Relive the ACSEL Digital Awards

The 6th ACSEL digital awards, held in the beautiful setting of the Odéon theatre, were once again a resounding success. Arnaud de Puy Fontaine (Chairman of the Vivendi Board) and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (former Minister for the Digital Economy) both said they were honoured to have been given the chance to speak on the theatre’s stage. The focused and attentive audience were shown that France has some great talent and a real ambition to strengthen the position of digital. In particular, the example provided by the start-up Drust (Coup de Cœur prize) showed the huge momentum for digital in France.

After a short introduction by the ACSEL Chairman, Cyril Zimmerman, Arnaud de Puyfontaine opened the evening with a well-received speech on “the digital transition in cultural and creative industries”.

He quickly reiterated that “the media were the first to undergo trial by fire in the digital transition” and that they are now at different digital stages. According to him, the digital transition that is at work in the media sector can be described as a “triple A”: Access, Adaptation, Aggregation.

Lastly, the Chairman of the Vivendi Board wanted more promotion of entrepreneurs to move away from the French paradox of a country that is a “model in terms of innovation” but that has “legislation that curbs this enthusiasm”.

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet gave a more political speech, lamenting France’s administrative complexity that prevents us from propelling talents and new areas of development. She wanted more cross-functionality on the digital subject—for example, by bringing the Digital Secretariat directly under Matignon.

NKM also lamented the fact that Paris city government does not invest more in digital. According to the former Minister, “Paris does not use its image to bring French digital technology to the global stage”, which is a shame as the city could use its influence to promote its start-ups more. She ended on a more hopeful note: “The digital economy is made for France: we have the best engineers and we are creative by nature”.

The 2015 ACSEL Digital Awards

Six prizes were awarded over the course of the evening by a jury of digital experts.

    • – Regional Authority Prize presented by Karen Le Chenadec from the Caisse des Dépôts to Nièvre Tourisme
    • – E-transformation Prize awarded by Olivier Dulac from Atelier BNP to Ingenico
    • – Pure Player Prize awarded by David Lacombled of IAB France to Tradelab
    • – Young Talent Award presented by François Deprey of GS1 to Colisweb
    • – Service Innovation Prize awarded by Gabriel de Montessus of Hipay to Compte Nickel

The surprise of the evening was the Coup de Cœur Prize being awarded to the start-up Drust, which did not win in its category. Bertrand Gié from Le Figaro took to the stage to present this award.

Lastly, Axelle Lemaire, Digital Secretary of State, closed the event with a great metaphor about “axels”, in which she highlighted 2014 results while announcing the government's digital projects in 2015.

The Minister emphasised the fact that the government was also undergoing its own digital transition. The Ministries are opening themselves up to innovation—for example, by welcoming start-ups, who can present their projects without even needing to be profitable yet. Things are changing in the government too!

Furthermore, Axelle Lemaire reiterated the importance of CAC 40 companies and start-ups working together more closely. She regularly talks to the bosses of large companies herself to see “how they can invest in digital ecosystems”.

According to the Minister, 2015 will be the Year of Data—open data in particular. A new category of data, “general interest data”, will enable public data to be shared with as many people as possible within a regulated framework.

You can also watch the video of the ACSEL Awards evening here: