With an ambitious commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship from both central and local government, Paris is rapidly positioning itself as one of the world’s premier GovTech hubs.
Guided by its 2020 smart and sustainable city strategy, Paris is proactively taking the lead to create an ‘open, connected and innovative’ urban environment, by encouraging citizen participation, making data open, and supporting a better connected innovation ecosystem.
The city ranks second in Europe in the Global Open Data Index, and has partnered with NUMA, an innovation hub and accelerator, to create DataCity Paris – an initiative bringing together entrepreneurs and investors to use public data to solve urban problems. Similarly, the city’s economic development organisation, Paris&Co, pilots multi-sectoral smart city projects through its Urban Lab, offering a testbed for GovTech startups to pilot city-wide sustainability projects.
Paris is Europe’s leading city for using technology to promote citizen participation. ‘Madame la maire, j’ai une idée’ (‘Madame Mayor, I have an idea’) is an online civic engagement platform that crowdsources innovative new policy ideas directly from Parisian citizens. The city’s ‘Dans ma Rue’ application allows citizens to use their smartphones to report any local problems or issues directly to municipal officers.
From launching a fast-tracked international tech visa system to the announcement of a new €10 billion innovation fund, the French government is also championing startups at a national scale. La France Tech, a network for entrepreneurs, is the cornerstone of the government’s strategy to promote the French startup ecosystem. The country also offers one of Europe’s most generous R&D tax credit systems for SMEs, as well as an annual innovation fund of €1 billion through Bpifrance – the French public investment bank.
The French government has also pioneered numerous programmes to promote cooperation between entrepreneurs and the government. In particular, DITP and DINSIC have lead on initiatives such as the EIG and Startups d’Etat, which both aim to work with entrepreneurs to solve problems faced by ministries and public organisations.
Beyond public efforts, investors and innovators in the private sector are developing the city’s startup ecosystem. Paris’ Station F is the largest startup campus in the world, hosting over 1000 startups and corporate partners. Growing confidence in the maturing French startup ecosystem has translated into tangible investment in early stage ventures. In 2017, French startups raised €2.7 billion in growth funding via 688 VC-backed rounds – the highest number of rounds of anywhere in Europe.
With world-class research institutions and a mature startup and venture ecosystem, it is unsurprising that Paris was chosen as the location for Europe’s first GovTech Summit, in November 2018.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
Fluicity is a citizen engagement app that allows users to propose ideas, vote for others’ ideas, report local problems, and take part in direct consultations.
Manty collects and visualises data to help public officials to model and measure public policy initiatives, and benchmark against cities and administrations internationally.
Bob Emploi provides a complete review of a jobseeker’s profile, target market, and search techniques to offer personalised advice on the job market.
Padam develops AI-powered demand-responsive public transport systems, including simulation software to optimise the design of transport services.
Plume Labs has developed a smart air quality tracker application that maps a city’s air pollution variations in real-time and visualises the data on a live dashboard.
Doctolib is an online platform that allows patients to book nearby medical appointments, simplifying the booking process for both patients and doctors.
Birdz installs smart remote water consumption meters, collecting hundreds of millions data points to help cities to reduce their energy and utilities bills
medGo is a platform for the management of vacations and overtime staffing in hospitals, reducing the use of third-party agencies and saving time spent on administration.
Karos is a car-sharing app that automatically connects drivers and passengers based on the location of their daily routes.
A2JOB is a digital recruitment platform for health professionals and social workers. optimised for filling urgent or short-term staffing gaps.