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Lectured by Lucca Verre, Prophesee CEO

On June 9, 2020, RouteX COO Masahiro Tsukao joined in a member-only webinar “Members Monthly Meeting” hosted by Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) This article is the event report contributed by RouteX Inc. as below.

On June 9, 2020, Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) held a webinar “Members Meeting” for its members only. It was held with more than 50 participants from member companies in both Japan and France. It was a really lively event!

As a guest, we had the opportunity to meet with a French start-up founder, Mr. Luca Verre, CEO of Prophesee. Prophesee have provided advanced “Event-Based Vision” systems to various fields such as self-driving technology, industry 4.0, and so on. At this time Mr. Verre kindly speeched attractively with the title,

“The future of AI is neuromorphic”.

1. About Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) / Startups Creativity Challenge(SCC)

2. About Prophesee

3. Event report

4. Upcoming CEFJ events

1. About Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) / Startups Creativity Challenge(SCC)

Comité d’échanges Franco-Japonais (CEFJ) is a non-profit organization established in 1997 with the aim of contributing to the development of French-Japanese business relations and deepening mutual understanding in the global environment.

CEFJ has been supporting more active exchanges for business purpose, between French and Japanese companies for more than 20 years through a variety of programs and information, and currently has 157 members in both countries, supported by its huge network in France and in Japan but also in Europe and Asia.

(Image Credit: CEFJ)

Recently CEFJ has launched a new innovation program,

“Startups Creativity Challenge (SCC)”.

It will be held three times in total from 2019 to 2021 annually in order to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and France and to build organic startup ecosystems together.

(Image Credit: CEFJ)

The first edition, held in October 2019, was attended by 128 participants from both Japan and France. 4 enterprises and 9 startups also came together. The event was held at Station F, France’s largest incubation facility. In the presence of Mr. Nobuyuki IDEI, former CEO of Sony,  Chairman and Founder of Quantum Leaps, and Ms. Anne Lauvergeon, former CEO of Areva, CEO of ALP, welcomed by President Kling and Delegate President Kuchly, the atmosphere is really attractive, and various kind of players actively discussed how to create new innovations between the two countries.

The second SCC event, scheduled to take place in December 2020 in Paris, will be even more practical than the first. The SCC will further accelerate cross hydride collaboration between large companies and startups and generate innovations.

2. Members Meetingゲスト紹介:Prophesee

Mr. Luca Verre, Member of the CEFJ, and the guest at its Members June Meeting, is CEO of Prophesee. Prophesee is a startup that develops sensing devices that are designed based on the structure of the human optic nerve, with two core technologies: a patented cutting-edge visualization technology and AI algorithms. These devices can be used in various applications such as self-driving cars, medical devices, IoT and AR/VR. They are highly anticipated and are already in practical use.

So far, Prophesee has collaborated with multinational IT and manufacturing companies to apply its core technologies to deviceization, mass production and commercialization. Especially in Japan, it have achieved mass production in collaboration with major companies. The company is also aiming to further expand its sales channels.

Founded in 2014 in Paris, France, led by Mr. Verre, Prophesee currently has international offices in San Francisco, Tokyo and Shanghai, and is expanding its business worldwide with more than 100 engineers and researchers.

(Image Credit: CEFJ)

Mr. Verre also took the stage at the 2019 SCC gave a lecture titled

“A new category of bio-inspired vision to visualize what machines can’t see.”

“Une nouvelle catégorie de vision bio-inspirée pour révéler l’invisible aux machines.”.

He has been,  since then, one of the main holders of the Commun Thread of SCC program “Why not Japan, Why not France? “ and will accompany us til the achievement of the SCC at the beginning of 2022.

3. Event Report

The event, which began at 10:30 a.m. local time in Paris on June 9, 2020, was held online with about 50 people from CEFJ member companies in both countries.

At the beginning of the event, Ms. Noriko Tominaga, General Director of CEFJ, opened the event with an opening speech. She explained the purpose of the event and stated that while the impacts of COVID-19 were and remain strong in France, the CEFJ is convinced of the importance of the its network solidarity between its Member companies to make these crises big chances for the future. Through innovation, exchanges of informations and of specialities and skills of each of the members !!

She also stated that the upcoming second SCC will be held in December 2020 at Station F in Paris. As well as making the contents more practical, she intended to build a stronger French-Japanese cross hydride collaboration relationship through SCC and to prepare for the third event which is planned to be held in Japan.

Then, as today’s main content, Mr. Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee, and World Economic Forum Pioneer Technology, kindly lectured with the title,

“The future of AI is neuromorphic: How Prophesee is tackling the next challenges of AI leveraging the Japanese ecosystem”.

(From the presentation material、comparing Prophesee’s original technology “Event-Based sensor(right) with a conventional one “Frame-Based sensor”(left))

First of all, he explained Prophesee’s proprietary technology system which is used to develop its innovative sensing devices. The conventional sensing technology, called Frame-Based Sensors, mainly focuses on color, texture and background as detection. It depends on external environments and it may not be possible to detect the data properly, or the data size may be too large to be analyzed.

On the other hand, the Event-Based Sensor, developed by Prophesee, enables to detect the movement of an object accurately regardless of the external environment by sensing the change of contrast. The amount of data acquired with the Event-Based Sensor is smaller than and the power consumption required for sensing is reduced.

(From the presentation material、Prophesee aim to apply its core technology to various fields)

Next, he introduced examples of applications of core technology. Prophesee’s sensing devices are expected to be used in a variety of applications such as machine tools, home appliances and automobiles. He explained that Japan is a key market for Prophesee, as the country is home of many global companies.

He also introduced actual applications for automobiles, electronic devices and machine tools. Prophesee’s sensing devices have made self-driving and Industry 4.0 a reality.

(From the presentation material, There are several barriers to construct new value chains in manufacturing industry.)

Next, He spoke about the obstacles and solutions to Prophesee’s business expansion in the Japanese market. In order to add values in manufacturing industries, which requires a complex value chain, small startups need to collaborate with large companies. In fact, Prophesee has expanded its devices into the Japanese market by collaborating with Japanese enterprises such as Sony.

(From the presentation material, CVC has much contribution to create deep tech ecosystem.)

And lastly, he talked about the importance of building an ecosystem through collaborations between innovative technology (Deep Tech) startups and large Japanese companies. while collaborations between startups and large companies are essential to bring Deep Tech to market as a business, building a new value chain takes a long time. Hence it is necessary to build an ecosystem that is led by a leader such as CVC (Corporate Venture Capital).

During the Q&A session, participants asked many questions in the online tool’s chat box, and various discussions continued until the very last minute of the event.

4. Upcoming CEFJ events

CEFJ will be hosting a variety of webinars and online contents in preparation for the SCC in December 2020. In the beginning of July, CEFJ is planning to hold a webinar about SCC.

And on 8th July, the next series webinar lectured by ispace, which is one of the most advanced space-tech startups in Japan, on “Space 6.0”.will be held. Please feel free to join us.

CEFJ Members Meetings are member- only events. If you have any interests or inquiries about CEFJ and Prophesee, please don’t hesitate to send us a message.

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