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Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur (MNCA) is investing in new innovation sectors with high job-creation potential to assert itself as a digital, smart, safe and sustainable territory

Committed to deeply diversifying its economy since 2008, the Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur (MNCA) is investing in new innovation sectors with high job-creation potential to assert itself as a digital, smart, safe and sustainable territory. Ranked among the leading Smart Cities in the world, the Métropole is betting on innovation in all areas by mobilising all of its territory's energy.

To guarantee territorial, social and intergenerational solidarity, the Métropole has become a real Living Lab by stimulating collaboration between large companies and manufacturers, SMEs, start-ups, the world of research and citizens. In addition, it has opted for a transversal and exemplary organisation of data, both for control and collection, as well as for secure storage and protection ensuring data can be shared fairly.

Useful and cohesive digital technology is not merely a concept in our territory. Training programmes for all, raising awareness among the general public, public consultations, platforms for dialogue and participatory mapping are just some of the tools that Nice citizens can use to become fully involved in bringing their territory to life.

MNCA strives to become a European example recognized for the excellence of its digital practices and is developing a dynamic influence policy alongside European networks and institutions with a view to promoting sustainable digital transformation at European city level.

Existing initiatives

1. Digital sovereignty

Building an open source and interoperable city data platform

Starting in 2018, the Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur has built a city data platform based on Fiware open source platform components and standard communication protocols and data models. The city data platform offers the technical layer to develop all smart city applications and any types of urban services. This city data platform is the cornerstone of the European H2020 project "IRIS" which demonstrates the interoperability between the digital platforms of three lighthouse cities (including Nice) based on the Fiware open source framework. This city data platform is part of an integrated territorial digital infrastructure aiming at connecting any data sources to any city applications in a seamless and secure way.

2. Open Data

Enabling access to City of Nice and Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur's datasets on a dedicated website

The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur is collecting real time data thanks to its network of field sensors, its businesses system software, public and private partnerships, and makes these data available to public entities and private companies in a fair and controlled manner. The Métropole launched its Open Data portal as early as June 2014 to offer public and free access to now as much as 176 datasets.

3. Digital inclusion

Organising digital inclusion events

Since 2017, the city of Nice and the Métropole, in partnership with the voluntary sector, have been organizing regular events to fight against the digital divide and to inform the population about training workshops offered by the associations along the year (e.g. "Les Moulins font Place Net"). The 2019 edition was organized around 21 workshops spread over 18 sites in the Moulins social district. Emphasis was placed on the use of computers, social media best practices, familiarity with internet threats, as well as providing an assistance with administrative procedures and training for the use of "Allo Mairie" and "Lignes d'Azur" city applications.

Ensuring digital training programs for all

The digital sector is creating and will still create numerous jobs in the coming years. It is essential to forecast this need and to build innovative, agile and relevant training courses to provide in time to the private sector with immediately operational talents. Recently established in Nice, Xavier Niel's school "42" is offering for free IT training to everyone from 18 years old, without any required qualification, and the participatory operation of the school is based on peer-to-peer learning mode. The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur has thus offered a financial support to the operation of the school with a grant of 589 K€ over a three-year period. The City of Nice and the Métropole are also founding partners of the Regional Apprenticeship Campus, led by the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry. New training courses will be opened in the future professional fields of the territory such as digital professions. The campus will offer young people and businesses comprehensive and innovative services, as well as a new use of digital in education.

Simplifying the use of digital tools

Digital technology is an opportunity to make public services more easily accessible to citizens by gathering all existing services within a single application and by centralizing all administrative procedures on a single platform:

-              "Allo Mairie" is an application listing all citizen services in the territory. Launched on 20 June 2019, it enables residents to simply and quickly report disorder or incivility to guarantee a City services response as soon as possible. It i is gradually merging several applications previously in operation (Service Bleu, UV Metropole, SOS Nice, Risques Nice). It recently acquired a suggestion box to strengthen dialogue with the citizens of Nice.

-              "Guichet Unique Nice Facile" is a personalised, multi-service, free and connected reception platform which aims to facilitate and centralise all online administrative formalities for Nice residents. Co-funded by the ERDF, this unique digital one-stop-shop is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and is accessible from the internet. A voice assistant is integrated to better guide users in times of dematerialisation of administrative procedures. A physical reception located in the city center is  open to the public for a direct contact with city counsellors.

4.  Citizen Participation

The Climate Air Energy Territorial Plan (PCAET) is a strategic and operational planning approach to ecological transition of the territory of the Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur. It is a coordination tool that considers the entire climate-air-energy issue at local level. The Métropole consulted inhabitants to identify which priority actions should be implemented to guarantee the territory's sustainability through an online public consultation in September 2019.

