Europe's largest tech event
With its 50,000 m2 exhibition area, 2,400 start-ups, 2,000 exhibitors, hundreds of conferences and over 90,000 visitors in 2022, Viva Technology has confirmed its status of the biggest event of its kind in Europe. Its general manager François Bitouzet spoke about the ambitions of this major tech rendezvous in Paris.
What was the purpose of launching Viva Technology in 2016 ?
We thought that the European tech, digital and start-up community was way too fragmented. On the one hand, there were start-ups creating innovation and disruption who were lacking resources and access to investors or potential customers. On the other hand, large groups – with resources and customers – seeking this type of innovation. Viva Technology’s mission is precisely to unite all the players and foster meetings that could not happen elsewhere.
Hence the diversity of the sectors present…
Exactly. Unlike other exhibitions, we do not focus on a single sector or audience. We are a multi-expert event.
Who are these experts ?
This year, we have 2400 start-ups ; large groups like LVMH, Verizon, Manpower, Audi ; pure players like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Meta, Alibaba, PayPal… and also – very importantly – the public sector : country, region and city representatives. So, it is a 360-degree event where these important meetings happen. Even the unexpected : a “ deep tech ” start-up and a luxury group may discover common interests – a green approach to winemaking ? Everything is possible.
François Bitouzet, managing director of Viva Technology.
Is this a European event ?
There’s a strong European presence and we contribute to anchoring European tech on the global scene. Visitors from the US tell me that they travel all the way to Paris precisely because this is where they find the best of the European tech ecosystem. This said, Viva Tech is not a European event : it is a global event held in Paris. Dozens of countries are represented – Korea is this year’s guest of honour, for New Zealand it will be a first. All the speeches are held in English – only President Emmanuel Macron has the right to speak in French !
By the way, there are hundreds of speeches ! Are discussions an important part of your programme ?
Absolutely. We would like to think of the future of technology and what it will be used for. We would also like to ask questions, challenge models. The aim is to provide a snapshot of European and global technology and to make sure everyone leaves with an open vision. Viva Tech is a kind of crossover between a B2B CES and the World Economic Forum.
Web 3.0, cybersecurity, “ food tech “… : the topics addressed are extremely varied…
There is a very rich programme. However, we focus on a number of major topics, including artificial intelligence, at the heart of current debates and, just a year before the Paris Olympic Games, the future of sport. The main accent is on “ Tech for good ” – how technology can help meeting major social and environmental challenges. There is for instance a “ FemTech ” village which will address the topics of inclusion and diversity. Or else, an “ Impact mile ” – a 100 m long, 400 m2 alley to promote tech or digital innovation that may very well lead to fundamental changes.
Can you give us a concrete example, among others ?
I would mention Sweetch Energy. This French start-up has managed to develop a solution capable of harnessing osmotic energy, which forms where freshwater and saltwater meet. It is a rather tenuous form of energy, but Sweetch Energy’s membranes, installed in river estuaries, are capable of converting it into 100% renewable energy, enough to power a big city !
These innovations are also presented to the general public…
Indeed : after three B2B days, Saturday is open to the general public. It is always highly inspiring, with loads of positive energy. Visitors come to discover new technologies (the latest “ flying car ”, new energy sources, etc.), there’s a sense of wonder and magic. But there is more to it than that : for us, this day is also an awareness day. We would like to demonstrate to young audiences that tech jobs are not exclusively for the elite, but open to all, including women, who are still largely under-represented. By the way, we will invite 3,000 female high school and university students. Exhibitors play along and it works: young people come to Viva Tech also to discover careers, companies and to share their CVs.
Viva Technology : Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, from 14 to 17 June 2023
French tech and Swiss-Made
After exhibiting in 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic, LEMO will make a major comeback to Viva Technology this year. The Swiss group, a partner to “ French Tech ” for decades, fits perfectly in this world of excellence and innovation.
Just like major exhibitors at the Paris event, LEMO will promote several technological gems on its 40 m2 stand. There will be Focal, famous designer of high-tech loudspeakers and headsets. Delair, leader of professional drone solutions for the industry and Defense. Finally, Namma, a young start-up proposing a real industrial “ Swiss army knife ” : its Eva machine combines 3D printing, CNC machining and laser engraving.
This remarkable trio embodies the quality and diversity of French innovation and of LEMO solutions. Come and visit Hall 1, stand D41.