Smart City Barcelona is an annual global meeting point for companies, governments, social entrepreneurs, research centres and others interested in exploiting development opportunities for a more sustainable and inclusive economy. Luxembourg will be represented at the event through a national pavilion where companies will expose their smart city solutions. Joost Ortjens, Head of International Business Development – Smart Mobility at Luxinnovation, will also be there to connect with international companies looking to launch their smart city solutions on the European market.
Mr Ortjens, why is Luxembourg a relevant location for international companies offering smart city solutions?
Joost Ortjens: Smart city services that have been developed overseas generally need to be tested and adapted to European conditions before they are ready for full commercial deployment. Disappointing sales results are often a result of non-compliance with regulations and a misalignment with end user expectations. With a successful technology demonstrator, innovators can often optimise their chances of succeeding with an expensive market launch.
With a successful technology demonstrator, innovators can often optimise their chances of succeeding with an expensive market launch.
Due to its openness to innovation, manageable size and diverse population, Luxembourg is an excellent testbed for geolocalising innovative products and services. Companies can benefit from living lab conditions and find use case partners that are needed to test their smart city technologies and collect feedback from a user perspective. The testing will confirm whether a solution already fits the operations of the use case partner and is aligned with EU regulations such as the data protection regulation GDPR so that it can be commercialised immediately, or whether it needs further iteration based on the trusted feedback and user experiences provided by the use case partner that we identified.
What type of companies are you looking to get in touch with at the event?
I’m mainly interested in talking to smart city innovators that are not yet represented in Europe but interested in exploring and developing the European market.
Why should participants get in touch with you?
Thanks to its diversity, Luxembourg is in many ways a miniature Europe. What works well here is likely to be successful also in the Benelux area, the German and French-speaking parts of Europe and beyond. I invite companies that are interested in developing the European market but that do not yet have their own teams on the ground to talk to me, in particular if their smart city solutions are really innovative and different from those already used in Europe. I would be more than happy to discuss how we can help them find the right partners and conditions to prepare their solutions for their European market launch.
I invite companies that are interested in developing the European market to talk to me, in particular if their smart city solutions are really innovative.
What are you most looking forward to do during Smart City Expo?
I’m eager to discover new, relevant digital and/or sustainable solutions that are not yet widely applied in Europe and meet exciting companies with innovations that will make our cities smarter.