The final of the 'City of Tomorrow 3.0 Challenge', a competition designed to encourage the brightest teams of student innovators to help make city-living more sustainable, took place on May 21 at a university campus near Paris, showcasing an inventive spirit that chimes with Michelin's own culture.
Around the world, cities are growing, often at breakneck speed and with a stressful impact on people and the environment. This challenging upheaval requires us to innovate - to rethink urban living. Michelin, one of the three organisers and backers of this contest, has innovation in its DNA, and our senior executives saw this as a chance to meet and inspire a talented pool of new talent.
A team from the French engineering university École Centrale won first prize at the final for an innovative mobile application called 'iMove'. This app allows the user to compare different ways of getting around town, pricing them at rates that take account of the air quality at the time. In the words of the 'iMove' team, the app promotes "efficient and eco-friendly mobility for the city of tomorrow".
A team with a plan to use energy-efficient LED lighting technology to grow food in disused subway stations came second, while a turnkey solution to allow employees to work at home or on the move won third prize.
The fourth-placed team at the final - a group of students from China's Nanjing Tech and Tongji Universities - put forward plans for an integrated purification system designed to stop toxic fumes from polluting people's homes. Meanwhile, the fifth team set out plans for a low-cost yet sustainable delivery service that encourages carriers to optimise their loads to everyone's benefit.
Michelin was happy to see such a diversity of teams and ideas among the finalists - with diversity comes a crossover of complementary competences and talents.
That's how we work at Michelin, where we make sure our team-members go as far as they dreamed they would, and even a little further.