News - August 5, 2020

Tech4Islands Awards: The unprecedented worldwide success of the only competition for the recovery of the "islands of tomorrow"

Written by Guest 6 min read

186 innovative solutions from 37 Countries and Territories around the world, including 56 from Oceania and Overseas French territories - this is the phenomenal record number of entries for the major international competition Tech4Islands Awards 2020 launched worldwide by LA FRENCH TECH POLYNÉSIE on 26 May. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, this year there have been almost three times as many entries as the first edition of the Tech4Islands Awards 2019. For this 2020 edition, the vision is the RECOVERY of the island economies towards a more self-sufficient, sustainable, eco-responsible and robust development, through innovation BY and FOR islands. The 12 Finalists for the three WORLD, OCEANIA and OVERSEAS Tech4Islands Awards will be announced on Wednesday, 9 September, 2020, after the Preselection Panel made up of representatives from the world of Pacific economy, entrepreneurship, research and innovation, has examined the files.


Huge success for the 2020 edition of the Tech4Islands Awards, the only international competition whose objective is to bring out innovative, concrete and fast acting solutions BY and FOR the "islands of tomorrow". Thanks to an unprecedented worldwide mobilisation of players in innovation and research, 186 candidates, spread over the 5 continents, proposed very high quality solutions that will be tough for the Panel to decide between.

The Tech4Islands Tribe, result of an international mobilisation for innovation BY and FOR the islands

The Tech4Islands initiative for the Recovery to the "islands of tomorrow" and a more ecological, sustainable Tech takes on its full international scope this year, at a time when scientific and technological innovation is considered a priority at the global, European and national levels for sustainable, inclusive socioeconomic development, respectful of the environment and concerned about the people's wellbeing. 

The socioeconomic crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of island territories to major global economic - as well as climatic - shocks, and demonstrated the need to develop new adapted and robust development models based on the economy of innovation and knowledge. 

The challenge of this second edition of the Tech4Islands Awards vision RECOVERY was therefore to make the "voice" and the "way" of the island territories heard in this global effort and to develop from the islands and the rest of the world innovative, concrete and rapidly deployable solutions BY and FOR the "islands of tomorrow". 

The response is equal to the challenge, with an unprecedented global mobilisation of innovation and research players. No less than 186 candidates, including 56 from Oceania and the Overseas French territories, came to propose their solutions, all of which are part of a dynamic of sustainability, robustness, adaptability to the specific characteristics of island territories, the wellbeing of populations and the creation of new jobs. 

The Tech4Islands Tribe now brings together these 186 candidates for the Tech4Islands Awards RECOVERY version: startups, innovative companies and research organizations from 37 countries and territories around the world.

They are all passionate about finding solutions with a positive impact for island territories and their populations in order to meet their major environmental and societal challenges, using innovation as a lever for building the islands of tomorrow. 

The Tech4Islands Tribe works to protect the environment, oceans and biodiversity by putting innovative tools at their service. It provides solutions for better waste management and recovery, encourages the adoption of eco-responsible behaviour and favours the use of environmentally friendly modes of transport. 

It is committed to eradicating medical deserts, as well as facilitating and enhancing access and quality of care through intuitive and easy-to-use tools. It also integrates prevention tools through mobile applications and connected objects.

The Tech4Islands Tribe also designs platforms to combat illiteracy and thus reduce the societal and territorial divide by developing digital uses, an essential lever for reducing inequality and enabling everyone to access public services, training, higher education, economic activity and employment. It also offers innovative, personalised learning tools for young people, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Innovative, concrete and rapidly deployable solutions 

For each of the five axes of the Recovery, the solutions are part of a process of sustainability, inclusion and adaptability to the specific characteristics of island territories. A few examples of the 186 applications to the Tech4Islands Tribe can be found in full on their website

  • Health Tech & eHealth: solutions for teleconsultation, telemedicine, telediagnosis, a connected ultrasound robot for remote examinations, medical appointment platforms, home motor rehabilitation solutions, drone drug delivery to remote areas or medical consultation applications by phone for dead zones.

    > 18 applications submitted.

  • Sustainable and resilient Blue Tech: low-carbon maritime transport solutions that use wind and/or hydrogen as a means of propulsion, multi-sensor systems for detecting and classifying marine biodiversity, intelligent boats for transporting regular passengers, tourists or goods that do not release any polluting emissions, generate no noise or vibration, solutions proposing the setting up of connected moorings to promote sustainable lagoon management, biomimicry solutions to restore coral reefs, wastewater treatment solutions, floating hydrogen refuelling stations for maritime, river and land transport, and mobile platforms and applications dedicated to ocean protection and marine protected areas.

    > 35 applications submitted.