The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur, the Nice-Matin newspaper group and the platform have launched a broad citizen consultation around the question "How can we fight global warming together? ». Nice-Matin rewarded the original actions and local projects that received the most votes, during the Nice-Matin newspaper Group Solutions Trophies, in partnership with the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur has integrated the best proposals in its Climate-Air-Energy Territorial Plan (PCAET).

The "Influence your city" ("Influence ta ville") project was set up by the City of Nice to give voice to 15-25 year-old citizens, to better understand their concerns, to better meet their needs and to eventually launch around twenty significant actions to their benefit. 3000 youths participated to this first public consultation in early 2019.  Youths then worked with city officials to build a mobile application specifically targeting 15-25-year olds and integrated into Allo Mairie parent application as part of a design-thinking workshop organized in the IBM Cloud Garage. This application now includes reduced rates for youths as well as concert and festival programs. Free job search and legal and psychological support services are also offered.

The Volunteer Academy ("Académie du bénévolat") set up in the Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur in collaboration with the citizen startup Hacktiv offers voluntary associations or charity organizations the opportunity to communicate about their needs and citizens the possibility of undertaking volunteer missions based on their geolocation, their centres of interest and their availability. With a few clicks, anyone can be connected with associations or aware of municipal events and thus can take part in building the city of tomorrow.

5.  Data Protection

The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur has an ISSM and a DPO on staff. A data protection charter has been adopted.

6. Test-bed city and synergies with local players

Being a lighthouse city to improve urban life thanks to ICT

IRIS is a H2020 EU funded project which started in October 2017 with a duration of five years. The project has been developed around three lighthouse cities - Utrecht (The Netherlands, coordinator), Nice (France), and Gothenburg (Sweden) - which will work as mentors and test-beds to demonstrate innovative city solutions for the benefit of four follower cities Vaasa (Finland), Alexandroupolis (Greece), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain) and Focsani (Romania). IRIS project aims bringing together cities, private sector and citizens to improve urban life through more sustainable integrated solutions, including applied innovation, better planning, a more participatory approach, higher energy efficiency, better transport solutions, intelligent use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Each city will draw upon a mix of universities and research organizations, local authorities, innovation agencies and private expertise to accelerate the adoption of ambitious energy, mobility and ICT related initiatives by whole communities.

Ensuring interoperability of tourist data between France and Italy

Smart Destination is an experimentation co-financed by the Interreg Marittimo programme to support the sustainable promotion of interregional tourism products by developing an IT tool to ensure the interoperability of tourist data from cross-border regions. On one hand, travelers will access tourist information from a single website or mobile application and, on the other hand, tourism organizers will use these data to develop cross-border tourism applications.

An innovation ecosystem on our territory

The Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur has bet on innovation in all areas by leveraging ICT infrastructures and mobilizing all the stakeholders of its territory. The territory has become a innovation laboratory, a "Living Lab", to build the new smart city services and to enable the development of collaborations between the various economic players in the area : SMEs, start-ups, universities (e.g. with IMREDD institute), French Tech Côte d'Azur, institutional and academic partners, major groups, etc. This innovation, which is equally technological as social, urban and rural, has fostered a better collaboration between the different local stakeholders to offer solutions for the well-being of citizens.

Future initiatives

Initiative #1 - Digital Mediators

The "Digital Mediators" project will democratize innovation across the territory, thanks to the implementation of actions to raise awareness and the level of acceptance of new services and practices, aimed at ensuring digital inclusion for all inhabitants. Around fifteen digital mediators (city public officers) will be in charge of raising awareness on digital technologies among marginalized communities by meeting them throughout the territory. They will receive training and an educational kit to disseminate a true digital culture, while locally federating all stakeholders and players (associations, companies, etc.).

Initiative #2 - The Nice Identity Card

The Nice Identity Card is a project for the realization of a reference computer tool for the creation of a unique digital citizen identity applicable to sign up for public and private services. This system may also support a citizen incentive solution designed to reward the virtuous act and to support the change towards eco-responsible behaviour while respecting the anonymity of the citizen. The creation of a user account based on the citizen's digital identity makes it possible to combine different ticketing and electronic payment services, but also a distribution system for benefit points in order to implement an eco-responsible act or practice and to highlight eco-citizen actions. The governance of this type of scheme requires a trusted third party to guarantee the protection of private data. This project aims to integrate within the FranceConnect system.

Initiative #3 – Participatory democracy application

Participatory democracy application will allow each Nice resident to contribute to the collective decisions that are relevant to him or her. This tool answers to the claim to involve citizens in the decision-making process because, today, governing is about knowing how to listen beforehand. As a trusted third party, a participatory democracy application will facilitate constructive, transparent and secure citizen participation.

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