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The Olympic and Paralympic Games: A Technological and Sustainable Leap Forward

The Olympic and Paralympic Games: A Technological and Sustainable Leap Forward - © Centre Aquatique-E © Paris 2024 MGP Architectes VenhoevenCS et Ateliers-2-3-4_72-dpi

Olympic events have always been catalysts for innovation and experimentation. The Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games are no exception to this rule, with the focus on inventions that are in line with climate challenges.

Ireland's Ecocem and Smurtfit Kappa, Italy's Myrtha Pools, Japan's Toyota... These four companies have one thing in common. They are among the 100 foreign companies to have invested in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. And there's another: each has taken the opportunity to experiment with new technologies for a sustainable world. More than just a technology showcase, the Olympic and Paralympic Games prove that we can invent new ways of building, getting around and consuming. Inspired by the Games' ambitious goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions, French companies and foreign investors have risen to the challenge.

Ecocem, which has been present in France since 2007 following a joint venture with Arcelor Mittal, is advancing decarbonized construction. This company, which has set up its R&D center in Paris Region (in Champlan, Essonne), has developed a cement substitute made from a steelmaking by-product that emits eight times less greenhouse gases than traditional cement. This low-carbon concrete was used in the construction of the athletes' village, which contributed significantly to the decarbonization objective of the Games. Myrta Pools, a world specialist in competition pools, has designed white stainless steel pools. They can be dismantled and will be given to the cities in the region that are most in need of swimming pools, thus contributing to the Games' legacy. The company has responded to a major concern of the organizers: to minimize the use of materials and equipment, consider the legacy phase from the outset, and refrain from building solely for the games.

With Smurtfit Kappa, based in Saint-Mandé in the Val-de-Marne department, the focus is on athletes' comfort. In conjunction with Japanese company Airweave, the Irish company has designed 16,000 cardboard box springs and mattresses that can be customized according to the weight and morphology of athletes. With no screws or glue, these box springs will be 100% recycled.

Water, land and air, the testing grounds for sustainable mobility

Alongside construction, sustainable mobility is one of our two main areas of innovation.

Toyota, the official mobility partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is putting the spotlight on sustainable mobility with 2,650 electrified vehicles, including 500 Mirai Hydrogen 0% emissions.

The Norwegian company Hydrolift's electric river shuttles, equipped with solar panels on the roof, will be on the Seine... In the air, the flying cabs from German start-up Volocopter, the VoloCities, will be a real eye-catcher. France will be the first capital in the world to use these electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft...

The Olympic and Paralympic Games have clearly acted as a catalyst for innovation in Paris Region, and have strongly stimulated foreign investment,” said Annie Scaramozzino, investment project manager for Choose Paris Region.

In all, 110 Olympics-related foreign direct investments have been made in Paris Region since 2017 (the date the Games were awarded to Paris), including 55% company start-ups, 25% business partnerships and 20% expansion projects. All in all, more than 4,000 jobs will be created over three years.

These are either international companies that are already established in France, such as Toyota, or companies that saw the Olympics as an excellent springboard for starting up a business in France,” explained Annie Scaramozzino.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the ideal time to launch a business in France or strengthen your investments here. “The Olympic and Paralympic Games will boost Paris Region's attractiveness, which is already very strong,” said Annie Scaramozzino. And she added... “In addition to the Games, France is perceived by foreign investors as a land of events, particularly sporting events. Companies in this sector know that this won't be a one-shot deal, and that a large number of events will follow”. Which will undoubtedly further enhance Paris Region's attractiveness.


© Centre Aquatique-E © Paris 2024 MGP Architectes VenhoevenCS et Ateliers-2-3-4_72-dpi