A Delegation of American Experts Invited to Attend the Paris Digital World Festival Futur-en-Seine in June

Ten Smart Cities Experts from the academic, public and private sectors will be attending the digital world festival Futur-en-Seine hosted in Paris from June 12 to 16.

During this Tech Tour, the delegation will meet with French researchers, companies and political leaders directly responsible for the design and construction of smart cities.

PRIME assisted the Science & Technology office at the French Consulate in San Francisco and the Invest in France Agency with the organization of meetings and visits in Paris. The delegation will spend four days in Paris for the Futur-en-Seine festival before flying to Nice for the Innovative Cities Convention.

The Futur-en-Seine festival is a ten-day festival showcasing the latest digital innovations from France and around the world for professionals and the general public. Digital technologies create amazing opportunities for cities: Peter Hirshberg, Chairman of the Re:Imagine Group, explains, “This is a time of great innovation in cities — with digital and social media enabling participation as never before! Start-ups, arts organizations, citizens and industry and government are all part of this new urban equation. I’m excited to learn how these forces of innovation are coming together in France and sharing how we in San Francisco practice civic innovation as together we build the world of tomorrow.”

Participants have been selected based upon their diverse backgrounds and the quality of their work on the use of new technologies and data to build the next generation of cities.

Local governments: City of San Francisco, City of Palo Alto, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Researchers and professors from Citris Lab at UC Berkeley, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and Innovative non-profit research and consulting organizations such as Institute for the future and the Re:Imagine Group.The delegation will attend a one-day conference organized by the Paris Region Economic Development Agency at Le 104 on “How R&D in smart cities can improve sustainability and quality of life.” During this conference, Rajiv Bhatia, Environmental Health Director for theCity of San Francisco Department of Public HealthPaul Wright, Director of Citris Lab at Berkeley, and Sean Ness, Business Development Director for Institute for the future, will bring international perspectives on transatlantic partnerships and smart city initiatives around the world. “I look forward to discussions on how creators, context and computation will drive innovation in the Maker Cities of France and beyond,” says Sean Ness, Director – Business Development.

Jean Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor for Innovation of the City of Paris, will welcome the delegation for a breakfast at the City Hall. He will discuss how to foster innovation in cities and make the most of open data and digital technologies with the delegation’s private stakeholders and public representatives. Rajiv Bhatia, Environmental Health Director, observes: “It’s exciting to be a part of this gathering.  By bringing together government innovators who understand and care about government function and dysfunction and the growing revolutionary capacities of technological entrepreneurs to access, analyze and communicate complex information, we can re-imagine the relationship between government and people and truly open up our democracies.”

Thanks to the Paris Region Economic Development Agency and the Paris Region Lab, the delegation will meet with start-ups from the Paris Cleantech incubator, visit a district featuring smart urban furniture, and discover the Energy Efficiency Showroom, which features 19 projects improving buildings’ energy efficiency funded by the Paris Region Lab.

The Delegation will also visit the first Smart Grid Eco-District of the Paris Region, IssyGrid in the City of Issy-les-Moulineaux, South of Paris. The Eco-District utilizes technologies optimizing energy usage, which will be publically demonstrated to the delegation by participating industrial firms involved in the project, such as Bouygues and Alstom. “I’m looking forward to seeing Paris’ innovative smart cities projects first hand, and continuing to share best practices as we embark on the CityLabs Partnership between our two cities,” declares Danielle Murray, Renewable Energy Program Manager City and County of San Francisco.

Finally, guided by Cap Digital, the delegation will meet research labs and companies presenting smart cities projects and services in the Expo Hall of Futur-en-Seine, such as MetropolitainSearch in the CityLes Points Solidaires, etc. Inria‘s team Imara will hold a live demonstration of the advanced intelligent robotics systems for autonomous and sustainable mobility they develop. Therese Tierney, Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, comments: “This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other researchers from academia and industry, startups, and government representatives who are passionate and committed to smart and sustainable cities. Many of us are applying new approaches within the urban context and so I look forward to a creative exchange of ideas.”

The visit of the delegation in France will give way to deeper exchanges and relationships between professionals of our two countries.

Jonathan ReichentalJonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer, City of Palo Alto, declares: “On behalf of our City Council and City Manager, I am delighted to participate in this valuable Smart and Digital City program with our colleagues in France. With one of our council priorities being Technology and the Connected City, this visit provides an excellent opportunity for us to learn about relevant technology innovation being developed in France. This visit also provides the possibility to encourage additional economic opportunities for both France and the City of Palo Alto.”

DempseyPatrick Dempsey, Manager of Strategic Engagements for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, adds: “I believe the energy system challenges we face in California are very much the same as those the rest of the world is facing. I look forward to discussions with utilities, cities, and researchers in France how they are addressing these challenges in the hopes of discovering ways we can work together on solutions that will benefit all of us.”