  • Clean Tech and Circular Economy: solar thermal desalination solutions, waste recovery to decarbonise electricity production while limiting the costs associated with the energy transition, mobile applications to connect homes and businesses with local recycling operators, the development of 3D printing, online trading platforms for local eco-friendly products, products made from biodegradable biopolymers or seaweed, multifunctional tanks equipped with photovoltaic panels, bio-sourced, recyclable and connected water turbines, autonomous, intelligent lighting systems for isolated sites, water purifiers, modular solar-powered cold rooms, clean energy solutions for waste gasification, nanofluid technology capable of reducing CO2 emissions or electricity production using wave power.

    > 60 applications submitted.

  • Smart Tourism: virtual reality tools to promote the islands, geolocation systems that allow the user to access information about places to discover, nearby shops or even restaurants, the creation of immersive cultural experiences on mobile phones in mixed reality or a floating self-sufficient platform equipped with solar panels, designed for luxury hotels.

    > 30 applications submitted.

  • Ed Tech and Digital Inclusion: inclusive, intuitive solutions to develop digital practices, fight against computer illiteracy and thus reduce the societal and territorial divide using tools that promote access to public services, training and the job market, solutions that integrate teleworking tools and digital tools to support awareness of environmental protection, and to facilitate the learning of foreign languages and develop personalised teaching materials.

    > 43 applications submitted.

The 12 Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, 9 September, 2020.

 These 186 proposals will be "put through their paces" by experts from the Pacific world in economics, entrepreneurship, research and innovation, who make up the Preselection Panel.

The panel will meet on Tuesday, 8 September, 2020 for the challenging task of selecting the WORLD, OCEANIA and OVERSEAS Tech4Islands Awards on the basis of the economic relevance of the proposed solution, its adaptability to island territories, its 'Tech For Good', eco-responsible, sustainable and robust dimension, its medium and long-term job creation prospects, its innovative and differentiating approach, its maturity and the quality of its presentation.

The names of the 12 Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, 9 September 2020. 

The Final Panel, made up of leading experts in innovation and research, will meet on Tuesday, 29 September, 2020 to select the three winners of the Tech4Islands Awards 2020 at French Tech Central in Station F, the world's largest startup campus in Paris, and by videoconference for La French Tech Polynésie and the Final Presentation of the Finalists.

Winners will be invited to present their solution at the next Tech4Islands Summit (ex-Digital Festival Tahiti), which will take place in Tahiti from 22 to 24 April 2021. 

They will also get all the necessary tools to show their potential clients and investors the credibility of their solution, its replicability on an island scale, and its environmental and social impact "GOOD FOR THE PLANET". They will thus be invited to participate in the next CES in Las Vegas, the world's largest new technology trade show, and will benefit from exclusive support to obtain the Solar Impulse Label and thus join the 1000 best solutions for the Planet, They will participate in a number of mentoring and coaching workshops, offered by renowned personalities such as Fleur PELLERIN, former minister and founding president of KORELYA CAPITAL Inès LEONARDUZZI, CEO of DIGITAL FOR THE PLANET, and Elisabeth LEONTIEFF-HIRSHON, founder of SMART OCEANIA. They will follow a masterclass offered by the NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SPACE STUDIES and the team of innovation experts of its "Connect by CNES" programme at Station F. The winners will also be put in touch with major international networks such as the PRINCE ALBERT II OF MONACO FOUNDATION, the OCEAN AND CLIMATE PLATFORM, the SMILO PROGRAM, the WAVES OF CHANGE COALITION, the RESPECTOCEAN ASSOCIATION and EDTECH FRANCE. 

The winners of the Oceania and Overseas Awards will also benefit from support from PRISM, the CCISM incubator in French Polynesia or the ZEBOX Caraïbes incubator in Guadeloupe, as well as the OUTRE-MER NETWORK accelerator at Station F in Paris. 

The best solutions will be presented at the next TECH4ISLANDS SUMMIT (formerly known as Digital Festival Tahiti), 4th International Meeting of Intelligent Islands and Lands of Innovation, to be held at the Office of the President of French Polynesia in Tahiti from 22 to 24 April 2021.

Supported by La French Tech, French Polynesia, the Pacific Fund, the Ministry of Overseas French Territories, Business France and Bpifrance, as well as by prestigious innovation partners, La French Tech Polynésie is boosting its dynamic Tech4Islands worldwide, in favour of more ecological, sustainable and robust technologies, good for the islands and therefore good for the Planet.

With the Tech4Islands Tribe, a new vision is emerging, one that is inclusive and deeply committed to protecting our environment and our oceans, ready to contribute, thanks to its innovative and very concrete solutions, to the dynamic that the islands at the heart of the... world of tomorrow. 

Written by Guest on August 5, 2020

Do you like this article? Share it with your friends!