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A new R&D paradigm: crafting strategy by designing patents

Business March 28th, 2017, Olga Kokshagina / Innovation Manager, STIM, Associated Researcher at the Chair of Design Theory and Methods for Innovation, Mines ParisTech

Undoubtedly patents represent, today, a major criterion in making investment decisions and in firms' competitive advantage. Yet, the way we deal with designing patentable inventions does not reflect their strategic potential. Patents are strategic assets in theory but mainly secondary activity in practice. What if they were not an outcome but an input to craft your company's' future?

There are two main components of a compensation policy: salaries and equity. An equation with only two variables? Should be pretty simple, right? Well, not when you are talking about something as symbolic as money. Let's dig dive and look at the best practices of compensation policy for startups. Starting with equity.

How should you design your compensation policy? As we’ve seen in the first part dedicated to incentives in startups, equity should be the main driver for both founders and early employees, since it rewards risks and performance. The question is to determine what level of equity should be offered to a given candidate.

Companies like others? A sociological survey of French startup

Business March 21st, 2017, Michel Grossetti / Senior Researcher, EHESS PSL Research University, LISST lab

Young innovative companies are the subject of much interest. Their example reinforces a mythology of innovation that has its classical examples, its specific locations (MIT, the Silicon Valley), its theoreticians (Joseph Schumpeter and the economics of innovation), its heroes (from Edison to Mark Zuckerberg). But behind the scene lies a more complex reality. What does a sociological approach reveal?

The digital revolution and the 5 Ps of medicine

Society March 17th, 2017, Julien Damon / Associate Professor at Sciences Po, President of Eclairs Consulting

In the healthcare industry, the digital revolution affects two major areas: big data and eHealth (digital tools applied to healthcare). The availability of massive volumes of data is a hard fact. This exponential rise has layed the foundation for the medicine of the future, caracterised by 5 Ps: preventive, predictive, participatory, personalized, pertinent.

3D printing is considered the new industrial revolution, likely to disrupt the behavior of consumers and manufacturers, involving relocation of production facilities, reconstruction of labor, changes in material applications and what's more, a growing challenge for intellectual property owners. To copy an object you only need two things: an electronic schematic of the product and a 3D printer. This means that anyone can reproduce any available design, putting designer brands in the same situation that the music industry found itself in when MP3 files hit the market.

Very few areas have remained unchanged by the digital revolution. Politics is no exception. In recent years, various initiatives have emerged to harness the possibilities offered by digital technology in order to improve or renew democracy. Amidst the crisis of our Western democracies, undermined by a growing gap between citizens and their representatives, by abstention and by the rise of extremism, civic technology revives the democratic process by improving information, enabling greater citizen participation and empowerment, ultimately improving government transparency.

Is democracy just another market? Can we build a sustainable economic model with the help of digital tools whose purpose is to put citizens at the center of the democratic game? If yes, how? Must these structures be associative by nature or can they embrace a commercial scale while remaining true to their goals? Should they opt for an open source or proprietary logic? This expanding ecosystem raises a number of questions about their financing and business model.

While civic technology undeniably offers promising solutions to the democratic crisis, it also suffers from serious limitations. Even if it reaches millions of people, its primary objective, achieving greater involvement of citizens in democratic life, is far from being reached. Based on an idealized vision of citizenship, civic technology is still struggling to expand beyond its natural public. Lastly, it defends goals of openness, transparency and collaboration that face a fragmentation of information, on social networks and the Internet, dangerous both for our societies and democracies.

PSL and the Paris Innovation Review: behind the partnership, a strategic vision

Industries February 15th, 2017, Thierry Coulhon & Francis Mer / President of PSL Université Paris & President of Paris Innovation Review, Former Minister of Economy

The partnership between PSL and ParisTech Review, which gave rise to the Paris Innovation Review, reflects a shared vision: for developed economies, as well as for institutions with a global vocation, innovation is the very key to power. Yet one does not simply decree innovation. Innovation dynamics, on the other hand, can be enabled, by enhancing exchanges between disciplines, between institutions, between cultures, between public and private stakeholders, between researchers and entrepreneurs. An institution like PSL is an exchange enabler. Such is also the vocation of Paris Innovation Review.

Top universities: new players in the global game of power?

Society February 15th, 2017, Cédric Denis-Rémis & Armand Hatchuel / Deputy Director of Mines ParisTech (PSL Université Paris) & Professor at Mines Paristech, Chair of Design Theory and Methodes for Innovation

The term university covers a wide range of institutions. In time, this diversity could narrow down to two main types of universities: a local model, with institutes and Bachelor degrees related to regional development; a global model, including prototypes such as Harvard or Oxford, and emerging players in Europe or China. These world-class universities can be seen as a new type of universal power.

