“We are not in California. We’re French” – Arnaud Montebourg, French Industrial Renewal Minister
This week, Le Web conference took place in Paris. More than 3000 participants from 80 countries attended this major event dedicated to international startups and web entrepreneurs. During this, the tenth anniversary of the event, the French web entrepreneur Loïc Lemeur who founded it, put the focus of the 2013 edition on innovations for “The Next 10 Years”.
According to attendants, big trends for the next ten years are mostly related to the spread of connected objects and the erasure of the line between reality and digital worlds. For enterprises, it means the future is linked with “open innovation” concepts: today’s enterprises should work together with employees, customers, providers and also external developers across a common and open network. Trying to develop internally – and secretly – their own innovations through old R&D strategies is not an option any more.
Moreover the increase of interaction between enterprises and their clients and the multiplication of connected devices and objects will generate a huge amount of “Big Data”.
France, the new silicon valley?
Consequently, Big Data – or more accurately the enhancement of Big Data – is listed among key trends for the French industrial innovation programme, recently announced by the French President François Hollande. France understands new technologies and innovations, having hosted for ten years the most important and influential event dedicated to the web industry and its evolution. Even if Loïc Lemeur has moved to Silicon Valley, he continues to organise LeWeb in his home country.
However, the French government seems to deplore French startups which move over to Silicon Valley, and the fact that US net giants try to acquire promising French startups such as Dailymotion. The French Industrial Renewal Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, who is one of most zealous French partisans of “Le made in France”, participated in a debate with web entrepreneurs at Le Web. As the government representative, he explained – in English – the French vision of innovation. But even in French, he should have kept it quiet…