France converging its open data strategy with startup innovation

Jan 13, 2016
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On Tuesday, January 12th, Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire invited several entrepreneurs to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in the frame of the #dataday to underline the economic measures of the « Projet de Loi pour une République numérique », as well as to exchange on which strategy to adopt to make the access on open data as profitable as possible. After several entrepreneurs including Rand Hindi from Snips, Julie de Pimodan from Fluicity and Francois Blanc from ERDF, expressed their wishes and thoughts on which data to open, the three of them stressing mostly the importance to access a wider range of public data to enhance competition on the market and create the conditions for French startups to innovate,  Axelle Lemaire in the concluding words announced that the national identification system and index of all registered French businesses (répertoire Sirene) will pass in Open Data starting January 1st 2017.

After several databases around companies were made public over the last years, including the data held by the INPI on businesses’ intellectual and industrial property rights, the availability of procurement contracts (Boamp) and the register for enterprises and companies (RNCS), the free and general access to the SIRENE file is going to complete the general access on information around every registered French business. This file will mostly be of importance for startups willing to propose innovative services by giving them the opportunity to target their clients in the most efficient way, to offer adapted services to existing businesses or create new services based on this information. It will include the identification number SIRENE as well as the « code APE », « code NAF », the address, the legal category, date of creation and the number of employees.

The opening of this file, unique in its kind, will foster start-up innovation as for now businesses had to pay to access this precise information, favoring bigger companies to obtain essential information compared to startups in the making process.

The announcement is part of France’s upcoming presidency of the Open Government Partnership, in the context of which the government reinforces its ambition to emerge as a leader by the end of the year.