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Interview Mr Kunal Kumar: India’s Smart Cities Mission, perspective for French companies

Aurélien Sostaponti - 31-mai-2019 07:10:45
BUSINESS FRANCE IN INDIA India’s Smart Cities Mission Perspectives for French companies on the occasion of Ambition India 2019 – Business France Replies by: Mr Kunal Kumar Joint Secretary (Mission Director – Smart Cities), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India Q1. Could you please provide a brief introduction of India’s Smart Cities Mission (SC Mission)? India’s Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015. The main objective is to promote cities that provide holistic and integrated infrastructure and a great quality of life to their citizens while maintaining a clean and sustainable environment. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and idea is to look at compact areas, create replicable models which will act like lighthouses to other aspiring cities. The process of selection of 100 smart cities was based on the principle of Cooperative and competitive federalism —all cities were given equal opportunity to enter through All India Challenge conducted in four rounds. The cities competed in a two-stage challenge process at the State and Central level. Key features of this process were Citizen Engagement and City Empowerment where cities were encouraged to decide their aspirations and execute them with support from Central and State Government. Integration, innovation and sustainability are guiding principles of the Smart Cities implemented through provision of integrated infrastructure and services, promoting circular economy and sustainable habitats, reimagining paradigms of governance and spurring innovation in delivery of solutions. Technology is one of the many instruments that smart cities are adopting to solve urban challenges. Inclusiveness is built into the mission to ensure that each and every citizen benefits from the urban transformation that is taking place in the smart cities. Each Smart City has formulated its own concept, vision, mission and plan (Smart City Proposal--SCP) which is appropriate to its local context, resources and level of ambition. Every SCP includes core-infrastructure elements such as assured water supply, electricity supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient mobility and public transport, affordable housing, safety and security, health and education. Smart Solutions in SCP include a bouquet of services that ensure that service delivery levels are achieved and measured, citizen services are seamlessly delivered, grievances are timely registered and resolved and safety is increased through video surveillance and monitoring. Q2. Please share some highlights of the progress of the Smart Cities Mission since its launch in 2016? Since the launch of the mission in June 2015, the work has progressed at a brisk pace. 100 cities were selected over a period spanning from January 2016 to June 2018. Post selection, each city has incorporated an SPV or Special Purpose Vehicle, with dedicated management and organisation structure to drive the project implementation and other initiatives of the mission. The SPV has appointed the project management consultant (PMC) that will support the SPV in planning, design and implementation of the projects. The projects can be broadly categorised into four themes : • Ease of Living - urban mobility, affordable housing, water and sanitation, safety and security, vibrant open spaces • Smart Governance – Integrated Command and Control Centres, Smart Card, Online Services, Intelligent Traffic Management System, Smart Poles • Connected Communities – Smart Education/ Classrooms, Skill Development, Public Art, Built Heritage • Urban Resilience – Solar and Wind Energy, Waste to Energy Plants, Green Buildings, Energy Management The 100 smart cities have proposed to execute 5 151 projects worth € 26.65 billion (INR 2 05 018 crores) in 5 years from their respective dates of selection. Financial innovation is built in the design of their capital investment plans. 64 % of the total projects i.e. 3492 projects, worth € 17.16 billion (INR 1 32 068 crore) have been tendered in SCM of which work orders have been issued in 41 % i.e. 2745 projects worth € 11.32 billion (INR 87 131 crore). 860 projects worth € 1.88 billion (INR 14 465 crore) have been completed. This is a significant increase in pace of implementation—289 % increase in tendered projects and 358 % in implementation/completed in last 16 months! Mission Cities have successfully expedited work on key projects which include: Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) in 71 cities with operational in 16 cities; Smart streets projects in 69 cities; Smart Solar energy projects in 47 cities; Smart Water management projects in 67 cities; Smart Waste Water management projects in 56 cities. Projects are being executed through Public Private Partnerships in 61 cities. Q3. With regards to the Indo-French cooperation on Smart Cities, what views would you like to share? The relationship between India and France dates back to several decades and has been scaling heights in recent years. Indian Prime Minister paid a landmark visit to France from 09-12 April 2015. Former French President Hollande paid State visit to India during 24-26 January 2016 and was our chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebration. Our Prime Ministers have been meeting regularly on different platforms. The scale of cooperation between the two countries may be understood from the fact that almost 1000 French companies are present in India with a total turnover of more than € 17.8 billion (20 Billion USD). French companies have; the third largest FDI inflow, 25 R&D centres in India and employed around 300 000 people in India. On the other side, 120 Indian companies operating in France with an estimated investment stock of 1 billion Euros and employing around 7000 people. With regard to the Smart City Mission in India, France and India are collaborating on a very interesting project, City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS) Challenge. CITIIS was launched on 9th July 2018 by the Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD), European Union (EU) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The program, the total size of which was € 100 Million, was open to all the 100 smart cities During the Challenge process for selection of projects under CITIIS, 36 Smart cities submitted a total of 67 proposals belonging to various themes. Of these, 13 projects from 13 cities and 12 States were selected for award by a distinguished jury comprising of nine experts from India and France. MoUs have also been signed between AFD (French Development Agency) and UT of Chandigarh, Puducherry and State Government of Maharashtra for development of Chandigarh, Puducherry and Nagpur. (Support for preparation of SCPs and implementation of projects) As part of urban transport improvement initiatives in India, financial assistance to various Metro projects were provided by AFD such as