Waveriding Solution, the French start-up founded by Laurent Hequily, has developed the world’s first environmentally friendly artificial wave: “Okahina Wave”. This young company was invited to the other side of the globe, to Silicon Valley—California—to present its news-breaking innovation.
Silicon Valley is the world centre for innovation
It is like a modern successor to the Venice of the 14th century, where information, goods, credit and also … people flow in and out. In 2016, the State of California moved from 6th to 5th place in world economic rankings, just in front of the United Kingdom and France. This same year, fund raising in venture capital in California represented almost 25 billion dollars, compared to 1.7 billion in France. Beyond these statistics and its impressive superpower performance, California is a digest of the American Dream, and a laboratory for challenging the limits of man and nature. It is a futuristic land whose roots are embedded in the gold hunter’s pioneer spirit, the conquest of the Wild West, and the counter-culture of the nineteen-sixties.
As the global epicentre for innovation, California is the only place in the world where it is possible to spend billions of dollars “to make the world better”. This state is unbeatable at successfully mixing models of academic, corporate and financial success. One of the keys to this accomplishment is the permanent back and forth movement between these three sectors. In San Francisco Bay, entrepreneurs of the digital economy are not only driven by the desire to succeed. These new tribes are also attempting to revolutionize the world, to radically change the life of the city, health and even the planet.
California is where you need to be in order to join the world of tomorrow.
In addition, the Surfing Culture occupies a dominant position, so it is obviously no coincidence that Waveriding Solution has decided to open its American subsidiary there! One of the ambitions of the company is to create an artificial wave which will make riding the surf as easy as it is to go to play tennis in urban or mountain areas.
But the primary sense behind the artificial wave Okahina Wave is to set an example, firstly by improving the natural environments degraded by man and, secondly, by contributing towards the “Progress of Mind”—to mention the words of Stéphane Hessel, who would also like to have seen this idea registered in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, along with scientific progress.
Strengthened by a “Blue Ocean Award” from the Ministry of Finance, this audacious French innovation, has aroused a strong interest in the Bay among local authorities and leading names of Californian tech. The reasons are simple: Californians are pragmatic. The Okahina Wave has key advantages which conform with their local concerns and with the current progressive values of the state. It creates opportunities for new places for life, as touristic areas or at the heart of major corporation head offices. The objective of their leaders is to entice young graduates from the digital technology sector and from big universities by providing relief from the often-repetitive work on computers.
Furthermore, estate prices are far from being a minor detail in the “San Francisco Bay Area”. The elaborate infrastructure required for old-style surfing pools, engulfing several hectares, leads to a high cost of entry. So, the profitability of these operations is more than doubtful. Okahina Wave solves this problem. It can be set up in existing water bodies and, as a consequence, has lower costs, eliminates huge ground-space requirements and improves biotopes. The Bay area, composed of several bays and urban beaches, obviously offers a multitude of potential set up locations.
Californians sensitive to the “green factor”
Okahina Wave requires less energy, a lighter infrastructure, with no huge concrete pond and thus no water filtration system. Its circular architecture makes possible the design of a central communal living space, in spirit and in reality.
San Francisco Bay is the ideal location to set up the first Okahina Wave on the American continent. The Valley is a beautiful showcase to demonstrate all of the economic and environmental potentials, as well as the progressive values of Okahina Wave. A wave which invents the surf of tomorrow, in this region which invents the world of tomorrow … to make it a better one.
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