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Smart Cities in France: exciting plans generate opportunities for Swiss SMEs

Although France has a comparatively low population density, it is one of the European countries whose population mostly lives in cities and urban areas. People believe the concept of Smart Cities is a major advantage for the cities themselves, as well as for private companies.
View of Paris skyline
France has exciting plans to implement the Smart City concept.

According to a survey of 80 French urban areas of more than 40,000 inhabitants carried out in 2012, 96% of respondents thought that Smart Cities represent a major advantage for cities and private companies. The concept of Smart Cities aims to make cities, public services and urban infrastructure more efficient. Where public and private entities interact, new forms of collaboration will increase economic benefits. These include public-private partnerships (PPPs), collaboration between large companies and start-ups, and collaboration between firms in general.

Almost 80% of French people live in urban areas. The space occupied by urban areas is steadily increasing. Therefore, France has put the implementation of the Smart City concept on its agenda and made it a top priority by developing 34 plans for its implementation.

France’s objective is to reinforce partnerships with local players and engage local territories in a global digital strategy. This applies to all economic, social, cultural and educational sectors.

“In France there are mostly public tenders for the modernization of the public sector. To improve the chances of winning such a tender, I highly recommend that Swiss SMEs collaborate with an on-location partner,” said Beat Kuster, Consultant at S-GE for France.

One of the reasons why most tenders come from the public sector is that the European Commission once reprimanded the French government for its outdated infrastructure. Consequently, the French government implemented a regulation on energy efficiency (RT 2012), which anticipates that all buildings will have a positive energy balance by 2020.

Other important areas of implementation of the Smart City concept are:

  • Mobility: monitoring urban traffic, efficient public transportation and planning of free parking lots.
  • Smartgrids: including Smart Water, Smart Lighting and waste management.

These elements are based on a report on Smart Cities in France, which will be launched and distributed to participants at our Impulse: Smart Cities Event on June 21 in Zurichhh. Don’t miss the chance to chat on this occasion with our Consultant Beat Kuster and our Head of Swiss Business Hub France Patrice Jacquier.

Be part of our SWISS Pavilion at SMAU Milano for Smart Cities 2016or at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.

Country Consultations France (June 21-23, Zurich)

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