Empowering citizens to co-create smart cities

Smart cities are for people. Technology, data, and innovation are the DNA of smart cities, but they are not why we want to build them. We work for a sustainable future, aligned with the 2030 sustainable development goals and more specifically the C40’s Deadline 2020.

Paris has been our pilot program for 3 years and we are proud to partner with the city of Paris and Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Paris is part of the C40 and part of the Open Government Partnership, which makes it one of 15 municipalities dedicated to push this topic and initiatives forward. For our 3rd season of DataCity Paris, we open conversations with residents on www.idees.paris. The consultation is open from October 20. to November 6. 2017.


Read the article on our DataCity Blog



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How to create smarter collaboration for smart cities

NUMA has been working with startups and the tech ecosystem from day one. When we created DataCity two years ago in Paris, we naturally pushed the crucial need for a data-driven approach, with smart tools to enable actors to create change.

This continues to hold true as we are now launching the third season of the program, and expanding it on a global scale. But we also learned that smart collaboration – meaning process and methodology – was as instrumental, if not more, to our collective success than data and tech itself. We became experts in facilitating innovative ideas, creating open innovation programs and ensuring these projects come to life. This is what we learned in the process:

Open innovation programs need a trusted third party

Smart collaboration should be radical: it should bring all stakeholders together, to openly share as many resources as possible. All stakeholders ranging from corporates, startups, researchers, institutions, and citizens, should be included. This diversity of perspectives is essential to build the most efficient ecosystem possible to create collective intelligence. But building the ecosystem is only the first step. It also needs to be stimulated and nurtured. Facilitating collaboration and ideation is achieved more easily by a trusted third party who is capable of understanding the interests and the culture of all parties. At NUMA, we work with startups, corporates and communities on a daily basis through acceleration programs, trainings, community events and so on. We knew we had the connections, but we now know it is the key to being a good facilitator for innovation.  We can’t stress enough the impact of the lean startup method and design thinking for creating innovative ideas. We use these methodologies, but when it comes to smart collaboration, it is also important to find the sweet spot between lean startup style and a comfortable process for everyone. We work as a facilitator to ensure all actors have enough freedom to create and enough guidance, based on their culture and generation.

The 5 steps road to smart collaboration:

Smart collaboration is based on the ability to adapt to each stakeholder, and ensure that all stakeholders can work together. It is also based on the principles that were identified after our first two seasons held in Paris and Casablanca. Namely, we must ensure smart collaboration is:

  1. Horizontal: the ecosystem approach doesn’t work well with strong hierarchy or frictions. Our role as third party is to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s interests are represented.
  2. Imperfect: Done is better than perfect is something very common to hear in the startup world, not so much in larger companies. As a facilitator for ideation and innovation, we work on making sure we accept this imperfection in order to avoid designing at the whiteboard a hypothetically perfect solution for the future, without any action in the present.
  3. Iterative: accepting early stage imperfection doesn’t mean we stay there, it is a constant test & learn approach, starting small but building up.
  4. Systemic: especially after we move from phase 2 (when startup were selected) to phase 3-experimentation, startups take the lead and we are the referent partner ensuring even if one actor is more involved at this stage, we are still aligned on everyone’s goals and everyone’s interests.
  5. Precise: the approach may be systemic – bringing everyone together – but it also needs to be precise. Our role as a third party is also to help articulate challenges that are specific enough for startups and corporates to come up with innovative solution. It is also our role to be the time keeper and track progress to ensure the delivery date is respected.


The higher purpose of smart collaboration

Whether it is waste management, public transport congestion, energy consumption, or crisis management due to more frequent natural disasters, all of these challenges are more than market opportunities and excited grounds for tech development. Our overall mission at NUMA is to empower tech entrepreneurs to solve the 2030 goals. This is something we can also keep in mind while working together on smart city issues. As a third party, we represent everyone’s interest but can also help actors work more effectively together when we also represent this higher purpose we all serve. Including these dynamics can substantially help take a step back and realign everyone’s goals.


