Impacting Citizens’ Lives with Smart Cities

To improve the lives of their citizens, cities require different sectors to work and innovate together. Our latest event brought together 49 startups and 9 corporates and public sector organizations to work towards smarter cities. 

Ignite Smart Cities saw 70 matchmaking meetings focused on a broad range of innovations including ways to improve communication with citizens, AI solutions for impact measurement, behaviour change tools to increase sustainability, and safety and security solutions.

The event was co-organized with Kista Science City and COO, Karin Bengtsson emphasized the importance of collaboration for solving social, environmental and economical challenges in cities. 

“Cities are by definition collaborative projects – where citizens, public sector and corporates need to work together. So creating a smart city can only be done in collaboration. We also need innovation to drive our cities towards a more sustainable path,” says Karin.

She adds that “bringing all these stakeholders to a joint event and learning what the real challenges and solutions are, is of great value for us. We learn, but we also have the opportunity to showcase how we, together with Ignite, can contribute to the creation of smart and sustainable cities.”

Portrait Karin Bengtsson
Karin Bengtsson, COO at Kista Science City

For Håkan Roupé, Operations Manager for Safety and Security at Kalmar Municipality, the event provided a great opportunity to find out more about what technology is available to help address his municipality’s challenges.

“You learn so much from these meetings and get to know a great overview of the market in an effective way. In each of the meetings, I thought about who needed to hear about this startup, who has these needs and how I can best connect them to find a solution,” says Håkan. 

The event also gave impact startups such as BrightAct an opportunity to connect with larger companies and potentially make cities a safer place to live. Elinor Samuelsson, UX Designer & Founder of BrightAct, explains; “We believe in the power of people and that multidisciplinary collaboration makes an impact. By working together, we have a better chance to break the cycle of domestic violence in novel ways using technology.” 

“We applied to this event because we are looking for interesting partnerships to increase our impact and service for people subjected to domestic violence. We quickly established a shared desire to explore a collaboration. The next step is to investigate how we might combine our USPs and build products together that can make a difference,” says Elinor. 

The participating corporates and public organizations were Assa Abloy, E.ON, IBM, IHI Corporation, Lindab Ventilation, the City of Linköping, Sveriges Allmännytta, Toyota Material Handling Europe and Kalmar municipality.

This is the third edition of this matchmaking event. The previous meetings in 2019 and 2020 have led to many collaborations between municipalities, corporates and startups, including this one between Parlametric and Järfälla municipality.

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