Category Archives: Europe

Connected Liverpool @ Innovate UK

Last week, Connected Liverpool exhibited at InnovateUK 2013, the UK’s
leading multi-sector innovation & trade event for business. Recognised by the Technology
Strategy Board as one of the top 25 most innovative companies in the UK, Connected
Liverpool got invited to showcase its work at the event.

Innovate UK 2013 was a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade
& Investment. Innovate UK brought together 4,000 people from UK and international
business, Government and academia, with the aim of accelerating UK economic growth
by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade opportunities.
The program of keynote presentations given by Government ministers, business leaders
and industry specialists provided some great insights into the future products and
processes that are in development.

The three days (11-13 March) covered the following topics:
Day 1: Research for Growth: Commercialising the UK’s research base
Day 2: Market and Technology Opportunities
Day 3: Global Growth: starting up and scaling up

The event offered multiple seminars and talks focused on their daily topic. During day 1, the collaboration between the public sector and academics, and between the private sector and academics was a popular topic. The University of Strathclyde from Glasgow was an impressive benchmark in cross-sector collaboration as it attracted the first Fraunhofer investment in the UK after the city of Glasgow became home to the first foreign HQ of the Fraunhofer research centre. Additionally, it hosts the TSB Health Catapult, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the Future Cities Demonstrator project. Overall, an impressive list.

The Emerging Technology and Industry programme (ET&I), which was set up in 2010, explained its key investment areas and work over the years between 2010 and 2012 within the spaces of Synthetic Biology, Energy Efficient Computing and Energy Harvesting. For the near future, it will focus on identifying the ‘next’ technologies to feed the pipeline of innovation.

Besides the seminars, the Connected Liverpool stand was a popular place during the event allowing the team to establish great connections with people from all over England and abroad in different sectors. Overall, WE LOVED IT!

 

Connected Liverpool @ Mobile World Congress

Hello there!

It has been a while since we last spoke as we have been busy, time to get you updated, on Barcelona this time!

From 25 to 28 February, Connected Liverpool attended the Mobile World Congress based in the Fira Gran Via conference building in Barcelona after the team happily accepted the invite from Svetlana Grant, Director Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA. This year, 72,000 people visited the conference…..MASSIVE.

Early Sunday morning (24 February), we arrived in the sunny but cold Barcelona after a short and smooth journey, ready to get our conference tickets and free tube tickets (see below) from the “fast-track registration desk” at Barcelona-El Prat Airport.

After a short queue and showing our personal ID conference code on our smartphone to a lovely Spanish lady, it was time to get into the city centre and have breakfast in an authentic (and tasty) Spanish bistro as shown below. Lee was so kind to let us take some pictures while enjoying his breakfast.

Day 1 of the Mobile World Congress was mind blowing to say the least, the 240,000 square meters conference centre with 94,000 square meters of exhibition space divided over 8 halls and 2 floors was impressive. Seminars and keynote speeches from people as the CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Chairman of China Mobile, CEO of AT&T, CEO of Foursquare, CEO of Dropbox, CEO of Mozilla, CEO of Vodafone and more….what else is there to say.

Besides the exhibitors, day 1 covered such topics as “Vertical Disruption”, “Reshaping Mobile in the Digital Revolution”, “Building the Ecosystem for NFC Services”, and “Apps: Evolving the Ecosystem” located in the Conference Village of the conference centre.

Day 2 had an early start as Svetlana Grant, Director of Smart Cities – Connected Living Programme GSMA, invited Connected Liverpool to an Exclusive Networking Smart Breakfast Event from 8 till 10 a.m. at the conference building. The Barcelona City Council presented its Smart City Team which then introduced its Smart City Agenda. This was our opportunity to connect to key people in the Barcelona Smart City Team such as Manuel Sanromá (CIO Barcelona City Council), Josep Ramon Ferrer i Escoda (Smart City Strategy Director), and Pilar Conesa (Congress Director Smart City). From that day, we have been sharing experiences, initiatives, and pilots within both of our cities. As Barcelona is a well advanced and progressive city, we are keen to learn from them so we can use this knowledge to deploy our own smart city agenda in Liverpool.

Some of you may be aware that Barcelona is no longer using the term ‘Smart City’ but uses ‘Mobile’, or as their brand new city programme is called: “Mobile World Capital Barcelona”. This programme explains Barcelona’s understanding that the ICT industry is one of the main driving forces behind social progress and that its development is essential to drive economic growth and society’s transformation. Their stand was one of the eye-catcher during the conference.

We ended day 2 with an Exclusive Networking Reception at the Connected City stand of the GSMA, a real city street complete with a car showroom, office, town hall, department store, mobile shop, apartment, electrical store, hotel and café, where companies like AT&T where showcasing their innovation in the field.