Smart collaboration is possible. We successfully tested it in Paris and Casablanca. As we are about to expand to more cities worldwide, we know we can make it happen, as long as we bring people together and have their trust to facilitate as a third party.


In our series about smart collaboration we focus next on the role of citizens. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with our latest news.

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DataCity Paris’ Demo Day – sharing results and preparing the future

The scene : 600 attendees, 12 partners companies, 10 startups, the C40 cities as a partner and an event hosted at the co-organizer place, the City Hall of Paris.
This is DataCity Paris' Demo Day key figures.
Now you can ask yourself two questions: why and what ?

At NUMA, we believe that mission-driven tech-entrepreneurs are a key to solve the cities’ issues of 2030. So we bring together cities, corporates, and startups to address city
challenges and develop solutions to build sustainable and efficient cities, using data and technology.

DataCity Paris: a unique open innovation program related to the 2030 city’s issues

With DataCity, we at NUMA, have the ambition to tackle the global problems cities will face by 2030 – at the heart of which we place climate change – by designing tailored solutions to reduce cities carbon footprint. Indeed, we advocate that cities are the cause, the biggest victim and the best hope to fight climate change.

How does DataCity work? DataCity is a 9-month open innovation program where, as a first step, large companies, municipalities and citizens gather together to identify city-related problems to solve. We call these challenges. Then, we select the best startups to apply their innovative solutions to the challenges, by using experimentation fields and data sets provided by the large companies and municipalities. Prototypes are built and the impact that the solutions have on the city is measured.


For the second edition of the program, lasting from September 2016 until our Demo Day on June 6th 2017, 4 main topics have been covered: Energy, Mobility & Logistics, Urban Planning and Smart Building.

For instance, through DataCity, EDF, the historical electricity provider in France, worked with a Danish startup, Linc, to develop together a solution enabling the creation of local electricity communities. Within a community, one household can now provide another household with the surplus of energy produced (through solar panels for instance) in exchange of a remuneration. This challenge anticipated the modernisation of the legal framework, as the local electricity communities are only recognised and authorised in law since May 2017. In addition of having developed an innovative solution, our partners thus took the lead on this topic in France through DataCity.


Many other challenges were solved this year, such as developing a solution for intelligent street lighting based on data analysis; a solution to predict maintenance needs of city infrastructure; a tool to predict waste collection times or a tool to measure the impact of urban planning on logistics.


DataCity Paris’ Demo Day – sharing results and preparing the future

As a conclusion to the program, we held our Demo Day on June 6th 2017 at the Paris City Hall. The Demo Day was the occasion to display the work and solutions developed by each challenge team – composed by representatives of a partner company, a selected startup and Paris City Hall – in front of more than 600 representatives of big companies, national and international public institutions such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Groupe, city representatives coming from around the world, as well as investors. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, and Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, were the sponsors of this event, materializing the active involvement of high-level representatives of the city in the program.


This involvement is of utter importance for the success of both the program and the Demo Day. Indeed, it ensures that decision-makers and -takers of the city are supportive and continuously informed of the program’s solutions, from which they will be the main beneficiary. In addition, the variety of stakeholders that attended the Demo Day are the unique opportunity to concretely explore new market opportunities with relevant partners.



From now on, all the participants in the second season of DataCity Paris, are part of our DataCity Alumni community. NUMA will not rest to support and empower its partners and startups to take their work from the prototype stage to an actual commercializable product. Soon enough, citizens of Paris will benefit from the work achieved during DataCity Paris’ second season.


Taking DataCity Internationally: Smart Collaboration at the Global Scale

During the Demoday, we announced  the international expansion of DataCity, in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Our ambition: develop the program in 40 cities by the end of 2018, across all continents, which will allow the development of more than 300 solutions to build more sustainable and efficient cities.

We are convinced that with municipalities, corporates and mission-driven tech entrepreneurs, we can make our planet great again and create missions of new jobs. The urgency of the climate crisis and the scale of action needed means that everyone must use every tool available to them to tackle this threat, including data.

