The 6 businesses that are finalists for the Mérites de l'Economie Riviera-Lavaux | Promove
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The 6 businesses that are finalists for the Mérites de l'Economie Riviera-Lavaux

Aimed at all companies in the Riviera-Lavaux region, the Mérites de l’Economie reward those businesses who, through their initiatives, energy and commitment, contribute to the growth of the regional economy.  Encouraged by the candidates’ enthusiasm, despite a difficult economic climate, Promove, the official organisation for economic promotion in the region, has decided to go ahead with this year’s Mérites, and so highlight the dynamism and the inspirational journey of the finalists and prizewinners. 

Over the course of the summer, the members of the judging panel studied around fifty entries.  After several consultations and field visits with some of the competing businesses, we can reveal the finalists in the categories of Entrepreneurship and Proximity.  The prizewinners of the four main categories, as well as 2 Special Mérites will be announced during the Prizegiving Ceremony that will be broadcast on the 19th November live from the Cinéma Astor in Vevey. 

The list of finalists is presented in alphabetical order. 

FINALISTS FOR THE « ENTREPRENEURSHIP » PRIZE / Mérite awarded to young businesses (-3 years).

Started up by three 30-somethings from Vaud, Julien Baertschi, Victor Ratiu and Blaise Dagon, Alterum is a social enterprise aimed at making the lives of the elderly easier by revolutionising home support.  Alterum works to create links and sharing while at the same time providing professional activity for senior citizens.  Alterum takes on only those over 50 years old as well as young retirees from Swiss Romandie in order to provide personalised help to the elderly in their region.  Since its creation in 2018, the company has in this way employed more than 100 senior citizens in Swiss Romandie.  Alongside miscellaneous services such as housework, laundry, shopping, cooking or admin, Alterum makes sure a support visitor can interact with and alleviate the loneliness of the person they have come to help.  In this way a specific in-house programme has been developed in order to find the ideal support visitor, depending on the interests and passions of the elderly person.  

Droople SA
Created in 2018, Droople is a start-up working in the field of water management.  Its aim is to allow remote monitoring and control of as many as possible of the 36 billion « off radar » water-driven assets in the world, such as water treatment systems and sanitary appliances.  This digital innovation permits predictive maintenance, a lengthening of their lifespan and a reduction in water and energy wastage. 

The company, based in Puidoux, offers a turnkey solution to manufacturers and public services, including hardware and a management platform developed by its team.  Their solution modernises water consumption points, either with a communication module (iLink®), or with smart flow sensors patent-pending (iFlow®).  The latter measure the flow, temperature and hardness of the water.  They then communicate wirelessly with the digital platform to offer control panels, analysis of assets and forecasts, thus enabling predictive maintenance based on the approach: understand, evaluate, manage. 

Swiss Intech SA
Based in la Tour-de-Peilz, Swiss Intech has developed a new system of solar pumping aimed at upgrading water sources with a weak flow.  This allows a water supply to reach the most remote places.  Equipment has been designed to be light, durable and not requiring any more energy than a light bulb.  Installing and maintaining the equipment can be carried out without specific tools or expertise.  The pump delivers clear, fresh water, even when water is originally brackish.

A prizewinner at the Salon International des Inventions in Geneva, the Swiss Intech team created a first series of Pumpilo pumps, which was sold to test clients in Africa as well as in Switzerland for various uses.  Their order book is filling up on a daily basis, enabling them to better understand the needs of future users.  A first fundraising in 2019 allowed them to virtually industrialise the pump with a professional team.  Swiss Intech is now close to mass production with the help of industrialists from western Switzerland.         

FINALISTS FOR THE « PROXIMITY» PRIZE / Mérite awarded to local businesses and artisans

Atelier Volute Sàrl
A graduate of the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), a Bachelor in Industrial Design, Bertille Laguet took over the Forge in the village of Chexbres.  Believing in the potential of a fusion of traditional craft and design, Philippe Naegele, the former owner and craftsman in wrought iron, passed on to her his ancient skills.

Among the activities of the Atelier Volute: the restoration and creation of signs in the Lavaux region and abroad, making ironwork for individual clients and toolmaking for winegrowers, making unique furnishings for galleries of contemporary design in Switzerland and abroad or even making works of art.  It is also the mission of the workshop to promote applied arts through consultancy and project management for third parties.
Bertille Laguet intends in turn to train apprentices and to pass on her knowledge to future generations.  She already gives classes and workshops combining design and wrought ironwork, aiming to breathe new life into the profession. 

Le Duo Créatif - Pâtisserie Fine
Both natives of la Riviera and passionate about pâtisserie, Nadège Bonzon and Patrick Bovon started their business in 2014 in Chailly-Montreux.  With the help of their families, two apprentices and one employee they began their early career as entrepreneurs.  In 2017 they took over the Fredy bakery, situated in La Tour-de-Peilz and today, surrounded by a team of 20 people, they are able to give free expression to their creativity and expertise.

Le Duo Créatif offers a wide choice of gourmet products such as chocolate from various origins, an assortment of savoury bites for meals or as aperitifs, pastries, panetonne, as well as sourdough bread with different regional flours. 
Passing on the skills of the trade is very important for the company and that is why it trains new apprentices every year.  For over 6 years, Le Duo Créatif has based its creations on a simple motto: Aesthetics, Balance and Emotion, while favouring high quality seasonal produce from local artisans.      

Le Self des Amoureux 
Le Self des Amoureux is a self-service grocery shop situated in the centre of Puidoux village.  The aim of this business is to bring together the region’s farmers and producers in order to sell their products directly to the consumer and so enhance the value of their produce.  It does not aim to make a profit but just to cover selling costs.  The wide array of goods offered is made up of seasonal produce which meet the criteria and values of the business’s charter: quality, local raw material, regional transformation, traceability, safety, a fair price and transparency. 

This project came into being two years ago.  The current challenge is to improve planning in order to broaden the range and to get good value for produce while guaranteeing a quality environment.  With the aim of creating direct links – both human and commercial – open days are organised regularly so that consumers can meet the producers. 

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