Hibou Communication

The start of 2023 has been dominated by the launch of AI tools such as Open AI’s Chat GPT, which is already impacting the worlds of journalism, marketing, copywriting and many other sectors. It’s certainly innovative; and an indication that we are to see significant changes in how many industries work.

However, I also like to see evidence and examples of innovation in other forms.

It’s tempting to think that innovation can only be found in the larger cities, whether this is London, Paris, New York or wherever in the world.

Certainly these major cities are hubs of innovation and expertise – but if you look closely, many other places in France and elsewhere contain plenty of excellent examples of innovation, leading to the establishment of young – and often quickly growing – enterprises.

Last Saturday I visited Saint-Brieuc in the Côtes-d’Armor, Brittany along with my good friend Jean-Luc GALLO for the annual exhibition organised by Grand Ouest Innovations. Around 50 exhibitors from across Brittany came to this one-day event. During the day more than 3,000 people visited the conference centre to speak to the business owners and find out more about their products and solutions.

Some of the projects on display were hi-tech… others were relatively simple in concept, but well executed and have the potential to tap into growing markets. Sustainability was definitely a key theme – and it was impressive to see the number of exhibitors recycling and using innovative ways to reduce waste and minimise the use of our diminishing global resources.

I managed to speak to, or visit, the majority of stands. I was particularly interested in Lizia, a design service company based in Rennes who have created a three-in-one reading device. Simple, but effective.

The use of electric bikes in France is growing hugely. I spent a while talking to the owner of Reine Bike, whose stylish French (and Breton) made bikes are clearly beautifully made and can take advantage of increasing interest in vélos électriques. Currently the market is dominated by other countries; hopefully this business will help France to gain a greater share.

Cats rule the internet, for sure? Maybe – although not for dog-lovers!

The market for feline products in France is without doubt rising rapidly. Eizhy founded by Typhaine Fox takes locally harvested plants from Brittany and transforms them into pellet granules which can be used for cat litter and heating.

When I first changed to a AZERTY keyboard, having used QWERTY for several years, fortunately it did not take me long to adapt. Some people with dyslexia face other challenges though – and 17 year old Ryann DUBOIS has created a keyboard to help those with this disability.

These are only a few examples. Innovation which is providing sustainable solutions, creating jobs and fulfilling a need for a variety of markets.

I’m looking forward to the next exhibition!

Good luck to all of the businesses.