The Foire de Paris – International Fair 2010: festive creativity
The Foire internationale de Paris 2010 is taking place at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre from 29 April to 9 May. It is an opportunity to visit Europe’s most remarkable trade fair, which focuses on sharing ideas and technological know-how. Over 2,700 exhibitors are expected at this major spring event which culminates in the award presentation for the famous Concours Lépine (international innovation competition) on Saturday 8 May. Seventy countries are represented from all over the world.
This year, the Foire de Paris 2010 is based on three major themes: Cultures of the World, the Home and the Environment, Wellbeing and Leisure. Not forgetting a range of events and activities, headed by the Concours Lépine for the year’s best invention.
Since its creation in 1901 by Louis Lépine, then Prefect of Police in Paris, the famous Concours Lépine has provided a showcase for significant inventions including the ballpoint pen, the 2-stroke engine, the parachute, the washing machine, the artificial heart and the contact lens. Its aim is to reward an original invention that is both useful and economically viable. “The Concours Lépine is as contemporary as ever. It’s a major economic player in the future of research in a context of increasing globalisation and international competition, by contributing significantly to our country’s development,” explains Gérard Dorey, president of the Concours Lépine. “Inventors are doing their utmost to build a future for themselves. They are producing remarkable things. We have seen an increase in the number of entrants in 2009”.
Among the inventions presented at this 109th event is a USB flash drive the size and shape of a credit card (which fits easily into a wallet), an energy roof with an air-solar capture system coupled to a heat pump to provide hot water, and an anti-flood panel. Fourteen foreign countries are involved, emphasising the international nature of the competition. Twelve industrial sectors are represented in three main fields of activity: medical technologies, biotechnologies and alternative energy. Approximately 500 innovations from independent inventors, designers and businesses are on show, all with the same aim of trying to simplify daily life or protect the environment.
More than ever before, the dominant theme of the 2010 event is one of festivity and escapism. For the 10th anniversary of the Terre des Tropiques fair, the Foire de Paris includes France’s Overseas Territories, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A sense of the unfamiliar is guaranteed by the tropical atmosphere and the food served in the restaurants and available in the exotic food stores. Some 55 free concerts and lots of carnival parades are on the programme on the central stage.
The home is the focus of the new ideas showcased at this latest Foire de Paris, with particular attention paid to environmental protection and saving energy. Visitors will have a chance to see the technologies behind the products selected for their innovation and design: a unique opportunity to eye up the latest trends.
In the Wellbeing and Leisure section, there is an emphasis on DIY workshops and interior decoration. The show also pays plenty of attention to holidaymakers and lovers of green tourism, with camper vans, caravans, mobile homes, chalets, leisure vehicles, water sports and much more.
Emphasis is also placed on the Concours La Relève, organised by the Ateliers d’Art de France and the Cité de l’Architecture. This offers a chance for artist craftspeople in the early stages of their careers to present their creations (jewellery, decorative objects, textiles or furniture) before a panel of judges. The winners are then offered a stand at the Artisanat de France et d’Europe section of the fair, to showcase their work and benefit from media and promotional spin-offs.
Also worth looking out for are culinary specialities from Corsica, Brittany, the Loire region and Alsace, but also from Italy, Russia and Greece. Nearly 70 countries invite us to sample their specialities and discover their secrets.
www.foiredeparis.fr: Foire Internationale de Paris
www.concours-lepine.com: Concours Lépine