They make the Université de Lyon: meet Alexandre Valt

Meet Alexandre Valt, research manager at NGE group, who has taken full advantage of the services which the university provides to the socio-economic world.

Please tell us a little about your company.

Nouvelles Générations d’Entrepreneurs (NGE) is an independent French construction company that participates in the construction of large infrastructures as well as urban or community-based projects. In France and around the world, our teams create, build and restore infrastructures and community buildings. Our group generates a turnover of 1.9 billion Euros.

What projects is the NGE group working on with the Université de Lyon?

The Université de Lyon has supported NGE on three main subjects, namely:

  • Its participation in the Doctoriales in 2018 (which will be extended to 2019);
  • Organizing consultancy missions with PhD students;
  • Recruiting recent PhD graduates.

In addition to being an NGE group research manager, I am also a mentor at the Académie de l’innovation, helping PhD students set up their entrepreneurial projects.

What is the outcome of this work for NGE?

Our company has greatly benefited from this collaboration with the Université de Lyon.

For example, by participating in the Doctoriales, NGE enjoys the creative input from people from other fields, which provides a fresh perspective to address problems.

As for the PhD student consultancy, involving someone who is extremely specialized in a particular field has been greatly appreciated. This helps us to address problems, giving us the most up-to-date state of art methods and the open-mindedness to explore groundbreaking solutions in support of innovation.

For NGE, recruiting recent PhD graduates has many advantages. For one, it brings diversity to the group in terms of background, scientific fields, working methods, information research, etc. Another benefit of these profiles is that they are fast learners and self-starters who provide innovative strategies, and are able to organize tasks in order to gain a better understanding of the problems encountered and provide long-term solutions.

Would you recommend the services offered by the Université de Lyon to other companies?

I strongly recommend that companies consider using the Université de Lyon’s services; the university has successfully structured itself in order to appropriately respond to the needs of our group. Companies tend to be rather distant from the academic world, and don’t fully recognize the potential benefits of working alongside educational institutions. They miss out on opportunities to develop their innovative capabilities, something which is essential nowadays. By rethinking its proposal, the Université de Lyon has made its services more accessible to the socio-economic world, so I encourage any companies who may be interested to find out about them.