Limula receives the Innovation by Design Challenge Jury Award

Les 2 équipes gagnantes (LIMULA et CleanBoat) de la 5e édition d'Innovation by Design Challenge © 2021 ECAL

Les 2 équipes gagnantes (LIMULA et CleanBoat) de la 5e édition d'Innovation by Design Challenge © 2021 ECAL

The fifth edition of the Innovation by Design Challenge of the City of Renens has just held its prize-giving ceremony on November 10th at the ECAL. Five young companies from the Canton and 10 designers were able to work on improving their product by using design levers. The Jury Prize was awarded to the EPFL startup Limula. The Public's Favourite Award and the City Council Award were both awarded to the CleanBoat project.

The Entrepreneurship Week within the city of Renens, was renewed with a new edition of the Innovation by Design Challenge co-organised by its city (Renens), the ECAL/Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne, the EPFL, the HEIG-VD, Innovaud and the Fondation des Ateliers de la Ville de Renens. After a call for projects launched in early September, five projects were selected:

  • Limula SA - manufacturing cells to fight cancer;
  • Vineatrac - an autonomous vehicle for mechanised work by winegrowers;
  • Sauvagement vôtre - educational kit for teachers, training children in food;
  • B'Novus - clean tech furniture made of bamboo with special connectors;
  • CleanBoat - mechanical brush for ecological boat cleaning.

The collaborative and interdisciplinary work in the form of 12 hours of workshops allowed the companies to revisit their product and service offer in a very short time thanks to the skills of young designers. The issues addressed covered a wide range of concrete fields.

The company/designer pairs unveiled the concrete results of their work on 10 November at the ECAL in front of more than 100 spectators and about 360 person connected to the online broadcast of the ceremony. After having attended the presentation of each project, the different juries have deliberated.

The jury of the Challenge - composed of important actors of the design and innovation sectors, and chaired by the Mayor of Renens, Mr. Jean-François Clément - awarded the Innovation by Design Challenge Prize of the City of Renens worth CHF 8'000 to the EPFL startup Limula. The latter worked with industrial designers Blandine Gay and Olivia Dall'Omo on the design of a medical instrument to automate the production of anti-cancer cell therapies.

The Public's Favourite Award of CHF 2,000 - awarded by electronic vote of the people following the event on site or online - and the Renens City Council Award - composed of five representatives of the Renens legislature - of CHF 1,000 each crowned the start-up CleanBoat. It teamed up with design engineer Thuy Ly Nguyen and industrial designer Gabriel Hafner on the visual and ergonomic improvement of a brush that cleans the hulls of boats and avoids the installation of environmentally harmful antifouling.

Bringing together the region's talents to drive the innovations of tomorrow

The objective of this fifth edition has therefore been achieved, namely the willingness to bring together the talents of the region to give concrete shape to the innovations of tomorrow. And thanks to this challenge and the prize-giving event, the public was once again able to take the pulse of the talent pool from which the canton of Vaud benefits, as well as the multiple know-how present on the Renens territory in terms of entrepreneurship and design.

For the past five years, the meeting of these two realities within the Innovation by Design Challenge has enabled innovative projects to see the light of day and the personalities of tomorrow to express themselves. It is a concrete expression of the policy of promoting entrepreneurship and innovation led by the City of Renens. Since the first edition, 26 teams have been able to compete. 14 of the young companies or startups that participated are still active. 10 of them have indicated that they continue to hire designers following the experience. And 5 teams are even continuing to develop the project started during the Challenge.

The joint long-term investment by the City of Renens, the ECAL, the HEIG-VD, the EPFL and the Fondation des Ateliers de la Ville de Renens has produced real concrete effects, initiated unprecedented synergies, and created value. The Municipality and its partners therefore reaffirm their commitment to this Challenge, whose invigorating edition will serve as a springboard for future ones.