Ten inventors who made our region talk

It was created in 1901 by the Seine County Sheriff’s Office, Louis Leibin. Since then, the French competition has awarded prizes to thousands of inventors, for famous inventions like the potato masher, the 1000 Terminals game or even the steel lung.

From Friday until October 30, in Pavilion 7.2 of the Parc des expositions de la Porte de Versailles in Paris, it is presented in a new format, the temporary Lépine competition.

There, about fifty inventors who have already won medals, will once again display the inventions that made them successful, the advances they brought them, and their journey.

We are taking advantage of this event to highlight ten creations that shed light on our region.


Jura: Telescopic Pole for Stationary Swimmers by Michel Vernet

It is a fiberglass pole that hangs over the edge of your pool and rests on its edge. Thus, the associated swimmer can do their lengths consistently without having to go to the nearest Olympic swimming pool.

This pole is Dolois Michel Vernet who came up with the idea in 2003. After several tests, he presented a prototype for the Lépine competition at the Strasbourg fair. Received the special award from the Secretary of State.

Michel Vernet Connects With “Silent Swimmers”

Upper Loire: forSolar Panel / Geothermal Heat Pump Connecting Closet from Roger Dolmazon

Roger Dolmazon and his son Raphael, while presenting his prize at the European Liben competition in Strasbourg, in 2012. Photo archive Progrès/DE

For more than 25 years, an electrician from Mazet-Saint-Voy has heated his home with a cabinet that allowed him to connect a solar installation to a geothermal facility.

He was the only one in the world who possessed such equipment. And for good reason, he was the one who invented it.

At first, we thought he was crazy, but when the price of fuel began to rise, his idea was no longer so far fetched. In 2010, he filed for a French patent, then a European patent the following year.

In 2012, we find him at the European Liben Competition at the Strasbourg Fair where he won the Special Prize from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2013, he went to the international Lépine competition, at the Paris fair, and was awarded a special prize from the Ministry of the Environment.

>> Mazet’s electric invention won in the Lépine . competition


The Eye: The Simplified Way to Learn to Play the Piano by Jean-Marie Colin

A music teacher for over 30 years and a passion for education, Aindinois Jean-Marie Colin has developed a method that allows you to learn to play the piano easily, quickly and independently.

A method based on the logic of memory, movements and anticipation of the gaze and allows the division of learning time in two.

This Colin method won a silver medal for its inventor at the European Lépine competition in Strasbourg in 2013, and then was rewarded several times at the international competition in Paris in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

>> Jean-Marie Colin Prize at the Lépine competition for his piano style

Loire: Aurélien Rodot’s retro mini console

In 2018, 4,000 copies of this small console were already sold, 90% of which were exported. Progress Photo Archive / Claude Isertl

Trained as an engineer and hacker his whole life, Aurélien Rodot of Loire set up his company to market his own small vintage Gamebouino console.

A very cute little “game” dedicated to the “nostalgic nerds” of the first video games. But it also fits well with the times: it allows you to get acquainted with programming, electronics and robotics.

Thus we can manipulate it to enrich it according to our desires.

And it works. In 2018, shortly after its release, the mini console sold 4,000 copies, 90% of which were exported.

>> Gamebuino, the little console for learning while having fun

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Rune: the connected cell of the people of Apiagio

Hive connected to save bees? That’s the idea that startup Apiago, based in the Rhone, is based in Condrio. A creature dedicated to individuals making it possible to welcome these precious allies of biodiversity without being an experienced beekeeper. He is mounted at a height, and can be controlled with his laptop, from his sofa.

Despite the connection, the system operates without any subscription and without any electricity consumption: the cell is powered by a small solar panel in the shape of an oak leaf.

For its invention, Rhone was awarded at the International Lépine Competition in Paris in 2019. Two years later, it was commercialized.

>> Two years after Concours Lépine, connected cells were launched on the market

Al Ain: Birthplace of Olivier Berkand’s burger

Olivier Berquand invented Croc-up to improve comfort when eating a burger. Progress Photo Archive / Laurent Thevenot

That was in 2014. While dining in a fast food restaurant, Olivier Berkand and two of his friends imagined a simple, simple thing, a kind of cardboard cradle, that could allow you to eat a burger without having to take it out, and without it its ingredients do not fall on clothes .

It is Croc-up, which awarded Le Bressan and its partners a silver medal at the Concours Lépine, in Paris, in the same year.

>> Four years later, the burger cradle is closer to success


Haute-Loire: Defay side dumper

Side tipping wheelbarrow? This is the great idea that Pascal Colombet and Dominic Davy, secretary and director of Davy’s public works company, based in Saint-Germain-Labrade, had.

An invention approved by a podiatrist, which will facilitate the transfer of loads on all terrains and avoid back pain.

This instrument won a gold medal at the Lépine International Competition in Paris in 2018.

>> Ingenious wheelbarrow awarded a gold medal at Concours Lépine

Loire: Lala Clip by Michael Pollard

These innovative baby clips, which do not twist or pinch, awarded Michael Pollard a silver medal in the 2013 Liben competition. Photo archive Progrès / R. PERRIN

Develop a clip that doesn’t twist, doesn’t pinch and holds well even on very fine hair?

That’s what Michael Pollard did with Lala’s clip, as his little girl’s nickname, his inspiration.

Easy to use, and available in several colours, its allegory invention enabled it to win a silver medal at the International Lépine Competition in Paris in 2013.

>> Mikaël Poulard made an innovative buckle for its simplicity


Haute-Loire: Olivier Joux’s Cyclodebout

It’s a funny bike that doesn’t sit on it but stays upright. Hence its perfect name: Cyclodebout, designed by Altiligerian Olivier Joux.

A new transportation method invented in 2016, which enabled businessman Yssingelais to win a gold medal at the Lépine International Competition in Paris in 2018.

This bike has been marketed since 2021 and is made up of parts produced exclusively in France. The engine comes only from Asia.

>> Cyclodebout: From the Lépine competition to mass distribution

Eye: Fabric Furniture for Kids by Corinne Friess

With her creations, Aindinoise has already won two medals in the Lépine competition. Progress Photo Archives / Caroline Bury

Corinne Friess graduated in visual arts, interior design, and cabinetry in Strasbourg, and began making children’s furniture out of foam and fabric when her nephew was born.

These creations began to make her known. They even let him take one bronze and one silver, in 2014, at the Concours Lépine. Based in Bugey, the young woman also makes wooden furniture.

>> Corinne Fris reinvents children’s furniture

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