Bangalore Metro (€100 million - Phase 1, € 200 million -Phase 2), Kochi Metro (€ 180 million) and Nagpur metro. With regard to technical collaboration, technical support was provided to various Metro projects such as signaling system in Bangalore Metro, telecommunication and power & traction in Kochi Metro etc. The two countries have been working together in several fields ranging from civil nuclear cooperation, defense, and space to cultural, scientific and technological areas, including cybersecurity and digital cooperation. I would like to see this cooperation grow in the areas of urban development and combating climate change. Q4. In terms of projects, kindly elaborate the type of projects for which international companies can be useful to India’s Smart Cities Mission. I would like to see international industry actively participating in India’s urban sector via one or more of the following three tracks: 1) Providing technical support/capacity building support to cities/design and execution professionals already working in India; 2) Undertaking projects design and implementation of projects through competitive bidding/consortium building; and 3) Bringing in investment to Indian projects. Some areas we would like their participation in are: • Smart energy systems, net zero cities/precincts • Urban design of complete streets Reviving local economies • Increase on disaster resilient cities and communities • Urban Mobility and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) • Design of cities promoting circular economy; water and waste management Design of accessible urban spaces for the old and the people with disabilities Q5. Could you help us understand what are and will be the different types of preferred tendering processes to be used for projects under the Smart Cities Mission? We do not prescribe any particular tendering process to be used for projects under the Smart Cities Mission. The smart city SPV has the authority to carry out the tendering process for all projects. The tendering process is often guided by the procurement rules prescribed by the state governments. The state governments have their own procurement rules, procurement manual and in some instances standard documents to be followed by the state agencies. The city SPV undertakes a project development phase for individual projects that includes preparation of the feasibility study and/or Detailed Project Report (DPR). The tendering of the projects is done after the approval of the feasibility study/DPR. The tenders are published widely to maximise participation. Most of the tenders are evaluated both on cost and quality; lifecycle costs are taken into consideration for long gestation projects. Level playing field is made available so that the best companies can participate. Their participation has been one of the highlights of the Mission. Not only the best Indian companies, but renowned international companies have participated and are successfully executing projects in various cities. Q6. Can you elaborate what is the emphasis given, under the SC Mission to 3 sectors: mobility (urban transportation), water-waste management and connectedness of services for citizens? The Smart City Mission in India is envisioned as an urban rejuvenation initiative encompassing holistic development of urban areas including, but not limiting to, smart command and control centre, smart roads, smart solar, smart waste water and smart water projects. The three sectors with regard to mobility (urban transportation), water-waste management and connectedness of services for citizens are an integral part of the Mission and have been central to its objectives.Mobility (urban transportation): Smart transportation leverages smart infrastructure that includes multi-modal connected conveyance, automated traffic signals, tolls and fare collection, data integration—incorporating weather and traffic data, linking emergency services data as well as information from government agencies— drives the system. A central command centre ties together the smart transportation ecosystem, with real-time and updated data, handling passenger information, traffic signals, incident management and vehicle health monitoring. Optimized ‘on-demand services’ ensure that citizens can use all modes of transport according to their needs. Shared mobility solutions help provide first and last mile connectivity in conjunction with public transportation, they can act as feeder services and improve access to metro/rail or bus services. We are aiming to make public transportation robust and accessible through multi-modal shared mobility, so that citizens can choose it for all their commuting needs be it travel for work, travel for daily needs or for leisure. This can help move people away from private vehicles, which can contribute to lowering congestion and pollution. Cities under the Mission, are using technology to develop such seamless and connected transportation systems. Technology driven smart public transportation offers more attractive, reliable, convenient and complete choice of mode to commute. This reduces dependency on cars, arrests urban sprawl, and enables city authorities to develop compact cities with more focus on moving people rather moving cars. Lesser cars on roads will also reduce city’s air pollution levels. Moreover, with the continuous advancement in development of electric vehicles, smart transportation is destined to transform cities to zero emission mobility smart cities. In the Mission cities till date, total of 734 smart transportation projects worth € 3.64 billion (INR 28000 crore) are under implementation/completed. Electric mobility projects worth € 0.08 billion (INR 601 crore) are under implementation/completed in 21 cities. Public transport operations and traffic management are integral part of all ICCC enabled cities. Smart streets worth € 0.67 billion (INR 5146 crore) are under implementation/completed in 35 cities. I would like to mention that this is just the tip of the iceberg and many more such projects are being conceived across the country as I pen this down. Water and Waste Management: Under Smart Cities Mission various initiatives are undertaken for improving water systems in smart cities. These projects include installation of smart water meters, providing house service connections, upgradation of water supply systems, interlinking of water network data with SCADA system etc. The aim is to upgrade the existing water supply systems to 24X7 water supply systems. A total of 315 projects with estimated cost € 2.96 billion (INR 22 817 crore) are at various stages of implementation across the Mission. Of these, 35 projects worth € 0.16 billion (INR 1218 crore) have been completed, 126 projects worth € 1.32 billion (INR 10 119 crore) are under implementation and 45 projects worth € 0.57 billion (INR 4391 crore) are under tendering stage. Several initiatives with regard to waste management are also being implemented under this mission. These projects include waste to energy plants, waste to compost plants, waste water treatment plants, recycling and reduction of