Our ambition via the international expansion of DataCity is to join hands and raise open innovation as a new way of city making across the world, in order to accelerate the emergence of solutions to the global challenges that concern us all. The global DataCity program will create a momentum for international collaboration and cross- pollination between cities, partners and startups involved, who will share and learn from each others’ challenges and solutions for the cities of tomorrow.

Following the Demoday, a DataCity international kick-off workshop was organized on June 7 at NUMA, gathering about 50 stakeholders – cities, corporates, international organizations, startups –  interested or already committed in DataCity.

Building on this workshop, we are more confident and ready than ever to take the Datacity program internationally, create the leading collaboration platform on smart city topics across the world  and bring solutions to the challenges faced by our cities.

As a first step, DataCity will be launched in 7 cities – to be revealed soon! – in S2 2017.

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Cities, corporations, startups : unite to fight against climate change !

Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw the United States of America from the Paris agreement. Actually, he will withdraw the Federal State. Not the people, not the cities, not the corporations, not the startups. They will do their best to respect the agreement’s goals, because they know it will MAKE OUR PLANET GREAT AGAIN and create millions of new jobs.

The most striking reactions to Donald Trump’s decision, are the ones of the non-state actors in the United States. Cities, corporations, citizens raise their voice to affirm their commitment to respect the Paris Agreement.

Cities in particular committed to playing their part. This should not come as a surprise as cities are :

  • a major cause of climate change (cities are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions)
  • the biggest victims of climate change (climate change could make cities 8°C hotter by 2100).

They are also our best hope to fight climate change because they are home to a diverse, well-educated, entrepreneurial population. But cities can’t win this fight against climate change alone.

At NUMA, we believe that mission-driven tech entrepreneurs are the most efficient players to tackle global challenges. They have a unique ability to execute fast and to create scalable solutions that have a global impact. Their limited resources force them to be pragmatic and go beyond existing solutions.

If we gave them experimentation fields, high quality datasets and human resources, we are convinced they would find innovative and impactful solutions to tackle climate change. Actually we proved they do, through DataCity.

DataCity is a program launched by NUMA, to fulfill our mission to empower mission-driven tech entrepreneurs to solve the global challenges of 2030. DataCity relies on a central conviction : collaboration is the only way to tackle the challenges of the world, especially the battle against climate change. And it works !

In Paris, like in many other cities, street lights stay on at night even when no one is around. During the DataCity program, two startups (Dataiku and Quantmetry) used anonymised data from a telecommunication company to develop a solution to dim the light when no one is in the street. This solution has been implemented with an operator of street lighting in Paris leading to a 10% reduction in the energy consumption of public lighting, without the need for any new infrastructure and without affecting the wellbeing of citizens.

Reducing public lighting energy consumption by 10% in 9 months wouldn’t have been possible without a framework for radical collaboration between cities, corporations and startups.

Is this 10% reduction in public lighting energy consumption enough ? No. But applied to 100 cities worldwide, it would be a good step forward, right ? We believe so too. That is why Anne Hidalgo’s and C40’s endorsement will be helpful to implement this solution worldwide.

And this is only one example from over twenty solutions which have already been developed thanks to DataCity. Their impact could be game changing in the fight against climate change. They are data-driven, scalable and will lead to the hiring of thousands of people in the startups and corporations that created them.

To conclude, let’s be clear : I am appalled by Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Yet, voicing our anger and making our voices heard will not make up for the disastrous consequences of this decision. We need to act.

NUMA’s contribution to the fight against climate change will be based on three core beliefs :

  • Creating solutions to fight climate-change will be one of the main drivers of our global economic development.
  • Radical collaboration is the key to have an impact in a context where time is the most critical resource.
  • Mission-driven tech entrepreneurs are the best actors to develop the user-centric, scalable solutions we need.

I strongly believe that with cities, corporations and mission-driven tech entrepreneurs, we can make our planet great again and create millions of new jobs.

Want to join us in this exciting venture ? Drop us a line !

Marie-Vorgan Le Barzic, CEO of NUMA

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12 startups selected for DataCity Paris second edition!

As part of DataCity Paris second edition, NUMA and the City of Paris unveil the names of the 12 startups selected to invent the city of tomorrow. Each of them will have to answer a challenge in various fields such as energy, waste management, logistics, mobility and smart building...

