How Ile-de-France Plans to Become Europe First Smart Region

Through the implication of an open data policy, smartphone-connected public transportation and telecommunicating co-working spaces, Île-de-France plans on becoming the first smart region in Europe. Now that it has been nearly one year since the regional council vote, Valérie Pécresse, president of the Ile de France region, is speeding along the process.

Citizens can already see changes at home in everything from new co-working spaces to the updated Smart Navigo public transport system. The goal? To lead a digital transformation that will touch all aspects of public life in the region. Below, we’ll highlight a few of the plans Île-de-France has underway in order to become Europe’s first Smart Region. 


 

Smart Schools 

By 2020, the region plans to make every high school digitally equipped with technologically advanced workspaces, new tech-savvy tools and Wi-Fi throughout. In addition to these advances, the region plans to handle the maintenance of 170,000 computers. This year, eight high schools will take part in a pilot project testing out these new forms of technology to pave the way for the rest of the region to follow.

Start-up revolution

The future of France won’t rely entirely on big businesses. Thanks to a €12 million investment, the INNOV’up project will assist start-up companies in bringing their digital ideas to life. For 2016-2017, 230 projects are underway, revolving around the themes of connected objects and 3D printing, with the council voting on the next batch of digitally innovative themes this June.

Work space renovation

 Partnering with local associations, as well as national organizations like the SNCF (the state-owned railway) and La Poste (the national postal service), Île-de-France has launched 41 new co-working and telecommunication spaces throughout the region. Not only will these spaces eliminate the need for salaried workers to go into an office, they’ll also bring together freelancers and start-up style companies who need an innovative space to collaborate and work in.

Modernised metro

By the end of 2017, the region’s 320 metro stations and tunnels will be equipped with free WiFi, but that’s only the start of the wave of changes underway. The goal is to transition from paper tickets to a Smart Navigo system by 2021. With the new system, commuters will be able to use their smartphone or contactless credit card as a digital ticket, logging on to an app to renew their bus, metro and even airport transportation passes.