Training - HEC Liege course

6 student projects to meet our Walloon cities' challenges

As part of its annual seminar, the Smart City Institute offers the opportunity to several groups of 2nd year Masters students at HEC Liège to work on concrete cases proposed this year by several Walloon cities themselves.

Until 7 December, these students will be coached by the SCI, but above all they will have the chance to meet and work directly with the Smart City Managers or professionals in charge of Smart City projects in these different cities. The objective: to come up with a project with a real potential for implementation.

At the end of this seminar, they will present their projects at the Closing Ceremony in front of a jury of professionals, with a prize for the most successful among them! Spotlight on the 6 projects that will be presented to the public on 7 December, and more precisely on the initial challenges proposed by the cities:

Marche - Commercial revitalisation

In order to enable the local businesses of the city of Marche to take part in a new commercial dynamic, the website was created more than a year ago. This collective work is the fruit of different stakeholders such as the city of Marche, the Cap sur Marche ASBL, a local assocation, and the community of local businesses. This digital showcase lists the independent professionals and local businesses in Marche, with the aim of becoming an e-commerce platform in the near future.

Today, as part of its development strategy, the website wishes to acquire new management functionalities, including in particular the creation of a shared CRM (a device for managing and optimising customer relations). This is why, in order to help the city of Marche in its reflection, the students will first have to study the interest of offering local businesses the possibility of using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. In a second step, they will also have to study the existing possibilities by surveying the local businesses and analysing the optimal solution that could be developed to strengthen the platform.

Liege – Towards participative governance

In the continuity of the participatory process "Reinventing Liege" which has enabled citizens over several weeks to put forward ideas to make Liege a more sustainable, inclusive, connected, collaborative city, the City of Liege is now considering how to implement a new form of participatory governance.

The objective for the students of our seminar is therefore to lay the foundations that will enable the city to move from the consultative governance put in place in the framework of "Reinventing Liege" to a participatory governance. Within this framework, they will have to think about the services that could be integrated into an online participatory platform and imagine the stages of its implementation.

Herstal – Project 1 - Smart mobility and smart parking

Parking and access to the city centre are major challenges for the city of Herstal. With the aim of continuous self-improvement, its strategic actors aspire to develop tools for data collection and instantaneous sharing of traffic flows. The analysis of smart mobility and parking proposes adapted solutions to reinforce soft mobility on the strategic axes of the city centre as well as the inclusion of the new Herstal railway station.

With this in mind, this work develops a global proposal to automate the control of parking discs through the implementation of an integrated system (cameras, sensors, communication of free spaces, interactive panels, mobile application). This proposal is part of a joint action involving all the Herstal actors in a smart approach to the sustainable improvement of the quality of life, air quality and local commerce. Particular interest is given to identifying the return on investment of reducing the cost of non-mobility and pollution in the town of Herstal.

Herstal – Projet 2 – Communication Citoyenne

The town of Herstal also wants to go further in its communication strategy with the citizens and people passing through its territory. Currently, some tools are being used - Facebook, paper press, newsletter...-. But the town would like to turn to "smart" solutions adapted to its socio-economic and territorial realities. Therefore, the students will have the task of identifying the appropriate communication channels in order to reach the local population and the users of the city.

BEP (Economic Office of the Province of Namur) - Big Data and Sensors

How to enhance and take advantage of collection truck services? Today, garbage trucks pass through the same places two times a day in the centre of Namur. Exploiting this opportunity could enable the city to collect certain types of useful data (water meter readings, pollution, etc.), thanks to sensors placed on these trucks.

The questions that arise are the following: Which data would be the most useful to collect? What tools would be the most suitable to exploit these data? In particular, the students will have to make a benchmark of what is being done in other cities (Belgian and foreign) and make various proposals adapted to the city of Namur.

Mons – Commercial revitalisation and indicators

Revitalisation of the commercial axis of the city centre: how to revitalise commerce in Mons and especially in its core urban area? In connection with current policies, including the creation of a "commercial maternity hospital", what Smart projects can be implemented to boost commerce in the city centre?

In the coming months, the city of Mons will make a series of cells in the city centre available to "candidate traders". In addition to these commercial spaces, the city believes it is essential to offer a series of relevant indicators to local businesses before and during operation. On the basis of these tools, the city will be able to determine strategic zones for the establishment of each type of business, measure the passage of customers or purchases made, with the aim of assessing the day-to-day health and development of the commercial artery in question.

Award ceremony and closing ceremony

In order to close this 9th edition of its seminar, the SCI will organise a ceremony on 7 December 2017 in the presence of Mr Pierre-Yves JEHOLET, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister of the Economy, Industry, Research, Innovation, Digital, Employment and Training.

Attend the presentation of concrete solutions for our Walloon cities, developed by the students of the 2nd year Master's degree at HEC Liège and discover the winners of the 2017-2018 edition!

An innovative programme for the 2017/2018 seminar

This year, the Smart City Institute team has set up a new program for students of the 2nd year Master's degree at HEC Liège, entitled "Smart Cities and Business Models - Innovative Solutions for Wallonia".

In concrete terms, this year nearly 300 students will work in groups on two types of projects during 8 weeks:

Innovative international initiatives: How to adapt them to the realities of our Walloon territory?

The first case study will focus on the analysis of Smart City projects that have proven themselves abroad. What types of business models were used to set up these projects? How can these models be adapted to Wallonia, taking into account its specificities (realities, territory, market)?

In order to feed the students' reflections, a coaching session as well as theoretical sessions will be organised in collaboration with professionals on various themes related to the Smart City: strategy and business models, digital technologies and big data, financing, citizen participation and governance, etc.

Case study - Responding to the real challenges of our Walloon Cities to become smarter

At the same time, the Smart City Institute offers this year the opportunity to several groups of students to work on concrete cases proposed by several Walloon cities. The projects submitted therefore respond to real needs that these cities are experiencing. These students, selected on the basis of motivation letters, will have the opportunity to work directly with the Smart City Managers or professionals in charge of Smart City projects in these different cities.

The objective: to come up with a project with a real implementation potential, built on a concrete business model and strong financing/partnerships.

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