They make the Université de Lyon: Florence Labarre

On The June 22, 2021

The UdL met with Florence Labarre, a PhD student working on a CIFRE thesis at the Laboratoire aménagement économie transports (LAET-UMR CNRS 5593) at the ENTPE. She took part in the second Innovation Academy program, a hands-on training program organized by the Université de Lyon’s doctoral studies department based on innovation and creating value.

Please introduce yourself in a few words.

I am in the last year of my CIFRE thesis with RATP Smart Systems. Before starting my research, I worked in the United States as a freelance teacher, teaching French as a foreign language. This experience was an opportunity for me to develop many skills: I learned how to be independent and how to make my project profitable. This was particularly useful for my thesis. As a matter of fact, my employer asked me to create a prototype, and I was tasked with securing external funding for its development. I therefore had to win over people within the company by working as an in-house entrepreneur.

What made you want to join the Innovation Academy?

The Innovation Academy enabled me to acquire the tools I needed for the task I was given; for example, I learned to write a business plan and a pitch. This training program helped me take a step back from my research activities. Together with the other participants, we worked in groups on a common project. The experiential format is both interesting and exciting, as we are involved in “doing” something, even though it’s not “for real”. We would have loved to continue our journey together beyond the Innovation Academy. But the thesis took over and we eventually went our separate ways.

So what’s next?

I am currently writing my paper. As for the prototype I was working on, it has now been tested and validated. The thesis was a good internal entrepreneurship experience for me. I am definitely interested in starting my own business, but not right now.