10 Dec 2020

2nd Edition of the Europe and Central Asia Smart Cities & Communities Awards Showcases Impact of Innovation on Civic Engagement, Urban Administration, Public Safety, Infrastructure, & Transportation

LONDON, December 10, 2020 — In the past couple of years, many European and Central Asian cities have started to realize the quality of life, economic prosperity, and resilience outcomes that smart city investments promised. These cities have made sure that all residents have enjoyed the benefits. They have managed to deliver quick wins in specific use cases and have reused the modular solutions they have built to extend the capabilities across the whole city.

The 2020 Smart Cities and Communities Europe and Central Asia Awards received dozens of groundbreaking and transformative nominations in five categories:

Economic development and civic engagement, including initiatives that drive communities and businesses to actively engage to make the city more livable and prosperous.

Three initiatives were shortlisted in this category: City Points Cascais, Digital Identity of Avilés, and Making the Most of Malaga City Data. The overall winner was City Points Cascais, which is a great example of how technology innovation can bring together the city ecosystem to recognize good citizenship by rewarding citizens who actively contribute to local sustainability.

Sustainable urban planning and administration, including investments in intelligent technologies that can improve decision making and streamline municipal services.

Four initiatives were shortlisted in this category: South Tyrol AgriML, Vigo VCI, Badajoz Is More, and Castellón SmartVillages. The overall winner was AgriML, a solution realized by SIAG with technical support from NTT Data, which stood out for the innovative use of machine learning and satellite imaging to transform the process of assigning farming grants to rural communities in the complex Alpine environment of South Tyrol.

Data-driven public safety, including cities that embrace technology to enhance agility and collaboration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three initiatives were shortlisted in this category: COVID-19 emergency bed management at Rhein-Neckar-Kreis county, Almaty automated mudflow hazard monitoring, and Valencia unified COVID-19 information. The overall winner was the COVID-19 hospital bed management initiative of the Heidelberg University Hospital and Rhein-Neckar-Kreis county due to the collaborative use of data and analytics to actively manage capacity and availability of beds with protective gear, ventilators, and more, in the COVID-19 departments across 48 wards of the county's 25 hospitals.

"It's important to centrally coordinate the distribution of patients and bed occupancy in Heidelberg and the region," said Professor Dr. Ingo Autenrieth, chief medical director and chairman of the board, Heidelberg University Hospital. "In this way, existing structures, which reach their limits in the event of a crisis, can be efficiently relieved. The new solution ensures that the necessary data is always available and up to date."

Resilient infrastructure, including innovative projects to tackle climate change through efficient, safe, and sustainable use of the city's physical assets.

Three initiatives were shortlisted in this category: Aspern Smart City Research, Vaasa City Decarbonization Platform, and Limerick City and County Council +CityxChange. The overall winner was Aspern Smart City Research, which developed a digital twin of the solution based on the MindSphere City Graph to model the energy demand of electrical vehicles and their impact on the electricity grid of the city through the open contextual integration of various data sources.

"With the MindSphere City Graph our partners Siemens Advanta and Microsoft helped us to integrate multiple data sources in an efficient way, and we were able to jointly build digital twins of our city district in a very short time frame, which helps us to be the urban enabler of digitalization," said Roman Tobler, manager at Aspern Smart City Research and Wiener Netze. "IT/OT integration skills were a key success factor in developing this IoT solution to generate value for Aspern Smart City Research and it will help us to improve real-time transparency of our grid, not only to cope with rising demand for e-vehicles today but also to proactively address new business models in the near future."

Intelligent transportation, including investments in innovation that will deliver more convenient, affordable, safe, and sustainable mobility.

Four initiatives were shortlisted in this category: the Sergek traffic video surveillance system in both Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Moscow AI-based intelligent traffic lights, and Mobicascais. The overall winners were Nur-Sultan and Almaty with the Sergek project, not only because of the innovative use of advanced video analytics to detect and enforce traffic violations, but also because of the innovative business model that can be used to deploy and manage the solution.

IDC assembled a very experienced team of expert judges for the awards:

• Joe Dignan — head of IDC Government Insights Europe

• Max Claps — research director, IDC Government Insights

• Jan Alexa — research manager, IDC Government Insights

• Roberta Bigliani — group vice president, head of IDC Industry Insights and IDC Future of Work

• Gerald Wang — head of IDC Asia/Pacific Public Sector for IDC Government Insights and IDC Health Insights

"Running the second edition of the IDC Europe and Central Asia Smart Cities and Communities Awards has been a major team effort, and a huge privilege," said IDC's Max Claps, who led the awards program. "We have encountered interesting applications of emerging technologies, such as IoT and machine learning, that will make a real, scalable impact on cities' and communities' livability and prosperity."


Regions Covered

Asia Pacific, Western Europe

Topics Covered

Digital transformation

Vertical Markets

Smart cities and communities