construction and demolition waste etc. A total of 323 waste management projects with estimated cost € 1.96 billion (INR 15 116 crore) are at various stages of implementation across the Mission. Of these, 90 projects worth € 0.19 billion (INR 1456 crore) have been completed, 177 projects worth € 1.32 billion (INR 10 182 crore) are under implementation and the rest 56 projects worth € 0.45 billion (INR 3478 crore) are under tendering stage. Regarding waste to energy plant, a total of 18 projects worth € 0.31 billion (INR 2401 crore) in 17 smart cities are at various stages of implementation. Of these, 4 projects worth € 0.026 billion (INR 202 crore) have been completed, 6 projects worth € 0.23 billion (INR 1790 crore) are under implementation and 2 projects worth € 0.043 billion (INR 338 crore) are under tendering stage. As mentioned in the case of mobility, there are many more projects than the ones which have found mention here, and hence the amount of work that remains to be taken up is clearly very large. Connectedness of Services for Citizens: Smart Cities leverage ICT based technologies and digitalisation to make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective, bring about accountability and transparency, provide services without having to go to municipal offices, form e-groups to listen to people and obtain feedback, and use online monitoring of programs and activities with the aid of online tools. In line with this, Integrated Command and Control Centres (ICCC) are being built by many smart cities to help cities in better urban planning and management. ICCCs function as single source of information and point of resolution of the civic functions of the city. They are bringing transparency through information sharing, a step towards becoming an inclusive city. Some of the ways an ICCC will impact citizens’ lives are: • Improved decision making for (local and other levels of) governments • Improved environmental sustainability and climate change outcomes. • Improved quality of services to citizens • Safety of citizens • Making cities more inclusive A total 71 out of 100 smart cities have started work on ICCC as one of its projects under the Mission. Till date, 16 Smart Cities have operationalised ICCCs worth € 0.38 billion (INR 2927 crore), work is in progress in another 44 cities worth € 0.54 billion (INR 4170 crore) and remaining 11 cities have their projects under tendering. Q7. Regarding the finances of the projects under the SC Mission, what is the extent of the available government funding and to what extent is the PPP and the private funding expected? The Mission encompasses 100 cities which have proposed to execute 5151 projects worth € 26.65 billion (INR 2 05 018 crores) in 5 years from their respective dates of selection. innovation is built in the design of their capital investment plans. The distribution of funding envisaged from different sources is as follows: • Central and State government: € 12.16 billion (INR 93 553 crore) (45%), • Convergence : € 5.46 billion (INR 42,028 crore) (21%), • Funds from PPP : € 5.33 billion (INR 41,022 crore) (21%), • Loans/Debt : € 1.27 billion (INR 9,843 crore) (4%), • Own sources : € 0.34 billion (INR 2,644 crore) (1%), Other sources: € 2.07 billion (INR 15 930 crore) (8%). Q8. Several foreign investors have remarked that most ULBs are not financially selfsustainable and tariff levels fixed by the ULBs for providing services often do not mirror the cost of supplying the same. Could you please share your opinion in this regard with us? I ascribe to the idea of ‘Think Global, Act Local’. While most development takes place at city level, they have to be mindful of the impact of their actions on the planet. To achieve that we must empower our cities to not only act but also think, analyse and take decisions. Having said that, cities need to become autonomous in terms of meeting their financial and other resource needs for infrastructure development, and day to day management. Lack of adequate infrastructure adversely affects a city’s ability to attract investment, and hence economic sustainability. Most of the ULBs lack in mobilization of resources and financial autonomy. The total revenues of all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India merely amounts to about 1% of India’s GDP. The resource base of ULBs typically consists of their own sources, state revenue, government grant, loans from state governments, and market borrowings. They are sometimes not aware of the opportunities and avenues of generating revenues through taxes and non-tax charges. Even if they are aware, they do not have the skill to optimize tax collection. ULBs in India, therefore, have a minimal revenue base and largely dependent on Central and State grants, which constrains the ability of ULBs to invest adequately in capital expenditure like creating infrastructure and, thereby, improve quality of life in the city. Strengthening capacities of ULBs is necessary for effective resource mobilization. Their financial capacity is often restricted not only by low tax base but also low capacity for mobilization of existing resources, as result of which the ULBs are not able to harness property tax as per their potential due to undervaluation; non-availability of database of properties; low rates; low collection efficiency and lack of indexation of property values. We do realise financial self-sufficiency of the ULBs is an absolute must. Steps are being taken at all levels to empower ULBs to become self-sufficient. While the Constitution of India envisaged a two-tier system of federation, the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 added third tier of government viz. urban local bodies. The amendment aimed at devolution of functions, finances and functionaries to ULBs. We, at the Ministry encourage cities to raise funds through municipal bonds, review of property tax system to improve efficiency and transparency in collection and mobilization of resources. Only in the last couple of years we have started to see a renewed vigour from Indian cities in raising money from the market through the instrument of Muni bonds. Several new initiatives for financial innovation are also being attempted and are showing encouraging signs of transformation. We are working on Capacity building of local government leaders such as Commissioners in : • financial management, preparation of financial statements for increased efficiency • improving the quality of service delivery which is the cornerstone for effective and sustainable urbanisation • exploring innovative/alternative sources of revenue generation at the municipalities level such as PPP, Municipal bonds, venture capital financing, crowd source financing, entertainment tax, mobile towers, user charges for solid waste, water, parking, value capture financing, etc. • enhancing citizen participation, e-governance tools like on-line procurement, tenders, and online expenditure reports. I am sure with all the efforts Government is making in this direction, local governments will soon be in a better position than they were a few years ago.

