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Smart Cities & Logistics

A smart city is a city that uses new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants, optimize urban resources and infrastructures, and promote economic and sustainable development. Telecommunications thus play a crucial role in the development of smart cities, enabling the collection, processing and transmission of data in real time, as well as the remote management of urban facilities, thus making it possible to build descriptive, prescriptive and predictive models to radically improve the city’s operational efficiency, service provision and transparency.
Logistics focuses on managing the flow of materials, products and information along the supply chain.
This includes planning, coordinating and monitoring activities such as inventory management, transportation, handling, packaging, warehouse management and order management. Recent shortages in a variety of areas have highlighted the importance of more efficient and resilient logistics, with venture capital funds investing 14 Md$ worldwide in supply chain startups in the first quarter of 2022 More specifically, these investments are aimed at innovations related to warehousing, freight and last-mile delivery.
The fields of smart cities and logistics are closely linked, as logistics are crucial to the implementation of sustainable and innovative solutions for smart cities.


Atlanta’s ambition is to transform itself into a smart city through the implementation of disruptive technologies in cinq axes fondamentaux: multimodal transportation, public safety, the environment, efficient municipal operations and citizen and business engagement. The city’s strategy is underpinned by the presence of major telecoms companies such as Cox Communications and T-Mobile, and partnerships between industry, universities and the public sector. Against this backdrop, Georgia Tech‘s Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation initiative aims to fuel thinking on the development of resilient and sustainable communities, drawing on the university’s interdisciplinary expertise and its laboratories of excellence such as the 5G Lab. Georgia State University also contributes to research on smart cities through the Sustainable Futures Lab in the Department of Urban Planning.

The city of Peachtree Corners, bordering Atlanta, has created the Curiosity Lab incubator,offering startups the opportunity to directly test their solutions on the city’s road infrastructure, which is connected to a mobile 5G network; the 5G Connected Future Incubator program is offered there in association with the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Tech’s incubator. The City of Atlanta, the The City of Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce with its Smart Cities team, and the State of Georgia with the Georgia Department of Transport are supporting new initiatives and the development of the infrastructure required for smart city technologies. The environment is thus favorable for the transfer of innovative technologies to the market and the development of startups in the smart city field, such as unicorns OneTrust ($926.4M), a provider of privacy and security software for the resilience of distribution networks, Flock Safety ($380.6M), which collects and exploits video surveillance data, and AirWatch ($225M – acquired by VMware), which enables centralized management of mobile devices for businesses.

More specifically, in the field of logistics, Atlanta has the unique advantage of being home to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airportof being close to the port of Savannah, the leading export port for products manufactured in the USA, and of having numerous railroads linking the city to the rest of the USA. As a result, 80% of American consumers live less than two hours by air and less than two days by road from Atlanta. The ecosystem thus attracts major retailers such as The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Coca Cola and Amazon, supply chain management software companies including Blue Ridge Solutions, Deposco and Logility and international startups seeking to expand in the USA, such as French industrial unicorn Exotec, which automates warehouse management.

To strengthen innovation in this field, Georgia Tech has set up the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, and, with ATDC and The Home Depot, has created SC&L, a new program dedicated to supply chains and logistics.

The State of Georgia supports innovation in logistics through organizations and events such as the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistic and theGeorgia Logistics Summit. In addition, MODEX, a global logistics and supply chain conference held every two years in Atlanta, brings together entrepreneurs, manufacturers, researchers and regulators to discuss the latest trends.

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