The ecoRIS3 consortium took advantage of Nice being the Innovative City 2018 to hold their fifth Steering Committee meeting and study visit in the French city on the 26th and 27th of June 2018. An invitation to the ecoRIS3 project from “Direction Europe Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur” to Innovative City 2018, was viewed by lead partner Fomento San Sebastian as a great opportunity to look for the latest novel innovative ideas that could be applied to ecoRIS3 partners regions.

On Tuesday the 26th the visit began with a meeting with ‘Direction Europe Métropole.’ Sebastian Viano, Director of Europe and External Funding, Jérôme Sieurin Direction Europe et Financements Extérieurs and Camille Torrenti, from Direction Europe et Financements Extérieurs introduced to the group ‘What is the mandate of Europe Métropole?’ and how they work to develop the NICE region, which is mostly known as a popular Tourism Destination, into the European Sillicon Valley.  

Image: The ecoRIS3 consortium during the meeting with Direction Europe Métropole on the 26/06/2018 in Nice. 

With thoughts of developing a European style ‘Silicon Valley’ still on their minds, the partners participated in a very productive fifth Steering Committee meeting, which discussed the project communication strategy and the regional and composite SWOT analysis. It is always helpul to share each partner´s thoughts on how their work is progressing and how through collaboration they can then help each other overcome their challenges.  

The second day of the visit began with a visit to the Innovative City 2018 conference. The parters had an oportunity to learn from a best in class Smart City like Nice as to how technological change can be implemented in a sustainable manner in their regions. The showcase contained numerous stands and booths from companies and regions promoting many innovative products so attendees could network with different suppliers.  

Yesenia Otamendi, ecoRIS3 project co-ordinator from Fomento San Sebastián was a speaker in one of the workshops which took place at the conference. She had the opportunity to describe what the ecoRIS3 project is, its objectives, goals and aims. Ms Otamendi believes that the opportunity to speak at Innovative City 2018 was a valuable opportunity for the ecoRIS3 project.

Image: Yesenia Otamendi presents the ecoRIS3 project at the on the Innovative City 2018 conference on the 27/06/2018 in Nice.

The consortium also had the opportunity to meet and learn from Jean François Carrasco and Frederic Bossard from La French Tech. Convinced by the necessity to promote the emergence of successful start-ups in France to generate economic value and jobs, the French Government created ‘La French Tech’ Initiative at the end of 2013. Its philosophy: build on member initiatives of the French Tech themselves, highlight what already exists, and create a snowball effect. It is a shared ambition, propelled by the State but carried and built with all the actors of the French tech company and start-up scene.  Judit Pereiro of Grupodex suggests “the meeting with representatives from French Tech and The Sophia Antipolis 'Business Pole' has provided ecoRIS3 with practical understanding how to foster connections among the 4 helix institutions to achieve successful innovation ecosystems.”

Miss Edurne Romano, project officer at the Cork Institute of Technology believes that the meeting with Jean François Carrasco and Frederic Bossard was extremely useful. “It was great to share opinions and ideas about innovation and entrepreneurship with Jean François and Frederic, I believe the most important message they gave was that - there´s no failure in going back to the beginning and starting again, only through trial and error will we find the best path.” 

Image: The ecoRIS3 consortium at the Innovative City 2018 conference on the 27/06/2018 in Nice.

Merci Nice, jusqu'à ce que nous nous rencontrions à nouveau.