Keolis opens a new section of the Hyderabad automated metro (India)

sophie Canciani - 25-sept.-2018 06:57:20
  On Monday 24 September, 2018 Keolis opened a new section of the automated metro line 1 in Hyderabad, adding 16 km of track to the existing 30 km   With this new section, the network is now 46 km long and is expected to carry more than 150,000 passengers per day   This achievement paves the way for the final phase of the network and confirms Keolis’ leadership in automated metro systems   Keolis and its partners have completed the opening to the public of the first line of the automated metro in Hyderabad, which was partially opened in November 2017. This extension adds 16 km of track to the current 30 km network in use. To mark the occasion, an official flagging-off ceremony was held on Monday 24 September at Ameerpet station in the presence of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States, His Excellency E.S.L. Narasimhan.   With the extension, the network now stretches over two lines for a total of 46 kilometers and includes 40 stations, which places Hyderabad’s metro as the second biggest network in India. The extended line, which now links Ameerpet to LB Nagar, includes two important interchange stations, Ameerpet and MG Bus Stations, with the latter being one of the biggest elevated stations in the region. It now allows commuters to reach the south east of the city, and thus crucially serve the most densely populated areas of Hyderabad, which are located nearby to its old city. The number of daily passengers is expected to rise from 85,000 to more than 150,000. When the network is finally completed in 2019, it will be 72 km long, include 66 stations and carry an expected 1.5 million passengers per day.   Eric Moinier, Managing Director of Keolis Hyderabad, said: “ This is a major milestone we have reached today alongside our client and partner Larsen & Toubro and it takes us closer to the final stage of the network’s completion, which is expected to happen within the next year. With this extension more Hyderabad residents and visitors - to this growing city - will benefit from a modern, clean and safe transport solution. We will continue to strive to give them the best passenger experience.”   The 18 trains running on the network are built by Hyundai Rotem and equipped with the communication-based train control (CBTC) system provided by Thales, which allows improved headways and safety for passengers.   Keolis was awarded the operations and maintenance contract in 2012 by the concession-holder L&T Metro Rail. The core elements of that contract includes operating and maintaining 57 metro trainsets as well as stations, depots, track, signalling, telecommunications, ticketing systems and ticket sales at stations. Keolis Hyderabad currently has 800 employees.   As a pioneer and global leader in automated metro systems, Keolis counts 320 km of lines in cities such as Hyderabad (India), London (United Kingdom), Lille and Rennes (France), Shanghai (China) and Doha (Qatar).   About Keolis   Leading the way in public transport, Keolis partners with public decision makers to make shared mobility an asset for cities and their communities. Internationally recognised as the leading operator of trams and automated metros, Keolis adopts a determined innovation approach with all its partners and subsidiaries (Kisio, LeCab, EFFIA, Keolis Santé and Cykleo) to develop new forms of shared and customised mobility, and reinforce its core business across a range of transport modes including trains, buses, cars, trolleybuses, shared private hire vehicles, river shuttles, ferries, cycles, car sharing services, electric autonomous vehicles and urban cable cars.   In France, Keolis is now the leader in medical transport services through the creation of Keolis Santé in July 2017 and positioned as the number two car park operator, through its subsidiary EFFIA.   The company is 70% owned by SNCF and 30% by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ). Keolis employs 63,000 people in 16 countries and recorded a turnover of 5.4 billion euros in 2017. Today, over 3 billion passengers worldwide have used one of the shared mobility services offered by Keolis. www.keolis.com   * Historically based in France, Keolis has expanded its operations in Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, India, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

The “French Tech Tour to India 2017”, a platform to bridging the French and Indian Tech ecosystems

Purva Marwaha - 30-oct.-2017 10:57:25
Business France, the Trade & Investment Commission of France in India, is organizing, with several stakeholders and partners, the second edition of the “French Tech Tour to India”, a multi-purpose and multi-format platform to run over Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bangalore from the 13 th  to the 17 th  of November 2017.   The “French Tech Tour to India 2017” will consist in an immersive mission to India for 9 innovative “French Tech” startups and SMEs and 1 of France and the World biggest car makers . The program for these companies will include customize business meetings with Indian start-ups, investors, partners and clients as well as pitch sessions and curated networking cocktails across the 4 cities. The first edition of the event in 2016 pitch sessions and networking and networking event was a tremendous success and recorded a footfall of more than 150 participants in each city.   France is eager to develop strong partnerships with the Indian start-ups ecosystems.  Therefore, the “French Tech Tour to India 2017” will also include meetings with several incubators in the 4 cities, and more specifically  T-Hub in Hyderabad , Indian leading start-ups incubator, and one the biggest in the World. The “French Tech Tour to India 2017” will finally have a strong participation  at the Bangalore ITE.Biz 2017  (Bangalore, 16th to 18 th  of November 2017), with the objective of strengthening reciprocal awareness between the French and Indian Tech ecosystems, and of promoting France as a leading Innovation and Business Hub in Europe for Indian Tech Companies. In the years to come, Business France looks forward to take these initiatives to greater scale.  The French Tech initiative fits in the with the goals and objectives of the “Startup India” and “Digital India” initiatives  by the Government of India. We hope that this spirit of reciprocal learning and collaboration between India and France strengthens in the following years.     *     *     *     *     * For some years now, the French Tech ecosystem has enjoyed a steady and strong development, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers and other talented people. Like India, France has emerged as a leading Startup Power, home to vibrant Tech Hubs and talents, and imbued with a strong entrepreneurial culture. With 100,000 Engineers trained yearly, 6,000+ Tech startups, 200+ Tech startup incubators / accelerators, 100+ VC funds active, more and more large companies and Mid-Caps involved into startup initiatives, not to mention our Innovation Clusters, France stands among the leading ecosystems globally when considering Tech-related Entrepreneurship and Innovation; as ascertained by the fact that France led -for the 6th consecutive year- the race in the “Deloitte Fast 500 2015 EMEA” ranking with 87 laureates. The “French Tech” is benefiting from both Software and Hardware-centric capabilities. Also, while France has been historically known for Telecommunications and Media technologies for instance, the country has nurtured a growing number of World market leaders emerging in domains such as Big Data & Analytics (with Success Stories such as Criteo, Scality, Talend or Teads…), IoT and Connected Devices (over 25% of all startups exhibiting at the CES 2016 were French), eCommerce and Sharing /On-demand Economy, or BioTech and MedTech (No. 2 in the World for BioTech and No. 1 for MedTech IPOs over 2011-2015). In addition to public supportive programs, private initiatives such as the StationF to open in early 2017 in Paris (consisting in the retrofit of the Halle Freyssinet, to make it the largest business incubator worldwide with over 1,000 startups spread over 33,000 sqm), shall contribute to sustain this dynamic. Also noteworthy is the fact that many MNCs (Cisco, Facebook, General Electric, Google, Huawei, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung…) have implemented R&D and Innovation centers in France and are increasing the scale of their operations in this domain.   