Paris and San Francisco chose CITRIS to conduct Smart City research

(released today by PRIME)

On March 20th, 2013, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, and the Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee, focusing on the digital economy and smart cities. This agreement strengthens ties between the two cities.

The cities of Paris and San Francisco have respectively chosen to support Inria (The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control) and the CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, UC Berkeley) to carry out joint research on the smart city.

The mayors of both cities share the will to become world leaders in creating smart and sustainable cities.

Inria and CITRIS have launched collaborative research and experimentation initiatives on current and future issues relating to major urban centers. Research teams will focus on topics as wide-ranging as air quality, energy costs, water management, security, flows of people and transport.

Through their agreement, and in order to help this research program to succeed, Paris and San Francisco have undertaken:

  • to serve as study and experimental sites for this research
  • to provide support for these research programs
  • to share their data and experience by establishing an annual report on work carried out by the two cities and their partners

“In recent years, Paris has rolled out an extensive innovation program featuring more than 100 research tests across its territory. It has also adopted an ambitious climate plan, and is in the process of becoming a striking example of a Smart City. The excellence of the research led by Inria and CITRIS will help us achieve these goals” said Jean-Louis Missika, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of innovation, research, and universities.

“In San Francisco, we’ve been able to use technology to improve our transportation system, building operations, waste management system, and energy use, all of which have improved the way our city runs. These new technologies have promoted innovation, information sharing, collaboration among the public and private sectors, as well as our residents,” said Melanie Nutter, Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Research by Inria and CITRIS will help us thread these systems together to make our city more efficient, help our residents make better decisions, and be a more resilient and sustainable city. We look forward to collaborating with the City of Paris to help advance smart cities across the globe.”

“CITRIS and Inria have enjoyed a close research relationship for a number of years. The relationship represents a strategic commitment by both organizations to address issues of critical importance to the world. Through this partnership, CITRIS is able to access world-leading researchers in France, who share its values and vision and to significantly increase the potential for its work to have a global impact,” said Hugh Aldridge, Director, CITRIS Cities Initiative.

“The City Lab partnership of Inria and CITRIS aims to undertake cutting-edge research in the smart city domain, with a strong focus on mastering the complexity of our cities. The research program aims to foster both environmental and social sustainability by bringing together Inria and CITRIS researchers to study relevant enablers that span: sensing, measurement, integration, and analysis, citizen engagement and communication within our cities. A key ingredient of the program is to further develop and demonstrate ‘Smart City’ technologies in Paris and San Francisco, which will result in a deeper understanding of city infrastructure as a whole, i.e., as a system of systems” said Valérie Issarny Senior research scientist at Inria.

The Consulate’s Science Office, alongside EDF, was the instigator and founder of the CaFFEET Conference (California France Forum on Energy Efficient Technologies) where the different partners met and built the bases of their collaboration. The 2012 edition, opened by the French Ambassador to the U.S. at CITRIS Headquarters on the UC Berkeley, allowed the Paris based Inria and the CITRIS to work closely on this partnership, opening the door to the agreement signed last week. Romain Serman, Consul General of France in San Francisco, is excited about the opportunities provided by this upcoming collaboration: “It’s a great tangible agreement that offers Paris a unique opportunity to further develop its digital environment and to play host to one of the best universities in the world – UC. Berkeley – within its region. We will pursue our efforts to facilitate the implantation of French start-ups in Silicon Valley and vice versa. Paris is buzzing, Paris is innovating. Congratulations!”

“I’m thrilled that Paris and San Francisco signed this MoU, thereby paving the way for strengthened collaboration between two of the best R&D institutes in the Paris Region and the San Francisco Bay area. I am glad, that PRIME and PREDA (Paris Region Economic Development Agency), together with their partners in the Paris region and as an ambassador of Paris region technology and innovation, have been able to facilitate this multi-partner collaboration, and look forward to this research platform to make our cities smarter, more sustainable and more enjoyable” said Xavier Wartelle, General Manager of Paris Region International Mission Enterprise (PRIME).

Read press release on SF Environment >

Read announcement on Inria website >