The data that is out in open is just a tip of the iceberg

The data that is out in open is just a tip of the iceberg

The 3DEXPEREINCE city platform is primarily to deliver a solution to manage collaboration inside the city, says Sylvain Laurent, Executive Vice President, Member of Executive Committee, Dassault Systèmes at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum 2018.

What kind of solutions Dassault Systèmes is offering as far as smart cities are concerned?
Dassault Systemes is investing on the city platform since the last 5-6 years. Based on the observations that we have made, many cities today are considering the future for them in terms of development, urban planning, student attractive platform for start-up consulting. We were considering that the city for us is a catalyst of all the solutions that we have developed across industry and across the world from the last 40 years. The 3DEXPEREINCE city platform is primarily to deliver solutions to manage collaboration inside the city where there are a lot of departments or organizations. For the political people or many other people from the city without a technical background, it’s often difficult to make a decision. Hence, we believe that with the 3DEXPEREINCE city platform is lucrative. The first showcase was Singapore with virtual Singapore as it acted as a catalyst for the same. An imperative question which is often raised is, why such a platform? The answer to this is, because it’s the foundation. The second reason to put this platform to use is, the capacity to deliver the digital twin model of the city. Once you have the 3D model of the city, it gives you all the elements which help you to make an informed decision. On top of that, the platform offer from the city shows potential partners the capacity to develop different hubs. For example, if there is something happening in the stadium, how do you simulate; by anticipation. Simulation about the pollution is another hub. How you manage data from different organisations and what could be the impact of the pollution. If you want to arouse infrastructure, it’s a mix now with engineering construction. What will be the impact if you move to metro, a new ride way, a new train, a new anything. So with the digital twin model you can immediately simulate any move, any transformation with different options and anticipate its impact at the same time. Hence, the decision-making is completely dependent on real time anticipation.

Which are the cities in India you have offered simulation processes solutions?
Yes, let’s take up two examples. The Jaipur program and Andhra Pradesh project. They reflect two different approaches, ie, one based on the twin model and the other based on the platform. But in the end, each city managed their priorities in terms of simulation capacity. For instance, I have to figure, how I valorise my historic monuments to attract tourists. In this scenario, you use twin and access through the web by certain hubs to inform the world and not just India in this case. The second is Jaipur’s need to bolster the infrastructure. The next topic for Jaipur is energy, as a country, India has abundance of solar energy. In Jaipur’s case, the question is if I utilise this solar energy. If I look at the surface of different buildings and the possibility to use that surface to fix solar panels, how can I use solar and simulate if I have enough energy for each building? It’s an effective way to limit the pollution. If one city builds the same, it reduces the consumption of energy with fossil energy. Talking about Andhra Pradesh, it is inclined more towards creating a new capital. Hence, the first step that follows, is the program management. This includes thinking about how to do urban planning, it looks at how one is creating a new generation of city with good infrastructure in a way which ensures that it is sustainable for the next 50 years.

How will you rate India amongst other countries when it comes to digitalization? Considering the fact, the wave of Digital India is at its peak in the country?
Many countries are talking about smart cities but a few engage with real projects because they don’t know how to approach them and how to create them. If I look at India from the last two years, I will consider India advanced, in comparison to many countries in the world today. It may come across as a surprise but it holds true, given the pace of growth. Talking about drawing comparison with countries like China, it also engages in a lot of projects on cities but in a slower fashion. Majority of the cities today implement concrete program to make sure that they will be ready for the next three years. 

What are your development plans for this year and next year?
I think the city portfolio is ready today and is well defined. With such solutions, it becomes certain to manage scalability. The city is of the most complex models in the world and we have been successful in delivering it. For the next three years, Dassault Systemes wants to continue engagement on the development to manage scalability for city designs. The contemporary world belongs to smart and proactive population. They want immediate and efficient results, considering the fast pace lifestyle. Hence, participation of the citizens is an invincible part of every company’s ecosystem.

