How Airbus Développement supports innovative structures
AIRBUS DEVELOPPEMENT, an entity of the European group dedicated to the economic development of the territories, supported 135 startups last year, including around thirty in Occitania, a region that houses the headquarters of the aeronautics and space giant. Interventions - in the form of grants and loans - which represent an annual global envelope of € 3 million.
It is difficult to find the slightest connection between the innovation developed by the start-up Epur and the field of activity of the Airbus group. And for good reason: the young shoot, founded in 2016 by Ilias Zinsstag and Pierre Giusti in Rodome, in the Aude, imagined a portable numerically-controlled robot, called Oakbot, intended for carpentry professionals.
"We were carpenters ourselves, says llias Zinsstag," And during an intervention on a site where we had to work on dozens of identical parts,
we had the idea of developing an easy-to-use machining tool, capable of automating certain tasks and therefore capable of generating
Three years of R&D and a patent filing later, the duo founded Epur. A first pre-series of ten copies was marketed at the end of 2018 by the company, which now has seven employees. In the meantime, the start-up has approached Airbus Développement, a bit by chance. “Quite frankly, we did not know of the existence of this structure,” llias Zinsstag confides. It was a business manager with whom we work who told us about it and who put us in touch. "
Result: the start-up, currently in the fundraising phase, was granted an honor loan of € 30,000 conditional in part on job creation.
“The Airbus Développement team was won over by our technology, but also by our location in rural areas,” adds llias Zinsstag. That an actor like
Airbus is thus involved in the development of the territory is particularly important. And beyond the check, we benefit from invaluable support,
as well as a real network effect. "
Original article published in Air & Cosmos, September 2019