As part of its strategic review, Arcep has included the Internet of Things as one of its 12 priorities for the coming years, to enable the emergence of these networks and new generation applications. To this end, the Authority needs to be able to strike the right balance between its roles as regulator and as an enabler of innovation.
To achieve this, it is vital not only that Arcep sustain a dialogue with all of the stakeholders along the sector’s value chain, but also to venture out into the field and visit the places where these projects are taking shape. In October 2015, Arcep teams therefore went to meet with the people in charge of business accelerators for start-ups specialising in the IoT, in the Cité de l’objet connecté in Angers, and then in March 2016 to IoT Valley in Labège near Toulouse, along with Arcep Chairman, Sébastien Soriano.
La Cité de l’objet connecté in Angers
Inaugurated in June 2015, the Cité de l‘objet connecté is supported by companies such as Eolane and Withings, and is geared to providing connected object project leaders with the
means to bring their ideas to fruition.
In exchange for a monthly fee of €300, the Cité provides start-ups with access to more than €2 million in equipment and a team of engineers who are specialised in a variety of key fields, including electronics, plastics processing, industrial design, etc. By creating a working environment rooted in interaction and collaboration, the Cité aims to foster relations between the different professions, and so to take projects from idea to prototype.
IoT Valley in Labège, near Toulouse
Created in 2009 on the initiative of companies such as Sigfox, IoT Valley is an association that brings together start-ups and companies that specialise in the Internet of Things.
The aim is to assist start-ups in their development, by giving them the tools they need to get their project off the ground. The association has been hosting a Connected Camp since September 2015: an accelerator for pre-selected start-ups, providing them with weekly support over nine months from IoT Valley teams of experts, and advice from top-flight partner companies.
Buoyed by its success, IoT Valley is now expanding and recently acquired a new locale where it will be installing the IoT Campus: a large-scale project supported by the regional prefecture and regional council of the Midi-Pyrénées Languedoc-Roussillon.
During the meeting with Arcep, stakeholders shared their expectations and wishlist: meaningful dialogue, support, education and facilitation. Far from being confined to the role of regulator or watchdog, these entities see Arcep as an influential partner that could propel the emergence of this dynamic ecosystem.