Enabling innovation

Enabling innovation

The Eco-Vallée is set to become the territory of innovation for sustainable development. An urban technopolis, which will include public and private research centers, is being built at Nice Méridia, while the technologies and services of the city of tomorrow will be experimented within the EcoCité Nice Côte d’Azur.

R&D at Nice Méridia

Nice Méridia is designed as an urban technopolis, set to attract both public and private research teams focusing on sustainable development and healthcare. Situated close to the city of Nice, with easy access to public transport, the site will include a number of higher education institutes. This vibrant environment is due to attract a population of young engineers and researchers, and the presence of high-tech start ups and SMEs will favor cross fertilisation between the university and the business world. As part of the mixed urban planning concept, a range of housing and urban services will also be included. 

The first university institute

As of early 2012, the Nice Sophia Antipolis university has established its presence on the Nice Méridia site where it has located its Mediterranean Institute for Risk, Environment and Sustainable Development (IMREDD). IMREDD has been selected by the State among the most « promising campuses » and is due to receive 15 million euros in financing through a private-public joint venture. These new premises within Nice Méridia are the first step to establishing close cooperation between education, research and development actors on this site. The focus on environmental issues is fully in line with the Eco-Vallée’s commitment towards sustainable development.

 The EcoCité, an innovation lab.

The EcoCité Nice Côte d’Azur will serve as a test bed for the city of tomorrow in terms of sustainable development. A range of innovative services and technologies is to be proposed within this new urban environment, deployed in partnership with the Métropole and local companies. For instance, in terms of energy, the EcoCité will be aligned with the national Smart Grid project (see box).

The energy of the future

To help reduce energy consumption, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) has determined six « Smart Grid » projects throughout the nation. Two of these are based in the PACA (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur) region, with connections to the Eco-Vallée:

- Nice Grid : located in Carros, this experimentation is geared at testing the use of renewable energy networks (principally solar power) and studying the behavior of customers – both inhabitants and tertiary businesses - who become agents for their production, consumption and storage of electricity. The project is financed by the State and the European Union.

It should eventually be extended throughout the Eco-Vallée, where the new buildings are designed to be « smart grid compatible ».

- REFLEXE : This project based in the PACA region, will help build an intelligent electric power network capable of anticipating consumer behavior and monitoring production accordingly. It is due to be deployed in the Plaine du Var.