The “French Tech Tour to India” finds its origin in the statement that with over 5,000 and 6,000 Tech startups respectively, and many large corporates involved in Open Innovation and Acceleration programs, India and France both belong to the Top 5 of the Tech startup ecosystems in the world. Yet, further initiatives need to be developed to exploit the true potential for synergies and value co-creation between the 2 Startup Powers. Hence, in addition This French Tech Tour to India 2017 is part of the larger  French Tech  initiative spearheaded by the French Government and associated public and private stakeholders to promote innovation and the growth of startup ecosystems in France. These initiatives look at bridging the French and India Tech ecosystems, creating reciprocal awareness between the two ecosystems and enabling participating French Tech startups and SMEs to find their future partners and clients and develop in the Indian market   About the “French Tech” initiative: Launched in 2013, the “French Tech” is an initiative spearheaded by the French Government in association with public and private stakeholders in order to nurture the densification, the growth and internationalization of Tech startup ecosystems in France, and to accrue the positioning of France as a leading European Innovation and Business Hub towards any Tech company. It consists in: -  a set of programs (grants to entrepreneurs, access of entrepreneurs to IT and research resources, fund of funds, acceleration fund, “French Tech Ticket”, etc.) designed to achieve these objectives; - networks of labeled ecosystems located throughout France; - a brand and logo, this pink rooster to which any “French Tech” entrepreneur associates itself. The "French Tech" eventually refers to all the stakeholders and individuals contributing to the Tech startup ecosystem in France or abroad. The initiative is sector-agnostic and relates not only to the Digital economy or ICTs, but also to BioTech, CleanTech, EdTech, FinTech, FoodTech, MedTech, etc. For further information, you can log on to the Website of the “French Tech” initiative:  http://bonjourlafrenchtech.com/   About Business France: Business France is the National Agency for the Internationalization of the French Economy, responsible for fostering the international expansion of French businesses as well as promoting and facilitating international investments in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and also runs the V.I.E scheme (an international internship program). Business France has 1,500 staff members, both in France and over 70 countries throughout the World.   In India, Business France maintains offices in New Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore and Chennai, with a multicultural team of French and Indian experts who work intensively to strengthen the relations between French and Indian companies. For further information, please visit:  www.businessfrance.fr  and  youbuyfrance.com/in .    Press contact: Ms. Purva MARWAHA and Mr. Julian HOARAU Business France - Trade & Investment Commission of France in India Trade Officers Tel.: 011 43 19 63 06 / 03 @:  purva.marwaha@businessfrance.fr @:  julian.hoarau@businessfrance.fr               MEET THE 10 !   Delegation of the 10 participating “French Tech” enterprises, selected by our esteemed Jury: ORGANISATION : REPRESENTED BY : COMPANY PROFILE : DXO Labs Mr. Nicolas TOUCHARD Vice President Marketing and Product Management DXO Labs is a team of Scientist and Engineers that are revolutionizing the camera component in smart phones and tablets. DXO possesses world-class expertise on applied Mathematics for image processing, camera design and image quality optimization.           Giroptic Mr. Pierre JEANNIN Sales Manager Giroptic is a pioneer in 360 degrees live streaming and virtual reality imaging technologies and services. Its mission is to enable people to communicate, capture and share their experiences in an immersive way.  Lyra Network Mr. Christophe MARIETTE Global sales Director Lyra Network offers services that are developed and implemented to secure and manage payments and data. Areas of expertise include proximity payments (POS services), e-commerce (PayZen solution), connected objects (optimal security and performance solutions for online data transfer) and e-invoicing solutions. MediaWen Mr. Erwan DE KERAUTEM Chief Executive Officer Mediawen International provides secure, cloud based platforms and tools for video content localization including Closed Captioning, Multilingual Subtitling and Automatic Dubbing across Web, mobile and TV. Their solutions incorporate cognitive AI technologies to automate labour intensive work in the following industries: M & E, e-learning, education, health, finance. Moskitos Mr. Bertrand MASSON Chief Executive Officer Moskitos publishes Crosscut®, a scalable and modular integration platform for quickly and totally secure connection of data, APIs and applications and fast digital innovation. Crosscut® gives companies the means to connect applications, devices, IoT, Cloud services and B2B partners by quickly deploying a secure platform that is easy to implement and learn. Patnering Robotics Mr. Ramesh CAUSSY  Founder & Chief Executive Officer Partnering Robotics creates self-learning, mobile and autonomous robots, who’s primary objective is to take care of people and the environment.  A key player in the French Robotics Industry has succeeded in creating a Made in France disruptive technology dedicated to well-being and energy efficiency, and that keeping Humans at the center of the robotic Paytweak Mr. Thierry MEIMOUN Chief Executive Officer Paytweak offers Universal Secure Payment Links and accepts all credit cards and issues electronic SEPA direct debit authorizations, receiving payments directly into one’s bank account with no delay, no intermediaries and no commission charges. Easy to setup, plug and play and accessible in expert or simplified mode, the Paytweak interface enables the whole solution to be controlled from the cloud, importing and exporting data and connecting it to one’s CRM and business software in one click.  StreamMind Ms. Christina LANGER   Head Marketing and Communications  StreamMind has developed a unique, transversal digital platform (TIME™), adaptable to all sectors, that combines everything that is common in your information systems (without impact), and facilitates agile, scalable innovation. StreamMind has developed the software behind the European inter-banking network, SEPAmail™ (present in + 280 European banks). Torskal Nanosciences Dr. (Ms.) Anne-Laure MOREL Founder & Chief Executive Officer  Torskal Nanosciences is a biotechnology company, based in Reunion Island. The company’s purpose is the design & development of metal (gold) nanoparticles by ecofriendly processes. Torskal is currently specializing in the Treatment of Cancer using Nanoparticles. PSAGroupe Mr. Joël VERANY  ‎ Vice President Distribution Strategy and Network Development India PSA is one of the biggest car makers in the world, with renowned brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS. The Group recently bought the iconic Indian name Ambassador and will shortly start to produce and sell cars in India.  PSA plans to develop partnerships in India with Tech start-ups to promote innovation in Sales, Marketing, Customers experience or Mobility.   

