International Hackathon at École Polytechnique, Sponsored by HORIBA

|   Press Release

HORIBA sponsored a ‘Hackathon’ that brought together students from the University of Tokyo and the École Polytechnique to do computer programming and prototyping. The event took place from February 24 to 27, 2017, on the campus of the École Polytechnique. About twenty students competed in teams of 5 in this computer programming marathon.

For two days, students worked at the Drahi X-Novation Center, a center entirely dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship, on the technological project proposed by HORIBA. The challenge was to create, «A device that you would like to have for future lab or fablab activities». «This bi-continental Japan/ France hackathon echoes the multiculturalism of the international HORIBA group, and we were delighted to guide these high-level students on a theme that projects us into the future,» commented Olivier Acher, Director of Innovation of HORIBA FRANCE SAS.

Hosted at the heart of the École Polytechnique entrepreneurial ecosystem, the 4 teams were provided with prototyping and co-working spaces of the accelerator and incubator, to develop and create their prototypes. On Monday, February 27th, the four teams presented their prototypes to a jury chaired by Franck Pacard, Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Research at the École Polytechnique, Matthieu Somekh, Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation at École Polytechnique, and the HORIBA sponsor, represented by Ramdane Benferhat, Strategic Director and Olivier Acher, Director of Innovation of HORIBA FRANCE SAS.  

The team projects were presented by enthusiastic students. They were of high quality and represented new trends and generational expectations, which is of significant interest to HORIBA, manufacturer of a wide range of analytical instruments and measuring systems for a large range of applications.

Projects included a connected necklace to send and receive messages in a clean room, and a stress detector that offers games to relax before starting analysis. Another idea that evolved during the event was a mobile dance floor to do sports at a workplace. The fourth team proposed a mini robot to carry out daily tasks or warn of impending danger.

This competition was an opportunity to strengthen the existing collaboration between École Polytechnique and the University of Tokyo, while encouraging cultural exchanges between Japan and France, as well as actions in favor of entrepreneurship and innovation.

HORIBA is proud to have sponsored and participated in this unique experience to show its commitment to technological and digital innovation in support of the continuing development of its products and services.


École Polytechnique is the leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its various programs – Bachelor, Ingénieur Polytechnicien, Master’s, Graduate Degree, PhD track and PhD – are highly selective and promote a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. As a widely internationalized university, École Polytechnique offers a variety of international programs and attracts a growing number of foreign students and researchers from around the globe (currently 30% of students and, 39% of faculty members).

École Polytechnique offers an exceptional education to prepare bright men and w omen to excel in high-level key positions and lead complex and innovative projects which meet the challenges of 21st century society, all while maintaining a keen sense of their civil and social responsibilities. With its 22 laboratories, 21 of which are joint research units with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), École Polytechnique Research Center explores the frontiers of interdisciplinary know ledge to provide major contributions to science, technology, and society. École Polytechnique is a founding member of Université Paris-Saclay.