The 2021 Smart Country Convention – The Smart City Berlin Highlights
Since as early as 2018, the Smart City Berlin has been a constant partner of the Smart Country Convention – Germany’s leading trade fair for e-government, smart cities and smart regions. This year the scene met up at a digital event due to the pandemic, as it did last year.
7,600 visitors in total and more than 160 speakers on three stages: organised by Messe Berlin and Bitkom, Germany’s digital association, the Smart Country Convention once again provided fresh stimuli for the digitisation of the German Federation, states (Länder) and municipalities, with many fascinating talks, workshops and sessions that focused on digital administration and the development of smart cities in Germany in particular.
Two days, two themes: e-government and smart cities
The first day of the event was dedicated to e-government, with numerous formats that focused on digital sovereignty and identity, the Online Access Act and open data as well as discussions on how to shape the digital transformation in concrete areas of application. The second day of the event revolved around smart cities, taking a closer look at sustainability, resilience and public services – and at how these can be secured by means of technologies, platforms and solutions.
As the hosting city, Smart City Berlin took part in various forums at the 2021 SCCON. Actors from the smart city network as well as representatives of the Berlin administration and other Berlin institutions joined the discussions during the thematic sessions and presented their products and services.
2021 SCCON highlights
The Start-up Country Award in the category E-Government (26 October 2021)
The award went to Visaright, based in Magdeburg. The start-up innovatively combines legal tech with human expertise, with one mission: to make immigrating to Germany as quick, easy and cost-effective a process as possible. Secretary of State Dr Frank Nägele from the Berlin Senate Chancellery represented the Smart City Berlin on the jury.
The Start-up Country Award in the category Smart City (27 October 2021)
Sponsored by Smart City Berlin and represented by Secretary of State Christian Rickerts from the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, Plan4Better was awarded the first prize among three finalists. The company has developed a cloud-based planning software for sustainable urban planning and traffic management that aims to help planners implement the 15-minute city concept.
Berlin RUSH HOUR
The Berlin RUSH HOUR offer addresses experts and other interested parties who want to find out more about Berlin’s solutions and use cases, engage in discussions and network with others. Now in its second edition, RUSH HOUR presented 10 impressive and innovative Berlin projects.
“Innovative business development for the Smart City Berlin”
On the second day of the conference, Dr Stefan Franzke, Managing Director at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology talked about innovative business development in the context of smart cities. Besides new target groups, he emphasised the importance of sustainability, circular economies and economies for the common good when it comes to business development in the context of smart cities. It is therefore necessary to consider more than just technological innovation; new and social business models also need taking into account, he continued. With a view to the entire region, he added, “As a business development agency, we accompany businesses undergoing structural change and help them create societal benefits. One thing the past months have taught us is that we need to strengthen our links to our neighbour, the state of Brandenburg – a Smart City and a State. We want to find out how the cooperation of two states (Länder) can solve the problems citizens face.”
Outlook for 2022
We hope to see you at next year’s Smart Country Convention in Berlin – up close and personal from 18 to 20 October 2022. We look forward to welcoming our partner country, Austria! (vdo)