On July 4th and 5th, the French office welcomed for the 3rd consecutive year forty-seven of its partners and members of its ecosystem for a Partners Day in Marseille: an event dedicated to reinforcing the relationships between the members of the KIC InnoEnergy community. The 2016 edition focused on energy issues in the maritime world and port environment.
On the outdoor deck of the New Hotel of Marseille, the Partners Day 2016 started with a pitching session as an icebreaker. Every participant introduced him/herself in one minute. Whether they were from the industrial world (like Total, AREVA or Schneider Electric) or educational one (such as Grenoble Ecole de Management or Ecole Polytechnique), the participants shared their mission and current needs related to the energy field. Twelve representatives of the 29 start-ups supported by KIC InnoEnergy France also attended the event and took part to the pitching session (with a lot of ease thanks to all the coaching received though the Highway®!). Once all presentations were over, small groups quickly formed, gathering around same areas of interest. Almost like a beehive.
The day after, participants learnt about the innovative and industrial PIICTO project  of the Marseille-Fos port. Since 2013, the “Grand Port Maritime de Marseille-Fos” gathered around this project several actors from the city of Fos (near Marseille), including 9 industrial actors and regional authorities.
According to Frédéric Dagnet (Director of the Prospective and Evaluation Mission), the PIICTO project aims at reinforcing the existing industrial ecosystem of the Marseille-Fos port. This new challenge will “improve the attractiveness of the port, thanks to a better use of energy”, according to Sylvain Pichon (PIICTO Project Manager). Through this project, the port will indeed create a 1.200 hectare of industrial “plug & play” platform with an incubator of pre-industrial demonstrators focused on energy transition (Innovex).
As part of this energy challenge, the hydrogen sector is one of PIICTO’s priority. This branch is able to improve energy storage, as illustrated by the innovation project Flowbox supported by KIC InnoEnergy France. Based in the Marseille Fos Port on the “KEM ONE” site, Flowbox evaluates a new “Flow Battery” technology, by producing and storing electricity thanks to hydrobromic acid and hydrogen. With the explanation of Lucile Voiron (Product Development Service Manager at AREVA and Flowbox Project Manager), we had the opportunity to approach by boat this “emblematic case of the industrial renewal” as described by the French Minister for Economic Affairs Emmanuel Macron during his visit on site last January.
To remind the 2016 focus on the energy maritime challenges, the endnote of this sunny Partners Day was a last networking lunch with Southern specialities and a sea view. What will be the focus of the next edition?
 PIICTO: Plateforme Industrielle et d’Innovation de Caban Tonkin