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A blogpost with Smile

How it all started…

The winner of a national call for projects*, SMILE (SMart Ideas to Link Energies) is an inter-regional collaboration between the Brittany and Pays de Loire regions, in France.

SMILE is an association presided over by the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions and coordinated jointly by the regional agencies of both territories: Bretagne Développement Innovation (DigitransHub Partner) and Pays de Loire Territoire d’innovation.

 

Officially launched in 2016, the SMILE project is part of a plan for the operational implementation of energy transition and sustainable growth on a regional and national level.

 

Why is this company innovative?

One of the first of its kind, the
initiative, by its actions and its perimeter has a very innovative approach to
create a community of projects and organizations engaged in the twin
transition, with a formidable platform to discuss, test, innovate and fund
projects, to inspire and be replicated locally. It also creates a strong
coherence between all the initiatives of the territory to match with the
regional strategies, contributing to make a Smart Rural Region. 

What needs are they covering?

In a transforming and tensed energy landscape, the traditional centralized and unidirectional networks have met their limits and need to be updated, while limiting the investment costs for the populations.

As building up these networks does not make sense either economically or for the society, the best solution is to integrate artificial intelligence into the networks through information and communication technologies.

These smart electric and gas heat networks, connected with consumers and producers (hence the name “smartgrids”), will allow for increased flexibility in consumption better adapted to the production of renewable energies, gradually eliminating their irregularity. The management of energy systems will be made easier through storing surplus productions of renewable energies (through the integration of electric or gas vehicles for example).

 

On a worldwide scale, whether we’re talking about large “developed” areas, already well equipped in interconnected electric networks, or about large “underequipped” areas (1 billion inhabitants still have no access to electricity), the challenge of transitioning energy systems (for carbon free production and an increasingly diversified management of uses), is a gigantic project, which is also a fantastic opportunity for developing an energy transition economy.

The main goal of SMILE is to create interaction between companies developing solutions and the territories wishing to roll out smart grid technologies, to create a region wide smart grid.

SMILE accompany and support the deployment of a series of important regional industrial projects connected to smart grids (smart energy systems) to promote skills on a European and Worldwide scale. The thing all smart grid projects have in common: on the one hand improving the balance between the production of renewable electricity and its consumption and on the other hand introducing data flow management hubs (internet of energy).

Since 2016, SMILE has accompanied more than 80 projects. The initiative really has a great potential to inspire other regions to engage in the Twin, Green and Digital transition of Europe.

 

The DigitransHub project team has had the opportunity to visit one of SMILE’s showroom, in Rennes and see the different projects ongoing on the regional territory.

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