Day 3 was filled with interesting seminars and talks such as ‘The Mobile Consumer’ given by Nielsen, and ‘Mobile Innovation 2023′ given by such experts in the field as the CEO of Deloitte and the CEO of Telefonica.

The final day of the conference was a big one for Connected Liverpool as we received Kevin McManus of Liverpool Vision to speak about the International Festival of Business 2014 and Connected Liverpool’s smart city agenda for Liverpool on the Mobile Monday event. One of the chairs of this event was Ajit Jaokar, who led the panel into an interesting discussion around venture capitalists, start-up funding and round 2 funding. See pictures below!

Just before the end of the day, we joined the Barcelona City Council crew at their Barcelona Fashion&Trend Festival celebration (planned for September 2013). This will be a creative and digital event around Fashion and another opportunity for the city to showcase its innovation.

Overall an amazing event with lots of networking opportunities, making the right connections to drive our Liverpool Smart City Agenda, and a rich source of cutting edge information when it comes to the future of mobile technology in our daily lives. A very big thank you to Svetlana Grant and the GSMA for the amazing experience!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Festival Of Business – North

The International Festival Of Business – North reflects the UK government’s ambitious plans to rebalance the economy, and to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth fostering prosperity in all parts of the country including the North of England.

During June 2014, The International Festival Of Business will showcase the North’s most vibrant growth sectors and will present international visitors of note. Growth in professional services, knowledge, creative, retail and hospitality replaced the loss of jobs in the traditional port-related and manufacturing industries in the late 20th century. The festival will show this proving Liverpool’s focus to create a true entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives the city to new levels of growth. It will be led by Liverpool Vision.

To realise this, it is essential that more and more businesses in Liverpool receive the right motivation to export, grow, innovate and to attract partners from across the world to transform the city into a true investment hub.

The festival will create the opportunity to promote the city’s vision that the Mersey will once again become the key global trading centre and to create connections with growing economies such as:

  • USA
  • India
  • Europe
  • South America
  • China

It will last for four continuing weeks and the weeks will be themed. So far, the following themes have been selected:

  • WEEK 1: Low Carbon
  • WEEK 2 – 3: Knowledge
    (including creative and digital,
    professional and financial, life sciences
    and advanced manufacturing)
  • WEEK 4: Port & Logistics
    EACH WEEK:
    International Conferences/Seminars/
    Business Dinners/Workshops/Exhibitions

The Wirral International Trade Centre (ITC) will also be opened in 2014 which will be the first of its kind in the UK and the largest Trade Centre in Europe. It will form part of the greater Wirral Waters project and will sell an unlimited variety of goods to the wholesale market into the UK and the whole of Europe.

Moreover, the North Liverpool Investment Tower ‘The Look Out’ will be created, this will be an eye catching permanent building of the highest design providing a unique venue for investment events and meetings.

All together, the International Festival of Business- North creates the perfect opportunity to put Liverpool in the spotlights and to showcase its investment opportunities and valuable assets. An event to look forward to.

Smart City Wien

Even though we are very much aware of ‘Smart City Benchmarks’ around the world such as in the US and in Asia, the city Vienna which is just around the corner manages to keep its presence in the Top-5 of most Smart Cities around the globe. With its 1.7 million inhabitants, the Austrian capital Vienna is one of the best examples of urban quality of life in the world. Smart City Vienna is a project consortium under the direction of the Vienna city administration.

The main goal of the Vienna city administration seems to be focused around energy. Smart City Vienna formulates Vienna’s energy future as a long-term Smart Energy Vision 2050, Roadmap 2020 and Action Plan 2012-2015.

Vienna is very much focused on stakeholder involvement, relevant stakeholders affected directly by the above mentioned climate/ energy plans are invited to actively participate in the Smart City Forums. The city really seems to have adopted a bottom-up approach. A special steering group was set up to lead the stakeholder progress.

Thomas Madreiter, Project Manager – Municipal Department – Urban Development and Planning, stated the following:

“Vienna meets all the requirements as a smart city to have a leading role in climate-related research and technological development in Europe. With the FIT for SET programme we will launch the necessary measures in order to make the most of our advantages.”

The FIT for SET programme refers to the stakeholder involvement project we mentioned earlier. Smart City Vienna has many different partners such as Siemens AG Österreich, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Vienna University of Technology to realise their agenda of a smarter Vienna.

We are keen to watch their progress in their Smart City adventure, we’ll keep you posted!

 

 



The Top 10 Smart Cities On The Planet

Vienna

So what are the world’s smartest cities? When researching the world’s best practices for climate resilient cities, a lot of different rankings are found.