Orolia Fortifies Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing Solutions

Purva Marwaha - 04-juil.-2017 08:44:07
Orolia Fortifies Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing Solutions     Strategic Alliance includes product development, go-to-market activities of PNT solutions independent of GPS/GNSS satellite signals to Military, Defense, Government and Commercial customers worldwide   New Delhi, India – February 2017 – Orolia, the worldwide leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions, announced that it has formed a strategic alliance, including an equity investment, with Satelles Inc. to develop, market and sell PNT solutions based on Satelles’ Satellite Time and Location (STL) signal technology. STL is a unique space-based PNT technology that provides location and timing data independent from traditional GPS and other GNSS satellite signals. By using STL, Orolia’s proven Spectracom and McMurdo branded solutions will be less susceptible to vulnerabilities – spoofing, interference and jamming – associated with GPS/GNSS.   Many highly sensitive military, defense, government and commercial applications and operations including maritime/aviation, fleet/asset tracking management, search and rescue and data center management require accurate and reliable PNT data. Today, these applications rely on signals from GPS/GNSS satellites SBAS GAGAN or Regional Satellite Navigation Systems such as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite system (IRNSS). There are instances, however where GPS/GNSS/IRNSS signal strength and security are not sufficient and prone to signal disruption. For these cases, STL can be used as a secure signal of opportunity to complement GPS/GNSS making the application more accurate and secure and less prone to interference attack.   Furthermore "Orolia has provided India with positioning and timing technologies for critical applications for many years. In the field of Search & Rescue, Orolia is a long-term partner with India since we equip the ground stations with the international satellite search and rescue system called "cospas-sarsat", the first generation was commissioned in 1989. These stations are used to detect the emission of distress signals and to calculate the position of beacons triggered in the event of danger to human life. Our aeronautical distress beacons are used by major Indian airlines. We are also being tested with the ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) for our military distress beacons used by fighter pilots. In the field of ultra-precise time, we equip Indian satellite navigation satellites (IRNSS) with atomic clocks and have been supplying high-performance time and frequency references to the Indian defense industry for many years. Example for telecommunication or radar applications "explains Rohit Braggs, VP Networks & Sources of Orolia. "The strategic partnership with Satelles, which allows us to expand our portfolio of highly robust positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) technologies, is an opportunity for Indian government players (armed forces, internal security, defense industry) and (E.g. marine, aviation, banking, IT, etc.) to have GPS / IRNSS signal curing technology interfered with by jamming and thus an additional level of reliability in accessing critical PNT data, their applications need. "     “In today’s increasingly dynamic and mobile world, there is a growing need for precise and robust positioning, navigation and timing information especially in business-crucial, high-risk and life-saving operations,” said Dr. Jean-Yves Courtois, Orolia CEO. “By augmenting Orolia’s market-leading GPS/GNSS-based solutions with Satelles’ STL technology, we will have the industry’s first truly fail-safe, resilient PNT solution.   This breakthrough offering will be ideal for mission critical applications in which the smallest of discrepancies in PNT data accuracy, availability and stability can result in a network outage, a system crash or a loss of life.”   Based on the Iridium® satellite constellation, STL signals are up to 1000 times stronger than GPS/GNSS which helps to prevent jamming and allows easier signal reach into buildings and other hard-to-reach locations. STL’s additional cryptographic security also ensures the highest levels of performance, productivity and security.   “Satelles’ pioneering role in STL technology is a perfect fit with Orolia’s proven Resilient PNT strategy,” said Dr. Michael O’Connor, Satelles CEO. “We look forward to working together to introduce new products and solutions that will provide our customers with the utmost confidence that their positioning, navigation and timing data is accurate, secure and accessible.”   For information on Orolia, please visit www.orolia.com For information on Satelles, please visit www.satellesinc.com .   A press kit is also available at https://www.orolia.com/en/media-center/news/news-2016/1084-satelles-satellite-time-and-location-signal-technology.html   About Orolia   Orolia is the world leader in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) solutions that improve the reliability, performance and safety of customers’ critical, remote or high-risk operations. Through its leading Kannad, McMurdo, Sarbe, Spectracom and Spectratime brands, Orolia has more than 400 employees and sales presence in over 100 countries worldwide. Leading organizations including Airbus, NASA, Thales, and Raytheon rely on Orolia for fail-safe GNSS and PNT products and solutions for their mission critical needs. Founded in 2006, Orolia has a global presence with offices in China, France, Russia, Switzerland, the U.K., the U.S.A. and further plans to expand its global footprint in 2017.   About Satelles   Satelles has developed and deployed the world’s first real-time PNT service based on Low Earth Orbit satellites. Satellite Time and Location (STL) signals are highly secure, penetrate deep indoors, and are available anywhere on Earth. These features make the service perfect as an independent augmentation for GPS/GNSS and other location-based technologies. With offices in Redwood City, California, and Fairfax, Virginia, Satelles works in partnership with recognized industry leaders to deliver these secure time and location capabilities to government and commercial users worldwide.       About Business France   Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and also runs the V.I.E international internship program. Business France has 1,500 personnel, both in France and in 70 countries throughout the world, who work with a network of public- and private-sector partners. For further information, please visit: www.businessfrance.fr and youbuyfrance.com.in.   Orolia and Satelles Press Contacts: Elodie Cally Orolia Communications Director Email: elodie.cally@orolia.com Mobile: +33(0)6.33.85.76.93       Bart Ferrell Satelles Communications Director Email: bferrell@satellesinc.com   Mobile: +1 618-920-9434       Business France India Press Contact:   Julian Hoarau-Bouaziz Marketing and Communication Trade Officer Email: Julian.hoarau@businessfrance.fr Mobile: +91 837 689 50 05  

ACTIA India to unveil latest End Of Line diagnostic solution for vehicles ever conceived in India

Purva Marwaha - 29-mars-2016 12:23:16
