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News from Smart City Expo Barcelona

News from Smart City Expo Barcelona

Dimitar Filipov - member of MB of Cluster Sofia Knowledge City

The Smart City Expo World Congress is traditionally held every year in the Congress Center of the city of Barcelona. This year's edition took place on November 7-9. The Cluster Sofia Knowledge City once again took part in this event. 

As in previous years, a day before the opening of the exhibition, a partner meeting of the international coalition SmartCityTech Partnership, in which our cluster has been a member since 2020, was held. The meeting took place in the office of our Catalan partner AMEC.

Organizational issues were addressed, a review of operations was conducted, and new leadership was elected. As a representative of the management of the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, I had the honor of being elected deputy.Chairman with a term of 2 years. Proposals were also made and functions were distributed among the individual partners with the aim of upcoming preparation of joint projects under Horizon Europe, COSME and Interreg. Following my partnership commitments, I joined a program to participate in the exhibition, organized and implemented by GAIA, one of the partners in the SmartCityTech Partnership.The program was financed under the ClusterXchange project (under EXCITE) within the framework of COSME.

This is how my participation in the exhibition itself in Barcelona went.

During the first day, visits and conversations were made mainly with those representatives of the members of the SmartCityTech Partnership, who traditionally participate with stands and pavilions at this exhibition. Specifically, we visited and participated in the events at the pavilions of: Bavaria (Bayern Innovative); AMEC, Spain; Flanders; Hesse and Ubiwhere, Portugal. At the Ubiwhere stand, we had a useful conversation with Andre Guimarães (Marketing Director) and listened to the presentation of the smart city platform developed by the company, implemented in several Portuguese cities (Green Room, Innovation plaza).This was followed by a series of networking events in the Hessen Pavilion. At the exhibition itself, the main event of the day was the presentation of Metropolis Barcelona (Municipal Agency for Economic Development of Barcelona). The presentation was co-organized by our partners from AMEC, which made it possible to have fruitful meetings with the representatives of this agency. The possibility of cooperation between this agency, the cluster and corresponding institutions of the Metropolitan Municipality was highly appreciated. The day ended with a great networking event at the Bavaria Pavilion.

On the second day, our meetings with Ubiwhere and Bayern Innovative continued, followed by a series of C2B meetings. An interesting event for us was the seminar dedicated to the development of the French smart city industry and in particular to the topic of the design and construction of the Olympic city in Saint-Denis, Paris. A number of meetings (C2B and C2C) were also held with companies and organizations from North America and East Asia, including Canada, the US, South Korea and Japan. Later, we visited the stand of the European Commission, where we had the opportunity to get information about a number of EU and EC programs specifically designed to support clusters, smart cities and the green economy. In the late afternoon, we participated in a networking event organized at the Nordic and Baltic Pavilion.The day ended again with a networking event at the Bavarian Pavilion.

During the third day, we participated in a number of meetings aimed at expanding the cluster's network of contacts. One of these meetings was with the French cyber security cluster Cote d’Azure, which is also a member of the SmartCityTech Partnership. With the representatives of this cluster, we discussed the issue of growing the partnership, not only in terms of the number of members, but also in terms of influence in the ecosystem of Europe. Similar was the topic of conversations with representatives of NOVA IMS Portugal. By the end of the day, we were able to explore a number of stands, mostly of technology companies offering solutions for smart cities. The SusHi Tech Tokio booth was different. Under this brand lies a series of business events held annually by the Tokyo Municipality in the period January-May. Among these events, Asia's largest startup competition should be noted.

In conclusion, the visit to Smart City Expo Barcelona 2023 was extremely useful for the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, creating numerous opportunities for future cooperation of the cluster and its members and partners at the European and international level.


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