For this ranking, the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index from 2thinknow, rankings linked to the quality of life of cities, the Siemens regional rankings of green cities, the digital city rankings of Digital Community for cities in the U.S. and the IDC rankings of smart cities in Spain were used.

When defining the term ‘Smart City’, a lot of definitions can be found. We like to perceive a Smart City as an urban space in which efficiency (on multiple disciplines) is optimised with the use of modern technology to improve citizen’s services and increasing their quality of life.

Lets have a look at the current top 10 smart cites:

1.) Vienna. Considering the different rankings, Vienna was the only city that ranked in the top 10 in every category: innovation city (5), regional green city (4), quality of life (1) and digital governance (8). Vienna is establishing bold smart-city targets and tracking their progress to reach them, with programs like the Smart Energy Vision 2050, Roadmap 2020, and Action Plan 2012-2015. Vienna’s planners are incorporating stakeholder consultation processes into building and executing carbon reduction, transportation and land-use planning changes in the hopes of making the city a major European player in smart city technologies.

2.) Toronto. The highest rated smart city in North America, Toronto also scores pretty well across the board. Recognizing its importance in the movement, IBM recently opened a Business Analytics Solutions Center in Toronto. Toronto is also an active member of the Clinton 40 (C40) megacities, which seek to transition to the low-carbon economy. The private sector in Toronto is collaborating too, creating a Smart Commute Toronto initiative in the hopes of increasing transit efficiency in the metro area. Toronto also recently began using natural gas from landfills to power the city’s garbage trucks. That’s smart closed-loop thinking.

3.) Paris. As is typical of sustainability-related rankings, Europe fared well. Paris was highly rated in several categories including innovation (3), green cities in Europe (10), and digital governance (11). Paris was already on the world map for its highly successful bike sharing program, Velib, and just last month, the mayor launched a similar model for small EVs called Autolib, which currently has 250 rental stations.

4.) New York. New York scored higher than most other cities in the ranking in all of the categories outside of quality of life, where it ranked a miserable 47th. New York partnered with IBM in 2009 to launch the IBM Business Analytics Solution Center to address “the growing demand for the complex capabilities needed to build smarter cities and help clients optimize all manner of business processes and business decisions.” In New York, IBM is already helping the city prevent fires and protect first responders as well as identify questionable tax refund claims–a move that is expected to save the city about $100 million over a five-year period.

5.) London. The UK capital also scored relatively high across the board. London has been well-recognized for some of its sustainability innovations (i.e. congestion tax) and its robust transit system. The city will soon be home to Smart Cities research center housed at Imperial College, which will leverage transport, government, business, academic and consumer data in hopes of making the city more efficient and innovative. Just the other day, London announced a partnership with O2 to launch the largest free Wi-Fi network in Europe.

6.) Tokyo. Tokyo is the first Asian city on this list, scoring well in the innovation (22) and digital city (15) categories. Last year, the city announced plans to create a smart town in the suburbs. In partnership with Panasonic, Accenture, and Tokyo Gas (among others), the eco-burb will contain homes that integrate solar panels, storage batteries, and energy efficient appliances all connected to a smart grid. Tokyo is also focused on promoting smart mobility solutions.

7.) Berlin. Berlin also performs well across the board, with good scores in innovation (14), green-ness (8th in Europe) and quality of life (17). In collaboration with Vattenfall, BMW, and others, Berlin is testing out vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies in the hopes of creating a virtual power plant from electric vehicles.

8.) Copenhagen. Lately, it seems Copenhagen has been doing a lot right. It was rated number one on the green scale in Europe by Siemens last year. All with good reason: Copenhagen is taking a real leadership role on sustainable innovation. The city has committed to carbon neutrality by 2025 and 40% of its citizens regularly commute via bicycle.

9.) Hong Kong. Hong Kong scored quite well in key areas, including the digital governance ranking (3). However, its quality-of-life score (70) dropped the city down to ninth in this ranking of smart cities. Hong Kong is experimenting with RFID technology in its airport, as well as throughout the agriculture supply chain. The city has also been a leader in the use and adoption of smart cards, which are already used by millions of residents for services like public transit, library access, building access, shopping, and car parks.

10.) Barcelona. Barcelona was recently ranked the number two smart city in Spain in the IDC report, and with good reason. The city is a pioneer in smart city and low-carbon solutions. It was among the first in the world to introduce a solar thermal ordinance about a decade ago, recently launched the LIVE EV project to promote the adoption of EVs and charging infrastructure, and the city also recently announced a major partnership to develop a living lab for smart-city innovation.

Other cities such as Amsterdam, Stockholm, Vancouver, Melbourne, Seattle and São Paulo were all close to enter this top 10 as well. Generally, it’s good to see that more and more cities start to adopt the Smart City concept and start to develop projects to get involved.

We’ll keep you posted!!