France's Montpellier District Turns to IBM to Help Build City of the Future

 France's Montpellier District Turns to IBM to Help Build City of the Future

IBM, Montpellier District, local Universities and IDATE to Create Urban
Laboratory to Accelerate Innovation and Sustainable Development

PR Newswire

ARMONK, N.Y., March 8, 2013

ARMONK, N.Y., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the
Montpellier District of France signed an agreement to create an urban living
laboratory to design new urban services for residents and support the economic
development goals of local leaders.

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The urban laboratory will initially focus on improving information sharing
within the district, improving water management, transportation, emergency
management and mobile commerce in Montpellier's EcoCite zone, an area that
will serve as a living laboratory where these technologies can be piloted
among local agencies, business and residents. Together IBM and the
Universities of Montpellier 1 and 2, and IDATE, an institute focused on the
digital economy, will collect and analyze data and create an open platform to
openly share data.

"People are at the heart of creating smarter cities and the city of tomorrow
will be shaped by combining human intelligence, business expertise and urban
services," said Jean-Pierre Moure, Montpellier Agglomeration President. "We
plan to position Montpellier as a metropolis with a pan-European and
international dimension. We must rise to our full potential in partnership
with other stakeholders such as IBM, the Montpellier universities and local

The initial projects underway in the EcoCite Zone include the collection of
data and creation of initial tools and applications to:

  oProvide collaborative technology to share information among city
    departments and agencies and deliver new urban services to citizens
  oEncourage citizens to use public transit or alternative transportation
    through the use of mobile-based real-time transportation information
  oBuild smarter water systems to monitor consumption, prevent the risk of
    flooding and integrate the management of local water
  oCreate an emergency operations management center to provide local
    officials real-time insight for events and help predict possible threats
  oMobile technology to enable citizens to interact with local merchants and
    public services

At the heart of the project is an intelligent dashboard from IBM that provides
visibility into information from across the district, allowing massive amounts
of data to be accessed and shared in new ways. The technology is hosted in the
first public cloud data center in IBM France. The cloud-based technology will
be used to access information across all city agencies and departments to make
smarter decisions, to establish patterns in order to anticipate problems, and
minimize the impact of disruptions to city services and operations. In the
future, the open data platform will be accessible by regional business
interested in creating new services.

"The Montpellier District is creating a platform for open innovation upon
which to build a Smarter City," said Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma, vice president,
IBM Smarter Cities Europe. "The EcoCite project is a great example of how a
city with vision and strong leadership is preparing for the future and
becoming more economically competitive, making Montpellier a better place to

Later this year, a demonstration center will be opened at the Montpellier
District's international office center to test the new services and get
residents involved in the project. By the end of 2015, the Montpellier
District plans to open an operations center in the heart of EcoCite.

About IBM
For more information on IBM Smarter Cities, visit

Holli Haswell


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