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Thu, 23 Jan 2020 04:30 GMT

The Internet of Things - France in Push to Lead the Way in Europe

Science & Technology

Jean Langlois

Sat, 21 Dec 2019 15:48 GMT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a very important technology and nations around the world are competing to develop the best start-ups in this field. In France, the IoT Valley is a community created in 2011 in the south-east of Toulouse. This ecosystem is now growing very fast.

The IoT Valley’s project to create an international campus dedicated to IoT at the gates of Toulouse is becoming a reality. The first pickaxe will be given in January 2020 for an opening in 2022. The schedule is currently being announced to the French media.

The goal of the international project is to create one of the largest campuses in the world, dedicated to connected objects. A vastly unique project in Europe. This startup city will replace the current site of IoT Valley. Within 2 years, the first building of 20,000m2 will come out of the ground to the tune of 42 million euros. "It will bring together the IoT Valley association, 100 companies and startups, including the headquarters of a leading company, Sigfox, a Lab, a training organisation, a startup studio and inter-school incubator", explained Bertrand Ruiz, director General of the IoT Valley. Eventually, the site will extend over 8 hectares.

This new campus will bring all the start-ups of the IoT Valley together in one place. Carole Delga, President of the Region said, “We are precursors in this field, it is essential to build this architectural ensemble; to build our Silicon Valley of connected objects”.

Ludovic Le Moan, general manager of Sigfox, the biggest company of the IoT Valley commented, "The Internet of Things and more generally data is a gigantic revolution. The stakes are at least as great as those of oil. Here we want to make the equivalent of Airbus in the aeronautics, there is everything you need for this project ".

7Dnews met Hans Klein a start-up entrepreneur who creates ‘connected’ toys and is considering moving to the IoT Valley. “I am an engineer who just could not bear to have a boss anymore so I decided I’ll live off my dreams. I am my own boss and that’s not something I would trade a better salary for. I designed a teddy bear that is directly connected to the parents’ computer and will give them a bunch of information on the health of their beloved kids who cuddle this great toy. I started to design this toy in my home country, Germany, but the comfort and beauty of Toulouse area really make me consider to apply to the IoT Valley. It seems to be a place for challenges and I love challenges.”

Brian H. another start-up founder explained to 7Dnews, “IoT is the future and indeed IoT Valley will probably be an important platform for IoT startupers. There is a lot of effort to gather high level firms here. I met many very promising young engineers who designed interesting products. But something that I do not understand about IoT is that apart from people from the industry, a lot of people talk about it in the media but they really do not seem to look at the strong risks for private life. I believe that technology is not always a solution and can actually be a danger but the media just want to be trendy and rarely criticise technologies. People who do not understand that are really lost. I am amazed by how people get to understand what is going to change their lives years later. I work in the field so I am not supposed to say these kinds of things. But let’s be serious, IoT are the end of private life, thanks to all the invisible devices that are hidden in more and more objects of your daily life it will be more than easy to spy on people. They are very enthusiastic about everything that is new but they discover the effects of their little comfort too late”.