We have a partly new team in place, here at the Press Office of the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in London, with our new Editorial Assistant, Amal Froidevaux, who comes from Aix-en-Provence (in south-eastern France) and started with us in September, and our new Project Manager, Joanna Routaboul, who joined the department at the start of December.
Joanna, who was previously based near Agen (in south-western France), replaces Pierre Mancini, who decided to leave London and return to Paris when he was offered a job in the cultural-services sector. Joanna has a strong background in sales and marketing, and will be an invaluable addition to the team so as to develop our activity into 2013 — something which is more important than ever in these challenging times.
The September-to-December period is always a busy one at the Press Office of the French Trade Commission, here in London, if only because there are so many trade shows in September and October that are attended by French companies over the period.
(from left to right: Amal Froidevaux, Joanna Routaboul, Philip Jolly and Katherine Woods)
From 20 to 23 September, in London, 100% Design focused on French expertise and creativity in interior design. On 21 November, we had another event relating to design but, this time, it was the world of fashion, with the French Fashion Showroom, organised by our colleagues in the Consumer Goods Department at the French Trade Commission.
On 20 September, for my part, I travelled down to Southampton to meet one of our clients at the Boat Show: West Riviera Yachting is a dry-port operator that runs a well-equipped facility in the port of Tréguier, in northern Brittany, and we did some PR for them ahead of the trade show, in the summer, as you may remember.
Many British sailing enthusiasts find that congestion and high charges in ports along the south coast of England are an issue, and increasingly turn to mooring options on the Continent as a result — Brittany being an obvious choice, given the quality of the facilities on offer, their comparatively low cost, and the overall beauty of this maritime region of western France.
Gas Tech was another important trade fair I went to (8 to 11 October), and there were many interesting French companies at the EXCEL exhibition centre, which are involved in the business and technology of transporting and processing natural gas.
The picture would not be complete without some references to Food & Drink, and the Saatchi Gallery wine event at the end of October (26 and 27) springs to mind: we assisted CIV CORSE, the syndicate of Corsican winegrowers, who had a stand at the event, to better promote a range of original and high-end Corsican wines. The Saatchi event was interesting in that it combined a B-to-B dimension (aimed at trade professionals) with a B-to-C angle (intended to offer the general public an opportunity to discover new, quality wines).
We have also had a successful press trip (3 and 4 December), organised on behalf of our client, NFI, the agency for the promotion of the northern city of Lille and its surrounding region. A joint British/German press delegation (including four British journalists) travelled over to Lille in order to learn more about current developments in biotechnology in northern France.
The press trip combined field visits, meetings with industry executives and entrepreneurs, and a tour of the BioFIT event: BioFIT is an international partnering event of reference in the life-sciences sector, and it focuses on technology transfers and collaborative projects that have the potential to shape the biotech industry of the future.
Last but not least, among the events we have recently helped to organise and publicise, the docking of the Etoile du Roy tall ship, first at Portsmouth, then St Katharine Docks in London, has generated a huge amount of media interest — from regional TV news (with a report on ITV Meridian) to the trade and national press (with an article in The Daily Telegraph). The object of this interest has been the pink onion of Brittany, since the replica of a Nelson-era warship was laden with Roscoff pink onions typical of Brittany and known for their subtle, sweet taste.
The ship itself is well known to the British public: it was originally built for Hornblower, the British television series, first broadcast in the UK in the 1990s. The pink onion has a special place in Franco-British relations: in 1828, a producer from Saint-Pol-de-Léon, on the northern coast of Brittany, decided to cross the English Channel and sell his produce directly to the British consumer. Won over by the taste of the pink onion, the British welcomed the sellers that arrived each year and named them Johnnies, or Little Jeans, as Jean — or Yann, in its Breton version — is John in English.
The Onion Johnnies used to walk (or cycle) from door to door with the plaited onions on their shoulders — hence the stereotypical image of the French onion (or garlic) seller, who sports a beret and rides a bicycle up and down the country… I am told some people in Britain still think that all (or most) Frenchmen dress in the way that the Onion Johnnies used to in the 1920s and 1930s: for the sake of accuracy, it should be stressed that this is a misconception.
