Third episode of We Are Resilient, the webinar organized by Presans to address current issues of industrial resilience. This session deals with the relationship between large groups and SMEs through a recent success story, the development, and industrialization of the Ocov mask thanks to the actors of the Voc-Cov collective (Willingness to organize against Covid), based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Four key players in this adventure bear witness:


Why the interest in the Ocov mask?

masque OCOV

The Ocov mask is an innovative mask developed and manufactured in France. It brings a gain in health, economic and ecological performance and its design does not leave indifferent. It is an example of French industrial resilience in the context of the Covid-19 crisis and for this reason, it deserves to be examined in terms of its origin and its current prospects for development.


Webinar Guide: Ocov, from development to industrialization

03:25: The need for local anchorage and the sideration at the origin of the project ;

10:43: The role of CEA facilitator through the recently opened Y-Spot in Grenoble;

16:38: Michelin / AddUpp put 3D printing at the service of the project (with visual support);

28:33: Ouvry’s bet to industrialize and market Ocov;

47:29: lessons to be learned from the Ocov project.


My three takeaways

It is always a privilege to host these webinars, which provide a lot of material and food for thought on the role of innovation in our industrial systems. My three takeaways are as follows:


Resilience requires speed and openness

We have seen that the origin of the Ocov project lies in the shared feeling of anger for which Cédric Stien is the catalyst. We live in a world where technology facilitates the formation of open action collectives, driven by an inspiring mission, where “nice people” (vers 59:58) can advance a common goal by freeing themselves from ordinary organizational or political burdens. And openness allows for speed: I note with interest, for example, that the solution chosen for the inner skirt of the Ocov mask came from the masks used by the Rafale pilots. A remarkable and inspiring example of exaptation.


Raw materials, innovation and sovereignty

One of the challenges in the manufacture of sanitary masks in France is our dependence on raw materials in the field of fabrics (here more specifically, meltblown fibres). But the problem is more general and is in fact the starting point for any reflection on the relocation of activities (around 52:45), as we have already seen in the second webinar on the pharmaceutical industry. The Ocov project shows how open innovation can overcome this challenge.


Let’s further compare industrial systems in different countries

Last takeaway: to become more resilient, we need to draw inspiration from what is being done elsewhere. When it comes to collaboration between large groups and SMEs, Philippe Caillol points out (from 51:42) that German companies are best suited for cooperative strategies, especially when a large group sets up operations abroad. I take from this the idea that speed requires openness, but it also requires creating trust. Seen from the perspective of de Presans, this confirms the validity of the open mode of operation of our scientific and technological consulting platform, and in particular the role of our team of Fellows Presans as creators of trust. How can we create a trust if not by being demanding both on ourselves and on our partners?


Launch new synergies between industrial partners, based on technological themes

The industrial players (non-competing) can also take the initiative to pool their resources in order to explore new technological potentials, as well as possible complementarities between applications and sectors of application of these technologies. In the same spirit, Presans organizes Synergy Factories, focusing on future technological themes of interest to a variety of sectors. I strongly encourage our readers working in the industrial sector to show their interest in this type of cooperative approach: just fill in this form!