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Orange Focuses on R&D To Help 500 Start-Ups To Market By 2020

Orange invested €700m last year on research and development initiatives

Orange Business Services aims to help 500 start up companies bring their products and services to market by the year 2020, according to a senior company executive.

Speaking to Total Telecom at Orange’s Innovation Garden Campus in Paris on Wednesday, Nicolas Demassieux, senior vice president at Orange Labs Research, said that assisting start ups was a key priority for France’s largest telco.

Orange is partnering with start ups across the board. Our Orange Digital Investment initiative is in charge of investing in start ups, with more than €350 million engaged. As of today, 16 start ups are financed by Orange Digital Ventures – our international investment fund focussed on technology.

“We also have our Orange Fab initiative, which is an international start-up network accelerator. So far it has assisted 350 start-ups in 15 countries,” he explained.

“We are not merely jumping on the band wagon here. We are in this for the long-term – learning as much from the start-ups that we work with as they do from us.” 

By forming these partnerships with a range of international start-ups, Orange believes that it can accelerate the pace of its research and development projects, learning lessons in best practice alone the way.

“Collaboration is absolutely key nowadays. It is not possible to innovate in today’s market without collaboration,” Demassieux explained.

Orange continues to invest heavily in research and development, shelling out €700 million in 2017 alone and filing 6,498 patents along the way. In total, Orange has 7,700 employees working on research and development initiatives, with over 600 designated researchers. By investing in the future on a medium to long term basis, the company hopes to keep itself at the cutting edge of innovation, and safegaurd its bottom line in the process.

“We continue to work with a range of start ups, many of whom are focussing on 5G. We were one of the first companies to start researching use cases for 5G over a decade ago. At the time, nobody wanted to think about 5G, they were saying that 4G was perfectly good enough, but for us its about staying one step ahead of the competition. We are now perfectly poised to capitalise on this decade of research,” he said. – Total Telecom

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