On 4 December, the ship reached St Katharine Docks, and it is due to set sail on 17 December to go back to France: as a result, many Londoners and others have had the opportunity to get on board and sample the pink onions on offer. On 10 December, a special event was organised, which went on from 4.00pm to 9.00pm: it gave trade professionals and members of the media the opportunity to sample some pink onions brought over by the Etoile du Roy. Mr Bernard Emié, French Ambassador to the UK, was guest of honour and made a speech. Together with a few journalists, I went for a drink in Dickens Inn afterwards — a nice way to round off the evening.
As you will see from the wide range of stories we have covered in the past few months, we continue to offer something for everyone, from flooring material for sports facilities (with Gerflor, which won several contracts for the London Olympic Games) to laminated timber (with sector leader MATHIS, making inroads into the Persian Gulf), and from exciting food products from France’s overseas territories (on display at SIAL 2012) to airbag protective jackets for motorcyclists (as designed and developed by innovative company HELITE).
Many more companies covered in this bulletin would deserve a mention, but you can discover them for yourself, such as QOOQ and its culinary tablet preloaded with 1,000 recipes or ALDEBARAN Robotics, a world leader in humanoid robots, the latest application of which is in the classroom across many schools in England. (No, you can’t order one that will do the hoovering and the rest of the housework for you yet, although I wouldn’t be surprised if such a model were available on the market before long!)
The next issue of UBIFRANCE UK will come out in the latter part of February 2013. Till then, and if you can’t wait that long, do follow us on Twitter in real time (https://twitter.com/ at @UBIFRANCE_UK).
The French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE will be closed over the festive season, from 24 December to 1 January included. We wish you an enjoyable end-of-year break, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Manager — Press Office
UBIFRANCE London, the French Trade Commission in the UK
Construction and Energy
THETIS MRE keeps a-Brest in marine renewables
THETIS MRE, the only annual convention devoted to marine renewable energy (MRE), will take place from 10 to 11 April 2013 in Brest (Brittany). The convention will provide an opportunity for the sector’s major international players to gather and exchange ideas about the marine-based energies of the future.
MATHIS is glued to success in Qatar
MATHIS, a European leader in glulam-timber construction, was chosen to supply the glulam elements of part of the new Doha International Airport, in the Qatari capital. The 80m x 25m structure, which has been completed, is the first glulam construction to be erected in Qatar.
Gerflor’s Creation ushers in a new world in commercial spaces
Gerflor, a flooring specialist, has launched Creation, which is a recyclable floor-covering range specially designed for commercial spaces. This product range is made up of luxury glue-down tiles and planks for areas that must withstand a large footfall.
Engineering and Transport
CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES’ mechatronic solutions strike the stroke
CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES develops cutting-edge mini-size actuators and piezoelectric motors with a range of scientific, industrial and medical applications. One of the company’s innovations is the Linear Stepping Piezo Actuator (LSPA) motor, a linear piezoelectric micromotor with nanoscale positioning and a long stroke.
TECALEMIT FLEXIBLES’ hoses and tubes go organic
TECALEMIT FLEXIBLES, a specialist in flexible hoses for industry, has launched the innovative BBIO Universal TECALEMIT® tube, which is made from plastics of 100% biological origin. The company unveiled the tube at the MIDEST trade show, which took place from 6 to 9 November 2012 in the Paris region.
INEL’s Xsolo measures your residual stress from America to Europe
INEL, a specialist in X-ray diffraction (XRD) equipment, is to release Xsolo, a portable residual-stress-measurement system, in late 2012. The company manufactures a range of XRD equipment, used in both public- and private-sector R&D centres, as well as in industry. INEL, which is present in the USA, is seeking distributors across Europe.
HELITE airbags the market for motorcycle protective jackets
HELITE, an airbag-technology expert, launched its cutting-edge range of high-performance airbag protective jackets for motorcyclists at Motorcycle Live, which took place from 24 November to 2 December in Birmingham (UK).
Lille region’s FUTUROTEXTILES lies in CETI
The Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants (or CETI, i.e. the European Centre for Innovative Textiles) opened on 10 October in the Lille region. The opening coincided with the start of the third FUTUROTEXTILES innovative-textiles exhibition.
Food and Drink
Prince de Bretagne brings the Onion Johnnies back to Britain
Prince de Bretagne, which produces and markets the Roscoff pink onion of Brittany, chartered the Etoile du Roy, a tall ship, to transport a cargo of onions from Brittany to London, via Portsmouth. On 10 December, an event held on the ship in London proved popular with the trade, the media and the general public.
