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January 30, 2019
"Don’t work as a team, work as a community! Individuals with a wide range of skill sets, with no hierarchy, no rigid organisational structure and no explicit duties, constantly talking and sharing ideas"...
...This is a crucial element of the mechanics of innovation, one that was highlighted by Jean-Yves Gomez, CEO of French printed electronics firm Isorg, when he handed the Innovation Prize to the team of students responsible for the TreePlug project. The ceremony took place at Grenoble INP-Pagora on 30 January. "In a short space of time, you actually have to produce something and, in order to do so, you must be able to count on one another. That’s what I find both interesting and important."
Each year, within the scope of the DEEP (“Défi d’une Équipe d’Élèves de Pagora” or Pagora Student Team Challenge) programme run in partnership with companies and laboratories, teams of 3rd year engineering students take up the challenge of designing and building demonstrators / prototype objects or structures made using biomaterials, paper and cardboard, which may be functionalized. Isorg, an active partner of the school, was keen to harness these collective efforts, which is why it launched the first edition of the Innovation Prize. Its objective? To reward a team that has proved its capacity to innovate while displaying great dynamism and the ability to work as a group.
In conjunction with the Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2), the Tec21 Laboratory of Excellence, the Carnot PolyNat Institute and Schneider Electric, the winning team designed and built TreePlug, a tree-shaped decorative lighting device with two electrical sockets. This prototype has various innovative features: electronics printed on cardboard to allow for LED integration, a 3D-printed mould made from PLA to enable the cellulose moulding process, twin-screw extrusion for the production of cellulose nanofibrils, as well as the lamination of the latter.
In the opinion of Isorg’s CEO, this is the perfect illustration of the fact that "in France, teaching prepares people to engage in innovation". This is very much the case at Grenoble INP-Pagora.