How do you see specifics of defining a smart city changing continent to continent?
By 2050, 70% of the population in the world will live in an urban environment. We have to make our cities more self-reliant when it comes to food, energy, water, pollution and safety. The 3DEXPERIENCE city is an optimum way to digitalise, to give access about the physicalisation and virtualisation. We need to consider a new transformability capacity in order for cities to expand.

Do you think data driven societies are the future?
One can’t simply control the flow of data. The data that is out in open is just a tip of the iceberg. There are much bigger information pieces attached to a building, attached to a road, attached to a park and attached to a citizen. Based on such information, the informed decision making happens, for any infrastructure. Hence, it won’t be unfair to predict that data will soon drive communities and societies.

What are some of the barriers that you find in the acceptance of technology and digitalisation in India, and what can the governments do to prepare their citizens for this adoption?
I believe the biggest challenge with any country right now is, the unforeseen natural events. But if you want to simulate such natural catastrophe, the least one can do is to gauge the repercussions. Based on what I know, the only challenge that is present is the need to have a leader, who has a resilient vision and can take informed decisions for the technology domain.

Should the state or central government, make it mandatory that they need to use technology for projects that could be of a particular cost?
India has a federal ecosystem. The state has to make important decisions and has to implement them. Different cities have different set of priorities. Like some city will be focused about security, some about energy, completely subjective to their own challenges. Delhi has certain different issues compared to Jaipur, for example. Hence, it completely depends on the need of the city. 

The coming of smart cities would require very different set of skills for the utility people. How are you making the government aware of the requirement, once they have the smart cities in place?
First aspect, from the education point of view, is to make them aware on how it can be utilised. Dassault Systèmes is working with most of the private universities and colleges to build a capacity or a centre of excellence on architecture and engineering aspect. The 3DEXPERIENCE city platform is also a crucial part of their curriculum. So that in their regular day to day engineering activity, they use this technology and also simulate how the city can be developed. Some of the state governments are also working with us on standardising latest aspects; what exactly needs to be captured, what exactly is required to be standardised, and what kind of measures they need to adopt to create a virtual city. Therefore, the data can be used downstream in terms of both by citizens or probably with engineers of the departments.

After the adoption of 3DEXPEREINCE platform in Singapore, what has improved in the city?
The Prime Minister of Singapore said that his father founded Singapore 50 years ago. He said that when they look at the development of the city, they have to look at it from the perspective of next 50 years. This is only possible with the help of the Digital Twin. The first step that we take is to break all the siloes of different departments of the cities and make them work in coherence. At the end of the day everything is correlated, for example, if you have made a decision about energy, it will surely have an impact on various other activities. Digital twin also accelerated the decision making as one review was available to all the stakeholders.

The coming of smart cities would require very different set of skills for the utility people. How are you making the government aware of the requirement, once they have the smart cities in place?
First aspect, from the education point of view, is to make them aware on how it can be utilised. Dassault Systèmes is working with most of the private universities and colleges to build a capacity or a centre of excellence on architecture and engineering aspect. The 3DEXPERIENCE city platform is also a crucial part of their curriculum. So that in their regular day to day engineering activity, they use this technology and also simulate how the city can be developed. Some of the state governments are also working with us on standardising latest aspects; what exactly needs to be captured, what exactly is required to be standardised, and what kind of measures they need to adopt to create a virtual city. Therefore,the data can be used downstream in terms of both by citizens or probably with engineers of the departments.

How are you focusing on small businesses in India? Are there any recurring challenges when tapping them?
In relevance to the small companies, sometimes they have difficulties is structuring their data bits. They look forward to a new Symantec approach to go directly about what they are looking for.

What is the USP of Dassault Systèmes?
Today, we are the only company who is really offering a platform where we will be able to manage the realistic,one on one, 3D data combined with search based applications, to federate the data from various existing systems for the decision makers to take a decision. I don’t think there exists any solution by anyone as of today

@EPC World Media


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