Corsican wines enrich London Experience at Saatchi Gallery
CIVCORSE, the Corsican Wine Board, represented seven estates from the French island of Corsica at The London Experience, which took place at the Saatchi Gallery (London) from 26 to 27 October. All the producers are seeking partners and distributors in the UK and Ireland.
Millésime Bio 2013 is organically yours at 20
Next year, Millésime Bio, the organic-wine trade show, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. From 28 to 30 January 2013, the trade fair will take place in Montpellier, which is at the heart of France’s leading region for organic winegrowing. The trade show is expected to attract 3,500 visitors.
French overseas territories give SIAL 2012 that tropical feel
There were 22 companies from France’s overseas territories at SIAL 2012, the international trade show for the food industry, held from 21 to 25 October at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre (near Paris). The Pavilion displayed products such as Rhum Agricole, coffee, fruit-based items and seafood from Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion Island.
Nord-Pas-de-Calais features Agroé at SIAL 2012
The Nord-Pas-de-Calais region hosted a pavilion at SIAL 2012. France’s leading region for agri-food exports focused on innovation and Agroé, its cluster of excellence within the sector.
UNOWHY’s QOOQ speaks English in the kitchen
UNOWHY has launched the English version of QOOQ, the first tablet computer that is made for the kitchen. The tablet is preloaded with 1,000 international multimedia recipes, ingredient fact sheets, and useful meal-planning tools to help gastronomy lovers in the kitchen.
Health and Services
Minasolve’s parabens substitute takes SCS Formulate by storm
Minasolve, a specialist in the personal-care and pharmaceutical ingredients markets, exhibited its new ethyl hexyl glycerine — MinaCare Hexcine — at SCS Formulate, the trade show for the cosmetics industry, held from 13 to 14 November in Coventry (England). Minasolve is seeking a distributor in the UK.
EcoVadis and CDP bring CSR to the supply chain
EcoVadis and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) have announced a partnership whereby the two companies offer an enhanced service to both EcoVadis and CDP Supply Chain’s customers. The partnership is founded on the companies’ expertise: CDP specialises in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change and water, whereas EcoVadis covers all main CSR topics.
B.I.G. Talents hit the town in November
Involving both a trade show and a business convention, B.I.G. Talents is the only business event of its kind in France that is devoted to biotech, IT and greentech (B.I.G.). The event took place from 14 to 15 November in Rouen (north-western France).
E-Commerce Paris 2012 goes from strength to strength — and to China
The E-Commerce Paris trade show has reinforced its reputation as a crucial event for the e-commerce sector, with 500 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors in 2012. E-Commerce Paris 2012 ended on 20 September after three successful days focusing on changes in market trends and on innovation; a special conference session put the spotlight on China.
France is Brand Licensing Europe, from Asterix to Moulin Rouge®
UBIFRANCE, the French export-support agency, was organising a pavilion at the Brand Licensing Europe trade show, held from 16 to 18 October in London (UK). The Pavilion, which was supported by the French Licensing Federation (F2D2), featured 10 licensing specialists who work with The Jim Henson Company, Moulin Rouge® and Asterix, among others.
IT and Robotics
ALDEBARAN Robotics unleashes NAO on Warwickshire schools
ALDEBARAN Robotics, a world leader in humanoid robotics, has equipped over 200 secondary schools worldwide with its NAO robot. In order to increase pupil interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the company has introduced the humanoid robot into schools across Warwickshire (England).
Runware’s Runalyzer Sport Pack conquers the heart of MFi users
Runware has launched the Runalyzer Sport Pack, which combines an iPhone-compatible heart-rate monitor, chest strap and armband. The designer of innovative smartphone accessories has been certified by Apple to design devices specifically made for iPhones, iPads and iPods (or MFi devices).
Conscio Technologies meters clients’ security awareness with ISAM
Conscio Technologies, a publisher of information-security solutions, has joined forces with Hapsis, a Sensitive Security Information (SSI) specialist, to create the Information Security Awareness Meter (ISAM). The ISAM analyses the information-security culture of a company before providing a detailed action plan for improving security.
For further information, please contact :
UBIFRANCE Press Office in London
Tel: +44 (0) 207 024 3640