OCOVA AlpMedNet has strengthened Franco-Italian collaboration in innovation and the dissemination of ICT
OCOVA was the name first given to the forums held in Gap since 2004 to promote innovation and new communication technologies (ICT). The OCOVA AlpMedNet project extended this approach to three partner regions, Liguria and the Piedmont in Italy, and Provence in France. By strengthening cross-border links between universities, technology hubs and productive entities, OCOVA has been able to initiate forums in other regions and generate new collaborations in such fields as smart power grids.
" For each of the countries concerned, the impetus from OCOVA AlpMedNet has had a very positive impact and continues to do so through new country-specific projects, the pursuit of training in ICT, as well as a contribution to visions of further development. "
By strengthening collaboration, OCOVA AlpMedNet has encouraged technology transfer and the dissemination of ICT-based innovation. It has helped with the integration of ICT in green technology used to manage environmental infrastructure (energy, waste, risk, etc.) and has supported businesses in their approach to environmental and societal responsibility.
OCOVA forums were organised in Orres in 2015 (130 participants) and in 2016 (200 participants). Training activities have helped spread the use of ICT within communities and businesses.
The forums (conferences, workshops, networking of businesses with sector users, meetings with the public), as well as training sessions and the implementation of a web platform for exchange and B2B networking, are all tools that support enterprise and innovation development while encouraging interactions between key players.
Information about the project has been targeted at trade circles, as well as the press and the general public in all regions (www.ocova.eu platform, specific mini-sites, social networks, press kits, videos and films on YouTube).
OCOVA AlpMedNet has brought together three key players: Torino Wireless, the ICT cluster of the Piedmont Region; the University of Genoa and its partners (SIIT, cluster Sistemi integrati intelligenti technologie) on behalf of Liguria; Micropolis and its partners (Department of the Hautes-Alpes, the city of Gap, ARCSIS, the SCS hub) on behalf of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region.
The collaboration has been continued through several significant projects, such as the Smart Rainfall System between the University of Genoa, the Darts Engineering company and the start-up Artys, which was founded by these two entities. The aim is to develop an innovative system to measure precipitation in real-time in a given region so that communities are able to assess any possible flood risk during storms. The municipality of Orres, which organised the OCOVA 2015 and 2016 forums, has proposed itself as the region where an organisation will be founded to measure performance.
On the occasion of the OCOVA 2014, 2015 and 2016 forums in Ivrea, Genoa, Gap and Les Orres, key players from the three regions presented their plans for smart power grids. A local micro-grid project was developed in cooperation with the municipality of Névache, the municipality of Bardonecchia, the Capenergies competitive cluster in the PACA region, SyME 05 (Joint Association of Electricity, Hautes-Alpes) and the Vallée Etroite residents’ association, in order to provide electricity to the isolated hamlet of Vallée Etroite.
The impetus from Ocova AlpMedNet has continued into the regions. The "Smart mountain" approach driven by OCOVA has played a significant role in the establishment of OIR (Operation of Regional Interest) Smart Mountain in the PACA Region, as evidenced by the active participation of the latter in the OCOVA 2016 forum, which was devoted entirely to OIR Smart Mountain. In Piedmont, Torino Wireless is responsible, on behalf of the Italian national territory, for the Smart Rural Communities strategy, to which exchanges and projects undertaken by OCOVA AlpMedNet have contributed. In Liguria, the dynamic environment of the start-ups continues around the creation of Artys and links between the University of Genoa and the clusters.
Total investment and EU funding
A total of EUR 988 000 was invested in the OCOVA project. The European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 345 800 under the ‘Italy-France (Alps - ALCOTRA)’ operational programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority of “Growth and Employment”.