DataCity is a global innovation program that brings together cities, companies, and startups to address city challenges and develop solutions to build sustainable and efficient cities, using data and technologies.

Selected among 225 applications, the 12 startups selected for DataCity Paris have now 2 months to work on the challenge with the partners, and offer concrete solutions to DataCity issues. To develop their solution, they will benefit from the expertise and database of several partners, advice from NUMA experts, and a 10k€ grant.

They will test a first version of their solution in parisians infrastructures as soon as April. Startups and partners will present the result of their experiments on June 6.

Discover the selected startups

LINC is going to test an electricity-exchange system between resource producers and consumers. The objective is to allow green energy producers to exchange the energy produced among a local community, reducing production and transportation costs.

Saagie is working on building a maintenance predictive platform allowing to visualize and predict the malfunctions of Paris street lights.

AiD offers a solution to track and analyze tourist flows agregating data provided by various partners (Mastercard, SFR, RATP Dev, Cisco). By processing and combinating data, AiD will provide a dynamic tool to visualize and monitor tourist flows at a neighborhood level.

BeeBryte is provinding a solution to building managers to fight against energy waste. The startup will test in several Paris City buildings tools of visualization of their energy consumption in real-time thanks to sensors and meters directly connected to the building managers’ interface.

ColisWeb will figure out the impact of installations in a neighborhood in terms of costs and delivery time. This experimentation will be done with the support of INRIA,French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics.

For DataCity, Intersec will collect and analyze Parisian tourist buses data to get a better understanding of the tourists travel patterns in the city, and adapt city services to their needs.

Quantmetry will build a map of several neighborhoods of Paris allowing to visualize urban flows. They will agregate data from a phone operator and other open source data (weather, events) to predict the lighting needs and ultimately decrease street lights consumption.

Dataiku will support the development and experimentation of the solution.

With 500 waste trucks going daily around the city to pick up parisians trash, garbage collection is a real challenge for Paris. Craft AI will experiment a predictive solution allowing all stakeholders (citizens, companies and janitors) to be informed about the truck arrival time.

In Paris, workspaces are often under-utilized while they could be mutualized.  SharingCloud will build a solution optimizing office spaces sharing.

 The sensors of the startup Irlynx will enrich SharingCloud analysis.

ZenCity‘s goal will be to create a tool helping urban planning strategy, thanks to precise analysis of an area’s data. This analysis will be produced thanks to data from social media, enriched by various sources (commercial spaces etc.) The objective is to generate trends coming directly from citizens.

Learn more about the DataCity program on datacity.numa.co

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Launch of Data City acceleration program

Launch of Data City: Open Innovation program on tomorrow’s cities.
Improved mobility, optimized management of our natural resources, greater involvement from inhabitants in their local environment – what form will tomorrow's cities take?

Paris, October 14th 2015 – Such is the complexity of cities that they rely on a wide variety of actors, both in their design and management, and continue to do so often without a great deal of optimal bigger-picture thinking. New methods, gaining increased user involvement and backed up by data science, can provide new solutions.
A group of partners: made up of the City of Paris, Vinci ENERGIES, Setec, SUEZ Consulting, Nexity and Cisco, with the support of the Directorate-Gene- ral for Enterprises from the Ministry for Economy and Finance, and co-ordinated by NUMA, is putting together an ambitious new open innovation program.
We all share the conviction that the future of cities will be built using an ap- proach that is both inclusive and experimental.
What is our ambition? To contribute to the blueprint of cities that answer to the new ways their inhabitants are finding to use them.
This program is to launch publicly on the 24th of November, 2015, at NUMA. Throughout the month of January 2016, we’ll be inviting startups, SMEs, non- profit organizations and students to pitch their projects, eventually hand-pi- cking 5 of these ideas to be brought to fruition in the first half of 2016.
To keep up to date with all the latest developments on this project, check out the project’s website before the end of November for the launch event and the first meet-up sessions. We’ll also be making regular announcements via various publications.

Any questions ? Contact:


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