The project partnership together with European SMEs from the other cluster partners ecosystems has conducted an intense and fruitful agenda of activities within the frame of the Smart City Expo World Congress, between Tuesday 16th and Friday 19th of November. The programme, which has been organized by Cluster Digital of Catalunya as a host organization, gathered the following clusters and companies: Fondazione Torino Wireless from Italy together with SMEs pin.bike, Sensoworks, GoTraxx and MinervaS, the German Network Energy & Environment Cluster with SME Dashbike, the Bulgarian Electric Vehicle Cluster (EVIC) together with the Sofia Urban Mobility Center, and SMEs Shico Advance and DIVEN, and finally the project coordinator, the Mobility and Logistic Cluster from the Basque Country.
The main objectives of the programme are:
- To gain knowledge about the Smart City ecosystems and market in Europe by connecting with different European cities and regions
- To establish and strengthen relationships among SMEs, clusters, and other stakeholders working on the smart city topics.
- To explore the local Initiatives, strategies, and services
- To debate on main challenges and opportunities in the Smart City spectrum
- To explore potential relationships, business opportunities, and/or joint collaborations
- To participate in a workshop for the definition of the project’s future Smart City Strategy
The agenda started included 3 full days of activities, that started with a welcoming session by Cluster Digital explaining their overall strategy and list of activities and services at the regional, national and international level, several visits to stands companies exhibiting at SCEWC21, meetings, and networking with different EU Smart Cities and local government representatives, also by visiting some of the Barcelona Smart city services and finally a workshop to discuss the concerns, challenges and possible solutions that the visiting companies and a project workshop.
The below table shows the companies that collaborated and with whom the visiting party have networked, and shared their expertise and knowledge:
Some of the sessions to be remarked from the above agenda was for instance the meeting and explanation with AMB, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, with whom we had the possibility to learn about the Barcelona Transport Information Management System (CGIT), which is the overall architecture to coordinate and control de city’s public transport operators and sustainable mobility services, and also the Low Emissions Zones (ZBE) which is a new implemented sustainability and environmental plan to monitor the traffic of cars within specific low emissions areas within the city. AMB also shared the shared-bike system and infrastructure, which days after was possible to visit on-site and learn about its functioning, payment systems, and usability by citizens. Another interesting visit was to Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, one of the city’s underground and train services. FGC shared with the group one of their latest tools, an internal but also customer accessible platform (with lesser features) that gathers real-time in check the cameras installed on every train. The previous examples are just two of the many services that leveraging on the collection, management, and use of data, are able to develop and deploy many types of systems and solutions for improve mobility in a more connected and sustainable way, with the scope of reducing costs while benefiting the city and its citizens. Another important milestone of the agenda was the presentation of the Catalan Urban Agenda by Maria Galindo, the Director-General for Digital Nation and Urban Agenda at the Government of Catalonia. The Urban Agenda is a common collaboration agreement between representatives of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the local ecosystem and citizen and businesses associations, which defines a scenario, plan and phases to enhance opportunities and meet the challenges posed by growing urbanization, especially within the scope of the 2030 Agenda and its objectives.
Finally, it is necessary to highlight the project workshop organized on Thursday 18th, where participants actively responded to the proposed questions, shared their opinions and concerns about Smart Cities, and especially contributed to defining new ideas and ways for the efficient development of the Smart Cities. For instance, which is the role of clusters in the development of the cities? and how its dynamic approach can facilitate identifying needs and also finding solutions at the same time?. Another important shared opinion was how not only cities but also regions, can collaborate between them in order to share knowledge and experiences, to learn from each other, and replicate or adapt successful and scalable solutions. This information together with the results obtained during the collaborative exercise conducted with participants will serve as a starting point to elaborate the future project’s Smart City Strategy, a crucial document to gather not only all of the results generated during the first phases of the project, but also to define a plan of actions for the upcoming years, and which will include new cluster SMEs, entities and Smart Cities and Regions.