On Wednesday 12 January 2022, the 14th edition of the Embedded France Conference was held at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, during which the jury, chaired by Numeum, co-founder of Embedded France, announced the names of the six winning companies for the 2021 Embedded France Awards. These trophies, organised by Embedded France with the support of the French General Directorate of Enterprises (DGE) and CAP'TRONIC, are an opportunity to highlight the projects of companies or academics who have developed and implemented one or more particularly innovative embedded systems.
Hello Thomas, hello Elsa, can you tell us about Falco and the solution developed in your startup?
Absolutely, we are extremely proud of Falco and of the fact that it’s an Inria Startup. Falco is a spin-off company of the research team led by Thomas, which develops sensor-to-cloud solutions based on Internet of Things technology the team develops and standardizes. Back in 2017, the team worked with a marina in the South of France to see whether our low-power wireless technology could be used in a marina. And it did! In 2019, we created Falco to commercialize this technology. We deploy sensors throughout the marina and in the boats to monitor the marina’s occupancy and immediately know about any sort of problem, for example a fire starting. One of the cornerstone technologies is the low-power wireless network, which offers wire-like reliability, years of battery lifetime, the highest levels of security, and bi-directional communication.
What will this award mean to Falco?
This award is very important to us. It indicates that the community of embedded professionals recognizes the disruptive nature of the technology we develop. We are extremely fortunate to also have received the Best Service award at the Paris Nautic Show Innovation Competition in 2019. Combined, the two awards highlight the completeness of our solution: highly innovative technology offering a truly disruptive service for the marina.
We were extremely proud that, together with StatInf, two Inria spin off companies have received an award; I don’t believe an Inria startup was nominated in the past.
What are the next major steps for Falco?
Falco keeps innovating, with an R&D roadmap that won the i-Lab competition in 2020 and allowed us to elaborate a new product: a connected buoy which allows us to provide even more complete customer service and protection of the marine environment.
This new product is an important new element of our portfolio, as Falco is growing its business fast, both in France and abroad.
Falco is now actively engaging for its second funding round, to pursue and amplify this growth, and continue to industrialize its solutions for ecological // green ports and marinas.
Hello, Liliana. Hello, Adriana. Can you tell us about StatInf and the solution that was developed in your startup?
RocqStat is a StatInf product that uses statistical analysis to evaluate the behavior of software running on complex microcontrollers. The statistical analysis was proposed after drawing on the StatInf founders’ experience in three Inria research teams (Trio in Nancy, Aoste in Rocquencourt, and Kopernic in the Paris research center). Moreover, by choosing the name RocqStat (as in Rocquencourt Statistics), we pay tribute to Inria's support in the development of the solution, and its early industrialization which benefited from a strong collaboration between the research teams and the transfer teams.
Using statistics to tackle the problems of the embedded systems industry was a gamble, but one that Inria willing to take by supporting the industrial development of RocqStat. This product means that Inria's solutions can be found in Easymile's driverless shuttles or Airbus's planes, by going beyond a temporal analysis of program execution. Indeed, feedback from RocqStat users has made it possible to propose an aid to the detection of software regressions following modifications to the code of these programs.
What will this award mean for StatInf?
The Embedded Trophies are to the embedded systems industry what the Cesars are to the French movie industry. Because of their prestige, these awards provide the winning product with much greater visibility and can have a strong impact on the marketing of this product. As our sponsor is Thales RT, we have the opportunity to consolidate our position in the markets of Thales units.
No Inria start-up has ever before been nominated or received such a trophy, which shows how exceptional it is that two startups from Inria, Falco and StatInf, are winners of these awards. It is an honor for us to be up there with Falco, and it demonstrates the quality of Inria's support for its start-ups, as well as the impact of our research.
The award for the most innovative technology for StatInf consolidates an excellent 2021 showcase, with StatInf the winner of the Space Equipment category of the Techinnov Airbus & MBDA challenge and nominated for the Techinnov Aerotech Challenge, included by the BPI in the mapping of DeepTeech start-ups at the service of the competitiveness of French industries, by Paris-Saclay SPRING as one of the SPRING50, by Affinis as a start-up to follow in the French defense eco-system, as well as a finalist in the Dassault challenge entitled AI for Industry organized by the Ile de France region, and a semi-finalist in the Madein92 competition in the Innovation Challenge category. In addition, StatInf's support has enabled it to receive a PhD Paris Region 2021 innovation award, which is currently funding Chiara Diani's PhD thesis in the Kopernic team with the co-supervision of Yasmina Abdeddaïm.
What are the next major steps for StatInf?
The launching of RocqStat 1.0 is the great news of 2022 with the signing of the first two clients for StatInf, in space and in avionics. The year 2022 is also the delivery year for the DO330 qualification kit and compliant to the ISO26262 standard.
The signing of the first sales for version 1.0 motivates us to set in motion our first seed funding to prepare the launch of version 2.0 in 2023. The new features of RocqStat 2.0 will expand StatInf's addressable market to 4.4 billion euros by 2026. Clearly, this will require a significant increase in the size of the StatInf team, new CIFRE theses between Kopernic and StatInf, and even a common laboratory to facilitate the transfer of Inria solutions. As a reminder, StatInf benefits from an exclusive license of Inria patents and EVT_Kopernic software. Kopernic and StatInf team members work together in the framework of the collaborative project PSPC-regions STARTREC led by Easymile, as well as through the CIFRE doctoral thesis of Marwan Wehaiba El Khazen.