FRANCE: Let’s Innovate Together Challenge
Updated: May 3
The Let’s Innovate Together Challenge (Défi Innover Ensemble) is an educational and collaborative project involving some twenty participants from different backgrounds: VET apprentices and art school students.
Since 2011, this project has been promoting excellence in seven complementary trades: shoemakers, upholsterers, saddlers and leatherworkers (Compagnons du Devoir), product designers and textile designers (art school ENSCI-Les Ateliers), and design management (French Institut for Fashion Institut Français de la Mode). For five months, these multidisciplinary teams develop daring and original projects with a different theme every year.
Throughout the project, the teams meet in a 600 m² workshop provided by the Compagnons du Devoir.
The project ends with a public presentation to a grand jury of experts made up of recognised professionals and members of the press. They study the teams' proposals, give them recommendations and advice and choose the winner of the Excellence prize offered by the J.M. WESTON Foundation, worth 10,000 euros in travel vouchers.
Name of the organisation
Association Ouvrière des Compagnons du Devoir et du Tour de France (AOCDTF)
What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?
The aim of the Innovating Together Challenge is to promote innovation through interdisciplinary dialogue between know-how, creation and the market. The complementarity of approaches and the diversity of cultures create a stimulating environment for the participants.
Each year, the focus is on the participants' ability to include the eco-responsible dimension from the design to the manufacturing of objects.
4 months of collaboration (March to July)
4 project phases: Research / Design / Development / Production
1 final jury (in the presence of business experts)
1 winning project
What have been the achievements?
Since 2011, the Let’s Innovate Together Challenge has seen the birth of nearly 30 innovative projects carried out by 200 young craftsmen, designers and managers who have been able to work together, discover each other's skills and appreciate their respective complementarities.
2018: Urban mobility and leather know-how in the 21st century
2020: Open (Re)sources, the benefits of reuse
2021: Reinventing French manufacturing post-covid
Héméra project (2015)
Who was involved and how?
Multidisciplinary teams of art students (product designers and textile designers) and apprentices (shoemakers, upholsterers, saddlers and leatherworkers)
A training centre: Compagnons du Devoir and its Flexible Materials Centre of Excellence
A sponsor: JM Weston Foundation