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10th edition of the Gerondeau-Safran prize: Escape, Hiperssys and Tarmac Technologies winners

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Jean-Louis Gerondeau-Safran Prize. It was celebrated during a virtual event that gathered many start-ups that it helped since its creation. It was also an occasion to unveil their three winners of this year.

The winners of the 2020 Jean-Louis Gerondeau-Safran Prize, were awarded officially yesterday during a virtual event. Escape, Hiperssys and Tarmac Technologies won the prize for their innovations in the fields of cybersecurity, energy storage and aeronautics. The three start-ups have also won a prize money of 20,000 euros each.

Created in memory of Jean-Louis Gerondeau (X 1962), the Gerondeau-Safran prize aims to promote the emergence or maturity of innovative projects led by teams from the entrepreneurial ecosystem of École Polytechnique.

The projects of the candidates for the prize are evaluated on the basis of the innovative character of the product or service offered, its economic potential and its ability to lead to a business creation. The prize has a total amount of 60,000 euros, to be divided between a maximum of three projects.

Since 2011, a total of 26 entrepreneurial projects from the X have been rewarded, in various sectors such as aeronautics, e-learning, medicine and renewable energy.

The virtual event, that took place at 6 pm on November 18, brought together representatives of FX, the foundation of École Polytechnique, Safran and the winners of the 2020 award as well as the winners of previous years. The latter shared their experiences and developments after winning the prize. The 2020 winners, for their part, presented their projects and their teams. In his address, Escape's Tristan Kalos noted the “absence of champagne to drink on the occasion!”. On a more serious note, he added that he was delighted with this victory, which represented a real encouragement in the pursuit of their activities.

The participants noted that the award ceremony this year was taking place in a very difficult economic context with the impact of the health crisis. However, “Crises are always engines of innovation,” recalled Grégoire Aladjidi, Group Strategy and M&A Director at Safran. “The Second World War had allowed the emergence of radars or jet engines. In 2001, in the face of terrorism, the aviation industry introduced new procedures to strengthen passenger security. The Covid-19 crisis will accelerate cooperation and innovation,” he added.

“The winners of the 2020 Gerondeau-Safran Prize are at the heart of current issues. They represent the market of the future and the recovery, because we will emerge from the current situation through innovation. I encourage you all to continue to innovate and imagine the products and services of tomorrow,” Philippe Varin, Vice-president of FX, said in his concluding speech.


Escape offers a solution for automating protection of Cloud applications using Artificial Intelligence. The project is led by Antoine Carossio (X 2016) and Tristan Kalos (ENSTA Paris), both students of the X-HEC Entrepreneurs Master. “The financial endowment that accompanies it (the award) will allow us to recruit an intern in R&D and to continue developing our tool,” rejoiced Antoine Carossio and Tristan Kalos.

Hiperssys is developing a new generation of lithium-ion batteries that are more efficient and less expensive. Its leaders are Costel-Sorin Cojocaru (Research Director at the Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Layers - École Polytechnique / CNRS) and Mariam Ezzedine (Post-doctoral fellow at the Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Layers - École Polytechnique / CNRS ). “Thanks to the € 20,000 that we have received, we will be able to continue developing our batteries, in particular by purchasing the equipment necessary to perform our tests,” said Mariam Ezzedine.

Tarmac Technologies is a platform to improve airport fluidity. It is led by Delphine Deleger (Paris Sorbonne University), Anthoine Dusselier (X 2014) and Maud Payan (Master X-HEC Entrepreneurs). “We are particularly honoured to receive this award supported by a company that is emblematic of our industry. This award reinforces our desire to digitize flight operations in order to improve airport fluidity,” said Anthoine Dusselier.