45 X BERLIN: A LOOK BACK ON SCCON 2023
15,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors and 600 speakers: record figures for this year’s Smart Country Convention (SCCON), which took place on the exhibition grounds of Messe Berlin from 7 to 9 November. Host city Berlin gave a successful presentation at the joint stand.
At SCCON 2023, Berlin showcased Smart City projects – from digitalised administration to data management and security. Governing Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegner has made digitalisation a top priority; the agenda for the reform of the Berlin administration was passed as recently as 10 October. At SCCON, Berlin’s Chief Digital Officer Martina Klement emphasised the importance of tackling the digitalisation of the city together in light of limited personnel and financial resources.
At the Berlin joint stand at SCCON, it became apparent that many actors have already committed to advancing digitalisation in the city and its administration and are keeping in close contact as they do so. Over the three days of the trade fair, around 1,600 interested parties visited the Berlin stand to obtain information on smart technologies and current projects from the exhibitors deZem, Fraunhofer FOKUS, FIWARE, InfraLab Berlin (German only), the Berlin Centre for IT Services (“IT-Dienstleistungszentrum Berlin”, ITDZ Berlin, German only), it's.BB (German only), Smart City Factory, the Berlin Technology Foundation (“Technologiestiftung Berlin”), Tegel Projekt, Ulrich Lippert, the Urban Software Institute and virtualcitySYSTEMS.
The stand’s programme comprised a total of 45 pitches, among them actors from the Smart City Berlin network, who presented their innovative projects. Visitors were able to obtain detailed information on Berlin’s Smart City Strategy, entitled Going Digital Together: Berlin (“Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin”, GD:B). Karen Lassmann, Head of the Staff Office Smart City within the Senate Chancellery, introduced the transformation programme that aims to help Berlin become a smart city. GD:B projects and individual measures that have already launched were also presented at the joint stand.
Anja Kruse, Transformation Manager at the CityLAB Berlin Kiezlabor, shared first experiences from the Tiny House for Digital Transformation, which has its own power supply; Rolf Mienkus, Managing Director of INSEL-PROJEKT.BERLIN, provided insight into the SMART SPACE Hardenbergplatz pilot project; and Lisa Junghans, research assistant at the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water (“Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin”), explained the Smart Water pilot project (German only). The five Model Project cities – Berlin, Potsdam, Bad Belzig/Wiesenburg, Cottbus and Guben – started off each day of the trade fair by exchanging ideas and information among one another and with visitors at their morning talks over “A coffee with the Smart City model projects in the Capital region”.
Another programme highlight was the official opening of the Open Source Competence Centre (“Open Source Kompetenzzentrum”, OSK - German only) by CDO Martina Klement and Deputy Head of ITDZ Berlin Anne Lolas at the joint stand on 9 November. The state’s new central consultation office will help Berlin’s administration employ and procure open source solutions and presented its goals, added value and offers at SCCON 2023.
The go-live event of a new smart administration service for Berliners also attracted much attention: 8 December saw the launch of the digital certificate of residence (German only), developed by the State of Berlin within the framework of the Online Access Act (“Onlinezugangsgesetz”, OZG). As a “single service for all”, other states and municipalities will also be able to use the digital certificate in future. The innovative electric fire and rescue service vehicle, which the Berlin Fire Brigade presented outside the exhibition hall as part of the Electric Fire and Rescue Service Vehicle - Public Safety Up Close and Personal (German only) project, was met with great interest, and not just by technology aficionados.
And as every year, the Berlin joint stand at SCCON once again provided ample opportunity for lively discussions with the Smart City Berlin actors, for example during the tours of the trade fair, which took place every evening. With 200 guests, the stand’s reception on Wednesday evening was particularly well-attended. Many a business card was exchanged over canapés and cold beverages, and perhaps even new ideas were set in motion – for the further development of the Smart City Berlin. (vdo)
The next Smart Country Convention will take place on the exhibition grounds of Messe Berlin from 15-17 October 2024. We look forward to seeing you there!