ACTIA India to unveil latest End Of Line diagnostic solution for vehicles ever conceived in India ACTIA India, a JV between ACTIA Automotive and DMG Finance & Investments, have recently unveiled their latest End Of Line (EOL) diagnostic solutions, developed for Renault, on their latest Kwid vehicle. This is the first time such a diagnostic solution is implemented in India automotive industry. In order to achieve this breakthrough, ACTIA India had to solve the main challenge of proposing a unique software suite combined to a hardware kit able to analyse diagnostic tests made on vehicles, at a cost efficient price. This achievement has been possible thanks to a “ jugaad innovation ” approach developed in collaboration with Renault, taking into account Renault technological legacy while processing the necessary adjustments and removing the superfluous aspects of the diagnostic. The unique software suite and the hardware kit enable manufacturers to treat diagnostic tests’ results in a simpler manner, which has a significant incidence on their operating costs. ACTIA India has strong expectations from the Indian market, as said by Mr. Pascal Perhirin, Business Development Manager, Off Highway Solutions and ex-CEO of ACTIA India: “ India is a highly dynamic market and the key words to enter this market are Innovation, quality and well-priced products. The latest EOL diagnostic delivered to Renault India makes us today capable of any kind of tailored diagnostic solutions, for all types of vehicles: cars, buses, trucks ”. In addition to this project, ACTIA India has also implemented a full End Of Line diagnostic solutions for Ashok Leyland in India, completed in 2013. The company can serve any kind of diagnostic requirement in the automotive industry: vehicle manufacturing (End Of line), repairing (VCI, aftersales tools) or maintenance operations (test lanes). About ACTIA India: ACTIA India is a JV between ACTIA Automotive, and DMG Finance & Investments, set up in 2002, with the objective to create an engineering and manufacturing base in India as well as to leverage the engineering strength in India thanks to a strong presence in the passenger and commercial vehicles market. ACTIA India is part of ACTIA, an international group created in 1986, which specialises in high added value electronic equipment, destined for the buoyant vehicle and telecommunications markets. The company is present in 15 countries (Headquarters based in France) and employs 3000 staff over the world including 730 engineers. The automotive division of the company focuses on 4 core activities: vehicle diagnostics, on-board systems, electronic manufacturing and fleet management. Highly involved in innovative technologies and in cutting edge manufacturing, ACTIA has committed to taking up the challenges of a connected and sustainable urban mobility. For further information, please visit: www.actiagroup.com General view of Electrical and Electronic Diagnostic for conformity check, traceability reading, VIN writing and checking, DTC reading & erasing, learning procedures, configuration writing and checking, calibration writing.   About Business France: Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes France’s companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness as an investment location, and also runs the V.I.E international internship program. Business France has 1,500 personnel, both in France and in 70 countries throughout the world, who work with a network of public- and private-sector partners. For further information, please visit: www.businessfrance.fr and youbuyfrance.com.in .     Company contacts: Mr. Pascal PERHIRIN ACTIA Business Development Manager, Off Highway Solutions, Automotive Division Tel: (+33) 5 61 17 68 47 / @: pascal.perhirin@actia.fr   Press contact: Mr. Thomas ILHE Business France, French Trade Commission in India   Trade Officer. Tel: 011 4319 6303 / @: thomas.ilhe @businessfrance.fr

SmartGrids France at the forefront of European Utility Week in Vienna on November 3 to 5, 2015

Purva Marwaha - 16-oct.-2015 08:54:31
SmartGrids France at the forefront of European Utility Week in Vienna on November 3 to 5, 2015       The SmartGrids France association was created in April 2015 to develop the sector in France and to promote it in Europe and internationally. The association will be participating in European Utility Week taking place in November in Vienna to raise the profile of businesses in this sector and their expertise, focusing on live trials by demonstrators. SmartGrids France will be alongside Business France in the France section (Hall A).   The SmartGrids France professional association was created through one of ten initiatives set out in the "Smart Grids" roadmap presented by the French President in mid-2014. As the "Team France" of Smart Grids , this association offers support to players in the sector, with the aim by 2020 for the sector to represent 25,000 direct jobs in France, to generate €6 billion in turnover, half of which from export, and to become one of the industry leaders in a global market estimated at €30 billion per year. It includes electrical engineering, automation, telecommunication equipment, information systems, market models and regulation. Its industrial references range from the modernization of networks, to the strong growth in demand, the integration of renewable energies, the implementation of energy efficiency mechanisms. The members of the association play the role in developing the standards.   To promote its expertise in Vienna, the association will be offering:   -        a presentation of its smart grid demonstrators and their initial results; -        foreign delegations to come discover these demonstrators through a route of French expertise -        a presentation to promote the socio-economic aspect of smart grids, a world first; -        an overview of the current flexibility of French power grids thanks to the existing smart grid features.   The association is a member of the Global Smart Grid Federation, helping it to exchange with its peers on a global level. Delegations from Japan and Taiwan have already discovered the main French demonstrators. France is the leading country in terms of smart grid investment in Europe. Over 100 smart grid projects are currently taking place across France as well as numerous export projects.   French expertise in this field is recognized internationally. French network operators, especially RTE and ERDF, currently export their skills by supporting foreign operators in deploying smart grid technology in their networks. The investments and the dynamics of the offer make the French power network one of the worlds most available and reliable.     About SmartGrids France:   The association is chaired by Philippe Monloubou, Chairman of ERDFs Management Board. The Vice-Chairman is Olivier Grabette, deputy CEO of RTE. The association is composed of global members from the world of business, academia, institutions and players in the electricity sector. These members include Alstom, Schneider, EDF, French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Mines ParisTech, SAGEMCOM, ABB, Gimelec, Cofely Ineo, Siemens, Atos, Cap Gemini, and SMEs such as Cahors, Seifel, Michaud, etc.   The association is primarily responsible for: - Organizing, in France and abroad, events to promote smart grid expertise and represent its members;·Supporting the development of its SME and mid-size company members; - Ensuring the representation of its members with public authorities and European and international organizations; - Taking stock of the smart grid sector and its show rooms in France, particularly by promoting its achievements abroad; - Creating a catalog of existing training and promoting the creation of new training; - Communicating on topics and issues concerning smart grids in France, Europe and internationally.   To join the association or for information: thinksmartgrids @gmail.com     Press Contact: Martine Savary Tel.: +33 (0)6 64 25 66 59   Email: martine@geckotom.com

