Postdoc position – On Intermediation Platforms as a Tool to Make Cities Smarter

Information about post-doctoral positions at Inria

Supervisor: Stéphane Grumbach, Stephane Frenot

Place of Work: DICE research team, Inria Grenoble Rhône Alpes, Lyon site

Postdoc research focus:

The expression “Smart cities” refers to cities that rely on the extensive use of digital technologies to manage their transportation system, energy and water networks, etc. These technologies could help to weave intelligence into the management of crucial sectors, increase the well being of inhabitants and optimize the use of resources. In the light of climate changes and a tight economic context, smart cities represent a key political and more generally social challenge.

Yet, there is no consensual definition of smart cities and no formalized method to turn a city smart. However, several digital services such as Uber, are making our cities smarter. Broadly speaking, car pooling answers the need to reduce the use of fossil energies. More originally, the use of digital technologies, such as algorithmic tarification, introduce new tools to manage traffic and resources.

Uber is an instance of “intermediation platform”, i.e., a platform that constitutes an intermediary between a set of consumers – for instance looking for a lift – and a set of service providers (such as drivers). Other intermediation platforms, such as Airbnb transform economic sectors such as hotel business. At any rate, platforms introduce new business models (such as sharing economy), new social and work opportunities and alter the political setting. New connections emerge between the platform and public administration, which can also benefit from them. Platforms could also support the emergence of a more democratic local life. As platforms are blooming and acquire a prominent position, smart cities will be greatly shaped by the development of intermediation.

The postdoctoral position will take place in the DICE team that has developed a strong expertise on intermediation. The work will aim at providing an extensive analysis of intermediation and its potential development for cities. This analysis will be complemented with the development of original intermediation platform tools, based on javascript/HTML5 technologies.

Conditions for application:

  • You must have defended your PhD thesis
  • Particular attention will be paid to French and international candidates who have studied their PhD abroad, but all high-quality applications will be carefully considered.
  • Nationality is not taken into consideration.

How to apply:

Submit the following material to and

  • Detailed CV including full publication record
  • Two most significant publications provided in full
  • Letter of motivation
  • Statement of career plans subsequent to the post-doctoral position
  • 3 references
  • Expected start date (Latest possible date is November 2015) and duration (from 12 to 16 months)

Application may be submitted till the position is filled.

For any information, feel free to contact and/or

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