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GDF SUEZ Innovation Day gives startups a boost!

Sustainable mobility

35 start-ups answered the call of the Innovation Day, organized by GDF SUEZ on November 6, 2014 during EuraTechnologies, in the city of Lille (France). This first edition of GDF SUEZ’ Innovation Day was ran in partnership with Lille Métropole, the SPL Euralille, the CITC Innovation Centre, EuraTechnologies and La Voix du Nord. The GDF SUEZ Group presented its Open Innovation program and launched the “Smart City: Transformation of the Saint Sauveur neighborhood, Lille” call for project.

Housed in an historic cotton and linen spinning mill at the heart of one of Lille's largest urban regeneration programs ever, the EuraTechnologies ICT center of excellence provided the venue for the first GDF SUEZ Innovation Day. In the atrium, 35 start-ups presented their innovations and discussed them with investors and local decision-makers.The open innovation platform was launched by Stéphane Quéré - GDF SUEZ Innovation Director – reminding all that the platform’s objective is to bring project bearers together through regular challenges and to keep them informed of the innovation ecosystem’s evolution.

During this day, dedicated to innovation, several GDF SUEZ subsidiaries were able to present their innovative projects to local decision-makers.


“Smart City: Transformation of the Saint Sauveur neighborhood, Lille”

Challenge & Goal: redesign the Saint-Sauveur neighbourhood, a twenty-hectare surface located on the site of a former rail freight station in central Lille. Energy efficiency and sustainable mobility are high among the specifications. This project is part of the “Lille is FrenchTech”, the city's bid for Métropoles FrenchTech, accreditation. In line with its strategic commitment for innovation, GDF SUEZ partners this initiative.

“It’s about moving from “smart cities” to understanding the city and onto a contributory city”, declared Chekib Gharbi, CEO of the Innovation Centre of Contactless Technologies (CITC-EuraRFID). “Let’s all project intelligence in the Saint Sauveur neighborhood!” enthuses Fabrice Veyron-Churlet, Euralille’s General Manager.

For more details on the call for projects

-CONFERENCE: “The City as Innovation Incubator”

-"A city is more than a sum of solutions," Erik Orsenna reminded his audience at the end-of-day roundtable discussion. "Those cities that work well are those that have a vision," he added. Valentine Agid-Durudaud, Head of the City, Mobility and Regions team in the GDF SUEZ Innovation Department, spoke about the importance of rethinking "the city environment as a living environment," while Pierre Giorgini, President and Rector of Lille’s Catholic University, invited us to turn our worldview upside down: “Innovation nestles at the heart of unlikely encounters”.

-"Third spaces are invention spaces where a new democracy is created and time is reinvented”, said Akim Oural, Deputy Mayor of Lille, Community Councillor for Lille Metropole, in charge of the Digital Economy, member of the French Digital Council

Source: Hugo Whitemore

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