Reaching out: innovation as a conversation starter between companies and their ecosystems

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As part of its corporate social responsibility policy and to meet the growing demands of its customers, industries, regions, citizens and employees, Bouygues Construction’s Energy & Services division is in continuous dialogue with its stakeholders. Companies are increasingly expected to commit to social, environmental and societal issues. We want to outline the numerous research, development and innovation projects that show Bouygues Energies & Services’ commitment and openness to the outside world.

Supporting the energy transition and stepping up the digital transformation of infrastructures, industries, buildings and territories cannot be done alone. This is why the Energy & Services division teams up with its stakeholders – customers, partners, academic networks, universities, companies, start-ups, communities and more – to share its knowledge, expertise and skills and to work together with its wider ecosystem to develop innovative solutions and services.

Research and development work, partnerships, innovation projects… The Energy & Services division starts with the needs of its customers and users and brings its technical expertise, creativity and understanding of local markets to design solutions that sustainably provide them with ever greater value and service.

We take a closer look at five R&D and innovation projects that enable us to understand the changes in our world, detect weak signals, anticipate fundamental trends and thereby help to make the world we live in more efficient and resilient.

1 – CoFBAT: Making Europe less dependent on raw materials

The EU-funded CoFBAT project aims to develop new cobalt-free energy storage batteries in a modular format, suitable for different applications in both domestic and industrial settings. With longer life, lower costs, greater safety, less environmental impact and more efficient recycling, the proposed solutions will make Europe less dependent on raw materials to secure the supply chain. They will also meet the growing need for decentralised energy generation and supply for private households and robotic industrial systems.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the CoFBAT project brings together 19 partners from 9 countries to cover the entire value chain: from materials science to battery integrators. As an integrator of low-carbon solutions, Bouygues Energies & Services brings its practical expertise in energy storage and drafting specifications to ensure that the solutions developed meet the needs they are designed for.

2 – Digital twins: training the future architects of tomorrow’s cities

Polytech Nancy, the Dassault Système foundation, Nancy Métropole and Bouygues Energies & Services have pooled their expertise and skills to create a  prototype training, called ”E-urban manager”.

Designed to train the future architects of tomorrow’s cities, this course is offered to 15 students in their 4th year at Polytech Nancy. It will enable them to spend a year developing the cross-disciplinary skills needed to practise this new profession, which is increasingly in demand.

Based on BIM and Smart City concepts, the students will have to model a district of the city of Nancy by integrating their projects and the associated data: cool pockets, noise pollution, air quality, urban loop and building energy upgrades.

Bouygues Energies & Services experts share their business experience with students in terms of research, analysis and formatting of cartographic data to help them integrate them seamlessly into the Dassault Systèmes 3D platform.

3 – Digital transformation & its challenges: partnership with Cambridge University

Bouygues Construction has joined the Cambridge Service Alliance (CSA), a unique global partnership between Cambridge University and some of the world’s leading companies. This alliance represents an opportunity for both organisations to discuss the challenges of digital transformation, including research into digital twins, i.e. the use of virtual models to represent physical objects, and to pursue a shared ambition to find customer-focused approaches to better meet the future needs of the construction, energy and services sectors.

This partnership is part of a broader approach to collaboration with international academic research led by Bouygues Construction’s Research & Development department.

“Digital twins are core to our digital transformation and innovation strategy. We are delighted to partner with the Cambridge Service Alliance to step up research and development to better harness and create value for our customers through the digital twin, both in terms of new services and improved experience. This will enhance our ongoing work with Dassault Systèmes to develop a next generation collaborative platform that simplifies and streamlines construction project management and interactions across the value chain to increase productivity, compliance and predictability for the benefit of our clients

explains Marie-Luce Godinot, Deputy Managing Director of Bouygues Construction, in charge of digital transformation, innovation and sustainable development.

4 – Citizen involvement and regional stakeholders: a survey on the role of digital technologies

For some years now, local authorities have been increasingly keen to encourage the involvement and commitment of citizens in the life of the region, while residents are becoming more interested in making a practical contribution to the development of the model and running of the society in which they live to improve their quality of life.

As part of Bouygues Construction’s “Sustainable City and Neighbourhood” committee, Bouygues Energies & Services has therefore launched a qualitative study on the theme of “Citizen involvement and digital interface”.

By means of a benchmark and qualitative individual and group workshops, students learn about existing measures. By analysing all the results of this qualitative system, Bouygues Energies & Services has identified the right ingredients to include in what could become the ideal application for interacting with citizens and involving them effectively and sustainably.

The results of this survey will enable Bouygues Energies & Services to better advise local authorities on methods and best practices for including citizens in their urban planning processes, in the context of connected and Smart regional projects.

5 – The respiratory well-being indicator: an innovation to improve the lives of pollen-allergic citizens

Recognising that pollution increases the sensitivity of people with pollen allergies, Bouygues Energies & Services, the Réseau National de Surveillance Aérobiologique (RNSA, France’s National Aerobiological Monitoring Network) and the startup Ōberon joined forces to create a respiratory well-being indicator. 

This indicator provides simultaneous real-time exposure risk levels to pollen and fine particles at district level for the same day as well as for the subsequent two days. Several patented micro-sensors from the CNRS and CEA, designed and brought to market by the technology startup ŌBERON, were then set up in the Confluence district of Lyon.

This “Breathing Forecast” was winner of the [R] Challenge, an open innovation approach to air quality promoted by Greater Lyon. With the support of Lyon-Confluence and Bouygues Energies & Services, this partnership with OBERON illustrates our commitment to building high value-added services for the region, related to the energy transition.

The Greater Lyon Eureka Confluence project is constantly being improved by a consortium of 14 public and private partners, of which Bouygues Energies & Service is one. The “Test & Learn” approach has become its signature “Generator of urban innovation”, and health and well-being are among its most innovative ambitions.


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