Four companies were recognised in the first-ever Nautic Innovation Awards held at the Salon Nautique International Paris (Paris International Boat Show) last week. The awards were split into two categories – Product Innovation and Service Innovation.

Some 60 companies entered the awards, with 17 being shortlisted including the four winning companies. The winners were as follows:

Product Innovation – SEAir for the Zodiac Pro @ 550

The Zodiac Pro @ 550 is said to be the first RIB in the world to be equipped with foils to make it “fly”, a popular choice with the public. The award was presented to Richard Forest, founder of Lorient-based SEAir in recognition of two years of hard work spent finding solutions for both power and sail boats to be able to fly on foils. By enabling the first rigid inflatable boat to foil, SEAir is paving the way for a revolution in the world of motor boating.

Service Innovation – Le Cargo: Cargo ex-aequo with Beneteau Boat Club

Launched earlier this year, Le Cargo is designed as the first marketplace dedicated to the marine sector. It was founded by Gérard d'Aboville and Fanny Adam.

The Beneteau Boat Club has been designed for sailors who want to access regularly and without constraints to a fleet of Beneteau boats in France and Spain this year, and in all Europe soon. The club, based on an idea active in the US, currently has 22 bases in France and Spain and has over 60 boats available.

Special Start-Up prize – the Inflated Wing Sails of Next Technologies

This award recognised a start-up with the most innovative product or service. The Inflated Wing Sails (IWS) is stable in all wind conditions and creates very little effort in the structure. The IWS offers a new simplified navigation without the need for winches, halyards or complex deck fittings.