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Taichung Mayor invites French firm to open R&D center

2017/06/19 15:50:13

Photo courtesy of Taichung City government

Taipei, June 19 (CNA) Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who is currently in France, invited French Internet of Things (IoT) developer Sigfox to set up a research and development center in the city, according to the Taichung City Government.

In a statement, the city government said that when Lin visited the headquarters of Sigfox in Toulouse, southwestern France, he said that the presence of Sigfox would help Taichung accelerate its efforts to remake itself as a smart city.

In Toulouse, the first stop on Lin's trip to France which is focused on exchanges relating to city governance, he noted that Sigfox has embraced advanced IoT development so Taichung could work with the company in both software and hardware to meet the needs of a smart city.

Lin said that in order to transform Taichung into a smart city, the city government plans to establish a smart industrial park in Shuinan District, which will focus on low carbon emissions and innovations and seek to lead the entire city in the adoption of IoT.

The mayor said that smart city efforts will include the installation of smart electricity meters, smart traffic controls and a smart street light network, while providing smart medical care services to Taichung residents.

He added that if Sigfox opens an R&D center in Taichung, the French firm would be able to work with many tech companies in the city in IoT development, paving the way for the city to embrace a wide range of applications in big data and cloud computing.

Toulouse is also the home of Airbus and Sigfox currently provides Airbus with software for production, maintenance and logistics.

Lin said that Taichung has strength in machinery production so cooperation with Sigfox would further strengthen the city's industrial development.

Speaking at the meeting with Lin, Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, vice president of Sigfox's global networking operations, said that his company utilizes IoT technology to roll out low-cost, energy efficient products and already has a presence in the global market. He said the firm is looking forward to working with Taichung.

The Sigfox executive said that he believes the company's technology has the potential to make daily life more convenient for everyone.

According to Sigfox, the company has about 360 employees half of which focus on R&D, and has started cooperation with telecom operators and governments in more than 30 countries. The French firm said that number is expected to rise to 60 by the end of 2018.

(By Hau Hsueh-ching and Frances Huang)