Research exploitation: catching up at a quick pace!

Science and Technology February 15th, 2017, Jacques Lewiner / Professor and Honorary Scientific Director of ESPCI ParisTech, Dean of Transformation, PSL Université Paris

In France, there has been a long-standing contrast between the high level of academic research and the modest result of research exploitation. Old habits die hard, but the situation is changing fast. PSL's Jacques Lewiner, sometimes nicknamed as the man with one thousand patents, was among the pioneers.

Overthrowing digital platforms: lessons from WeChat

Business January 15th, 2017, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

Tencent's WeChat is your Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype and Uber, it's your Amazon, Instagram, Venmo and Tinder, and it's other things we don't even have apps for, says the NYT. Gathering all these functions within a single app is already very impressive. But Tencent has even larger goals: WeChat will soon distribute its very own apps. With this move, it takes competition from an app-to-app level to an app-to-OS one.

Why the current price of Uber stocks is a daring wager

Business January 12th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

The arrival of Uber and other booking platforms has a strong impact on the taxi licensing market, while the shares of new operators are taking off. From capitalization to revenues, the sector as a whole sees its economy turned upside down. Financial economics offers good insights on what is going on... knowing that the disruption movement has only started: on the one hand Uber is far from having realized its potential, on the other the platform paves the way to its future competitors.

The City and the Valley: how Tech is impacting San Francisco and vice versa

Society January 8th, 2017, Olivier Alexandre / Sociologist, Labex Icca and Cems-Imm/EHESS PSL Research University

The Bay area is not only an economic reality with a level of investments, quantifiable turnover, number of unicorns or tech business stock market. It is also a territory that stages its own history. Stretching over a hundred kilometers, the strip of land running from the North of San Francisco to the South of Jan José can be analyzed as an ice core. Beyond the frantic entrepreneurial energy that runs through it, we could see different architectonic displacements, which keep track of deeper transformations, from Sunnyvale to Cupertino, from Mountain View to Menlo Park, from Palo Alto to San Francisco.

The trend towards increasing personalization of food is the result of the convergence of many scientific and technological advances and a growing demand from consumers for customized products and services, that take into account their health concerns. Opportunities in terms of innovations are huge. This largely explains the current craze around the foodtech industry. Some of these innovations are already on the market or seeking for investors. Others are still under prototyping or laboratory project.

Personalized food is not limited to personalizing food products in order to meet the needs of consumers with the prospect, during the coming decades, of creating a truly personalized diet. Consumers also ask for more control over what they consume and the way they eat it. Some even wish to produce, transform and control their own food in increasingly autonomous and sophisticated ways, according to their own wishes and quality standards. A mix, one could say, of cooking and manufacturing.

Air quality and energy transition: the French case

Society December 12th, 2016, Jean-Luc Legoupil / President, Renard Engineering and Communication

Emissions of air pollutants have plummeted in France since 1990. But progress is yet to be made, especially in urban areas, in industrial zones and paradoxically in the countryside: these pollutants, which have become less visible and more subtle, are carried by winds and across borders. In this area, rigorous scientific analysis is required to allow to devote our collective and individual resources to share the actually most effective actions for our well-being.

Universal basic income: the contradictions of a simple idea

Society December 8th, 2016, Charles Wyplosz / Professor of International Economics and Director of the International Centre for Money and Banking Studies, Graduate Institute, Geneva

While certainly tempting, providing a simple answer to a complicated question is a straight road to failure. Ever since our alleged ancestors, Adam and Eve, were cast out of heaven, we all dream of a world where we will live a happy life, free from material contingencies. This dream is so deeply rooted that we embrace it immediately. Whether left-wing or right-wing, advocates of universal basic income generate a great deal of enthusiasm. Who wouldn't dream of eradicating poverty? Unfortunately, the path to dreams is strewn with pitfalls and overly simple or confusing reasoning gives improper advice.

Network entrepreneurs, or 
how intellectualism works in the digital age

Society December 5th, 2016, Fred Turner / Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Stanford University

The digital transformation has begun to reshape traditional literary culture, as well as traditional intellectual culture. Three Americans were central to that process: Norbert Wiener, the celebrated founder of cybernetics, Stewart Brand, a leading hippie figure from the 70s, 
and more recently Tim O'Reilly, who brought us the terms web 2.0 and open source, as well as a few other ways of looking at the world. How do they work as intellectuals?

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