It was a proud moment for Institut Mines-Télécom on Saturday August 28, when the TF1 news program covered the academic project of six students from IMT Mines Albi, making running blades from recycled materials that are accessible for all. “We wanted to make it possible for people who can no longer run to try running again, but not have to spend €5,000 on blades that they might only use once,” explains Émilie Daguerre, one of the students leading the project.
It all began with a discussion between Jérôme (bilateral amputee) and Benjamin (engineer at Airbus), and in September 2019, the project to make sport accessible to people with disabilities took form. Six students from IMT Mines Albi got on board, Julie Barré, Victor Premaud, Lou-Emmanuelle Leclercq-Bui, Emilie Daguerre, Melvin Josselin and Hugo Roche, alongside specialists from Airbus Humanity Lab. They brainstormed around the idea of producing Hopper running blades from composite materials used by Airbus, initially destined for the trash. The various prototypes they produced also won them the “Coup de Coeur” prize for the judges’ favorite project at the Mines’ovactions Fair. The team hopes to be able to sell their running blades in spring 2022 and make them available in France and Europe to start with.
This story highlights the objectives and values of this brand-new start-up – offering solutions as close to human needs as possible, while limiting the environmental impact as much as possible. Social issues, accessibility, innovation and sustainability are important pillars for our six students, which they unreservedly highlight through their innovation.
Their project perfectly illustrates IMT’s mission statement, to train students and make them aware of the challenges of a sustainable future, in order to respond to the challenges presented by industrial, digital and ecological transformations.