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Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

IOT Challenge with GS1 France: innovation of connected objects for the circular economy

Twenty-five students from the Digital Major and E-artSup took part in the IOT Challenge with GS1 France, Corporate Partner supporting HEC Paris through the "Digital Content for Omni Channel" chair, from 6 to 17 January, at the Draft Ateliers premises in Paris, to study the levers for developing the circular economy through new connected objects.

GS1 IOT Challenge

The Challenge? To create in 15 days connected objects that can promote the circular economy.

Supervised by professors and experts from HEC Paris, Jean-Rémi Gratadour, Executive Director of the IDEA Center and Vincent Bernard, Entrepreneur in Residence at the HEC Incubator, the six teams set up in the Draft Ateliers led by Quentin Billey. 

Initially surprised by the subject combining the circular economy and the Internet of Things, the participants began to develop prototypes of connected objects to improve the durability of products and/or their recyclability, using machines and 3D drawings, cutting, folding, printing, perforating, painting wood, plastic, etc. and integrating IOT functionalities (sensors, bluetooth, RFID, ...).

Jean-Rémi Gratadour enlightens us on the context: "The circular economy is a notion always in search of its definition. But as soon as we get the students to work on concrete solutions integrating technology, and in particular that of the Internet of Things, the issues of innovation with impact become clearer! »

Indeed, after a few exploratory days, real original and innovative objects were born! 

For Vincent Bernard, the diversity of the teams both in terms of training (HEC, Engineers, E-ArtSup Designers) and nationality (Chinese, Lebanese, Spanish, ...) integrated in a very concrete project combining the manufacture of physical objects in a fablab to which are integrated electronic elements (IOT) makes these projects quite exceptional. 

Six teams, 10 days, six innovative prototypes! 

On Friday, January 16th, after 10 days of hard work, the jury had the pleasure to discover innovative connected projects, but also real commercial offers.

Here are the six latest innovations « made in HEC » :

GS1 IOT Challenge winners


•    Sam - Sensor-assisted monitoring service

•    I-drobe - Connected wardrobe 

•    Gaia - the smart station for the circular economy

•    Prepair - Getting the most out of your household appliances

•    Octav - Give a second life to your old hi-fi!

•    Briq - Reducible, Reusable, Recyclable bricks



GS1 IOT Challenge products

The first prize went to the Briq solution, the connected brick developed by Jiehong MSHEN, Mai MTRAN, Ali CHRAIBI, Elie YAZBEK and Mahmoud BEN LAGHA. It was handed by Pernette Rivain, Secretary General and Magali Granger, Head of digital innovation projects at GS1 France,  both very satisfied with all the results:

"The development of the IOT and the data flow that an internet-connected device can generate, offers multiple possibilities to the circular economy. 

At GS1 France, our objective is to accompany our partners on these new societal, environmental, economic and technological impacts, in order to agree on common references. 

In the circular economy, data management is crucial, which is why we have decided to work together. 

The result was more than satisfactory, since it was difficult for us to separate the teams that proposed rich and varied projects, all of which met the initial problem. 

Briq was chosen as the winning team because we were seduced by the innovative and useful side of the project! 

Modular bricks, responding to environmental issues, which can also interact with the surrounding ecosystem thanks to connected enclosures and sensors, seems to have a future for professionals (concerning office design), but also for individuals. 

We wish this project every success! »


The testimonials of the winners of the IOT & Circular Economy Challenge

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