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“Energising Cities” International Conference: A successful summary of five years of Triangulum

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Stuttgart, 09.10.2019: On 23 and 24.09., Triangulum celebrated its international conference “Energising Cities: Innovations, Challenges & Solutions” in Stavanger, Norway, merging into the Nordic Edge Expo & Conference, taking place from 24-26.09. The event was a great success with overall 185 participants and 25 speakers from all over Europe.

Having started in February 2015, Triangulum is one of the first three European Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse Projects (SCC1) funded by the European Union’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020 now slowly coming to an end. Five years of project work in the three Lighthouse Cities Manchester (UK), Eindhoven (NL) and Stavanger (NO) as well as the three Follower Cities Leipzig (D), Prague (CZ) and Sabadell (ES) have resulted in numerous outcomes and lessons learnt to be shared with the smart city community and the public.

Triangulum Conference at Atlantic Hall Stavanger (Credits: Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)

Tone Grindland of NHO Rogaland moderated the conference: “In the morning, the Mayor of Stavanger, Christine Sagen Helgø gave a very warm welcome to the international audience, talking about how Triangulum has shaped Stavanger and its smart city ambitions”. Triangulum’s Project Coordinator Trinidad Fernandez then kicked off the event by presenting the project’s objectives and ambitious targets. Jens Bartholmes from DG Energy of the European Commission talked about the goals and the purpose of the Horizon 2020 SCC1 programme, thus putting Triangulum into a larger context.

Project Coordinator Trinidad Fernandez (Credits: Damian Wagner)

In the first key note, Martin Brynskov, Chair of Open & Agile Smart Cities, spoke about how to set the foundation for scaling up smart cities solutions in the future. As one of the founding fathers of Triangulum, Steve Turner, Digital Cities Lead at Arup in Triangulum’s Lighthouse City Manchester, then drew a circle from the project’s beginnings to where we are today, also discussing what needs to be done to be “shifting worlds”: “Digital technologies are changing the way we live and work in cities. The cities which prove to be the most successful in the future will not be the largest, but those who are able to harness the full potential that these technologies present,” he says.

The afternoon of “Energising Cities: Innovations, Challenges & Solutions” was all about sharing experiences and learnings from Triangulum and its cities: “In four interactive sessions, our Triangulum city coordinators, technical partners, replication experts and of course, especially invited external professionals, really had the chance to delve into the outcomes but also discuss the challenges of our innovative implementations across the project and their impact on the sustainable development of cities” says Trinidad Fernandez. The interactive sessions focused on the four topics climate change, governance, citizen engagement and investment & replication.

Interactive Session on Replication & Investment, Georg Houben from DG Energy speaking (Credits: Damian Wagner)

During coffee and lunch breaks, participants were invited to experience live and hands-on presentations of the different Triangulum solutions as part of the Innovation Marketspace. Amongst others, Woonbedrijf showcased its WoonConnect app that allows tenants to take charge of their own house renovations​​​, LYSE AS presented its Blink video solution and Clicks&Links invited participants to have a seat on their Virtual Reality bike. “The Innovation Marketspace gave us a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on our Virtual Reality bike. Cycling in virtual Manchester while being in Stavanger was a big hit and after they experienced virtual reality first hand with us, we had fantastic conversations about the huge potential of immersive technology with the participants,” says Laura Hefler of Clicks&Links.

Clicks&Links’ Virtual Reality Bike (Credits: Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)

On Tuesday, 24.09., Triangulum merged into the official Nordic Edge Expo & Conference by co-organising the session “On a Mission for the European Cities of the Future – Achievements, Challenges, Opportunities” together with Nordic Edge, European Commission, EIP-SCC (European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities), SCIS (Smart Cities Information System) & Stavanger Region European Office. After introducing the two new SCC1 projects MAKING-CITY and +CityXChange to the public, Triangulum talked about best practices regarding monitoring and evaluation and presented its major outcomes and learnings as part of a panel discussion moderated by James Evans, University of Manchester. “In Stavanger, we developed a Central Energy Plant that is able to heat an entire building and even an enclosed swimming pool“, Gerd Seehuus from Stavanger Kommune and City Coordinator of our Lighthouse City explained. The third part of this joint session focused on “Horizon Europe – A Mission to deliver the Cities of the Future” organised by the EC, EIP-SCC and SCIS. The session was meant to trigger a targeted dialogue of the European Commission, the EIP-SCC community, the Horizon2020 Lighthouse projects and more core stakeholders on which key mission elements shall be delivered, by whom, by when and with which means.

More info:

“Energising Cities” Conference: https://www.triangulum-project.eu/?page_id=4200

Nordic Edge Joint Session: https://www.nordicedgeexpo.org/program/on-a-mission-for-the-european-cities-of-the-future-achievements-challenges-opportunities

Presentations:

Trinidad Fernandez (Welcome)

Christine Sagen Helgø (Welcome)

Martin Brynskov (Key Note)

Steve Turner (Key Note)

Dujuan Yang (Interactive Session 1)

Markus Schwegler (Interactive Session 1)

Ivan Hewlett (Interactive Session 1)

Adam Pajgrt (Interactive Session 2)

Mieke van Schaik (Interactive Session 2)

Solveig Ege Tengesdal (Interactive Session 3)

Marieke van den Wijngaard (Interactive Session 3)