French Innovation and Technology clusters Systematic and ASTech in India to foster bilateral relations

Ridhima Verma - 12-nov.-2014 12:52:41
                                                                                                                              Systematic and ASTech, French “Innovation and Technology Clusters”, introduce a 3 rd delegation to India to foster bilateral business and technology relations in Systems & ICTs                                              Systematic (a Paris Region-based Systems & ICTs “Innovation and Technology Cluster”) and ASTech (a Paris Region-based Aeronautics, Space and Embarked Systems “Innovation and Technology Cluster”), having a joint Hub in India since 2013, are promoting a delegation of innovative SMEs to India with the objective of fostering bilateral business and technology tie-ups, from the 15 th to the 22 nd of November, 2014 and for the 3 rd consecutive year. Dr. Gérard POIRIER , Deputy Vice President for Scientific Strategy in charge of R&D Partnerships and Cooperation at Dassault Aviation and Working Group President at Systematic, will lead this Systematic - ASTech delegation.   8 highly innovative French SMEs , members of Systematic and looking for developing business and technology partnerships in India, will actively participate to this 2014 delegation: All4Tec , Bluwan , Distene , Egide , PragmaDev , PrismTech , Spring Technologies and Webdyn . Being in the fields of Systems & ICTs, they focus primarily on the following vertical markets: Telecommunications, Automotive, Transportation, Smart Cities, Energy Management, and Aeronautics.   Those 8 enterprises have been selected by Indian companies from the portfolio of innovative products published by Systematic, gathering already more than 100 innovative solutions that are the outcome of open collaborative R&D projects.   Systematic - ASTech business delegation’s program will consist in site visits , an “ Indo-French Innovation and Technology Seminar on Systems and ICTs ” and a networking dinner being organized in Bangalore on the 17 th of November, 2014 and aiming at gathering relevant Indian and French stakeholders, as well as a set of B2B meeting programs . It is jointly organized by the Trade Commission UBIFRANCE of the Embassy of France in India , the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) . About Systematic   The Systematic Innovation and Technology Cluster, with its 700 members (enterprises, R&D Labs, Universities and Engineering Schools), boasts a unique concentration of technology players in Europe and an outstanding international reputation. Systematic focuses on six Working Groups sharing strategic visions and monitoring collaborative R&D projects: Automotive & Transports, Digital Trust & Security, Systems Design & Development Tools, Telecoms, Free & Open Source Software, and Smart Energy Management. Systematic cluster has its presence across India, including the metropolis; Karnataka being the one having maximum No. of offices of the members of the cluster.   About ASTech   The Paris Region Aerospace Cluster ASTech , first job hub in France in the field of Aeronautics, Space and Embedded Systems employs over 100,000 people with a strong focus on R&D . Members of the ASTech Cluster are also operating out of Karnataka and Maharashtra, with presence in other parts of India.   For more information: Mr. Siddharth BALACHANDRAN Trade Advisor - New Technologies, Innovation and Services UBIFRANCE - Bangalore Office +91 (0)80 22 14 12 44 siddharth.balachandran@ubifrance.fr   Press contact: Ms. Ridhima VERMA Trade Officer - Communication and Press UBIFRANCE - New Delhi Office +91 (0)11 43 19 63 51 ridhima.verma@ubifrance.fr     About UBIFRANCE and the Trade Commission UBIFRANCE of the Embassy of France in India     UBIFRANCE is the French agency for international business development, a key public partner in export for French companies. Its complete range of services includes providing information (on markets, legal, regulatory, international financing, calls to tender, sector watch), export consulting, sales actions (prospecting missions, partnership meetings, trade events abroad, communication in the international press, etc.). To support French companies of all sizes and all sectors in their development on foreign markets, UBIFRANCE mobilizes the expertise of 1,400 persons in France (Paris and Marseille) and in 70 other countries through its French Trade Commissions UBIFRANCE and a network of Press Offices. The French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in India has 4 offices located in the business hubs of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, with a total dedicated multicultural team of over 30 experts. UBIFRANCE’s know-how and experience are globally recognized with a worldwide network of 80 Trade Commissions.   About Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry   Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Paris Region CCI) represents 800,000 companies. As part of one of the main activities, we assist French companies from the Paris Region to expand their businesses internationally. We provide reports and information about foreign markets, identify potential partners and strategically advise them to develop their international footprints.   About Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry   Set up in 1977, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) is a not for profit bilateral business Chamber which fosters and promotes mutually beneficial relations between India and France through channels of trade and industry. The Chamber has four offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai and over 500 members comprising leading French and Indian companies. IFCCI’s endeavour is to provide a platform for facilitating business and networking opportunities between French and Indian companies, to promote our members’ interests to key decision makers and to help develop economic and commercial relations between France and India. The India Desk of the Paris Ile-de-France Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry is represented by IFCCI.
About
Sophie Clavelier, Country Head   Welcome to the French Trade Commission Business France in India!     Our key mission is to promote trade relations between France and India. We assist French- based companies seeking potential partners and new markets in India, while helping Indian businesses to identify potential French suppliers, commercial and technical partners.   In India, our 4 offices are located in business hubs, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. We have a dedicated multicultural team of 38 experts in the following growing sectors: Agrofood Industry Industry and Cleantech Lifestyle and Healthcare Tech & Services Our Trade Commission also has a Press office in charge of helping French companies to communicate in India as well as a Market Access Department enabling them to better understand and adjust to the Indian regulatory and fiscal framework. In

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