Top brains to tackle new issues
As COVID-19 is forcing businesses to adapt and accelerate their digital transformation, these exceptional times could represent an opportunity for some digital DeepTech start-ups to take it up a notch.
A good example is a Deep Tech start-up based in Paris which made an outstanding use of its deep learning technology to help fight coronavirus. Datakalab, founded by Xavier Fischer, is specialised in emotional AI. Their neural network can effortlessly interpret any tiny movement of the human face. The solution usually serves marketing purposes but as the needs in this particular industry drastically decreased, Datakalab’s teams of top-notch engineers repurposed the technology. They imagined a GDPR-compliant mask detection technology that would help containing the spread and support the lockdown exit.
The connected health champion Withings, founded in the early days of the French Tech in 2008, recently joined a consortium composed of French tech giants such as Inria, Capgemini, Dassault Systèmes, and Orange to co-develop the governmental contact-tracing app named StopCovid. With expertise in IoT and health data privacy, the company has the capacity to ensure a safe rolling out of this new technology. The app, which is meant to be interoperable with its German, British, Italian, Spanish and Norwegian versions could help mitigate a second wave of COVID-19 contaminations.
These are only two of many other examples of how brilliant people in the Paris region have rolled up their sleeves to put their expertise to contribution and solve some of the issues stemming from this unprecedented challenge.
When solidarity takes over business
The Deep Tech hardware startup Orosound launched a solidarity operation and donated 100 headsets to teleworkers in need. Their noise-cancelling headsets offer a nice alternative to people working at home close to children. And even more, the headsets are made in France.
The artificial intelligence platform managed by Verteego was able to quickly mobilise its computational capabilities in the fight against the virus. The A.I. is usually used to produce prediction models for its customers but it now contributes to the modelling of COVID-19 through the Folding@Home project. Verteego’s team embraces a culture of multi-disciplinary excellence: PhDs in chemistry, biology, math, software architecture, as well as experts in software engineering, distributed systems, modelling and data are proud to join international forces to speed up the creation of a vaccine against COVID-19.
Public support makes it possible
In such difficult times, many companies around the world decided to hibernate, waiting for a post-crisis “spring”. In France, companies can rely on extremely supportive public measures to go on with business. While many of them had to find innovative ways to reassess their activities they benefit from numerous governmental and regional supports to help them keep their cash flow safe and retain their talents. Some of them will even start hiring new profiles in the coming weeks to help them face the new challenges ahead of them.
At Choose Paris Region, we offer support to international companies willing to benefit from these relief measures. We do it in partnership with local innovation clusters such as Cap Digital and Systematic Paris Region, which give access to the different calls for proposals open to Deep Tech companies.
To learn more about the Paris Region’s artificial intelligence ecosystem, Choose Paris Region is organizing a special webinar on applied AI against COVID-19 on May 5th 2020.
More information and registration here.