for fertilizers …

    Impro­ving safe­ty fac­tors for both horses and riders during jum­ping events, allo­wing for an imme­diate drop of the fence jump bar with a safe­ty sen­sor fit­ting and a magne­tic lock

    Sca­ling, desi­gning, making and imple­men­ting ful­ly auto­ma­ted sea-water desa­li­na­tion units self-powe­red, using an inno­va­tive and sus­tai­nable solu­tion that com­plies with envi­ron­men­tal constraints via rene­wable ener­gy power sources, for popu­la­tions that real­ly are in need of fresh water supplies.


    Contacts pour l'innovation à l'UTC

    Direc­teur de l'innovation et du déve­lop­pe­ment durable et ter­ri­to­rial
    Samuel Veille­rette
     +33 (0)3 44 23 73 59
    Fou­zia Zitou­ni
     +33 (0)3 44 23 45 91
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