A key characteristic of CityLab@Inria is its international dimension, which originated with the Paris-San Francisco cooperation agreement toward smarter cities. This agreement, signed on March 20, 2013, is dedicated to developing smarter cities and includes support for targeted research programs among which is the Joint Inria-CITRIS CityLabs Program.
More specifically, researchers from Inria and CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, University of California) have had an ongoing relationship for collaborative research projects since 2010, in close relation with the Inria@SiliconValley program. In 2013, Inria and CITRIS signed an agreement regarding the CityLabs partnership in which they aim to undertake cutting-edge research in the domain of “smart cities” with a focus on gathering, analyzing, and visualizing complex urban data.
This is for instance illustrated by the connection established between CityLab@Inria and the CITRIS Social Apps Lab, and especially ongoing collaboration toward the development of the AppCivist platform for large-scale public deliberation and civic action.
In addition to the above, Californian cities are strongly engaged in the open data and smart city trends (see here), thereby opening up venues for experimenting with the technologies emerging from CityLab@Inria’s research at the city scale.
Last but not least, the strong focus of CITRIS and Inria on Innovation together with the open innovation trend are expected to favor the creation of innovation out of the undertaken research in smart cities. This is further supported by the accord that was signed in February 2014, between Inria, CITRIS and PRIME (see here).