Smart Cities Vlaanderen: More powerful than ever

Smart Cities Vlaanderen logo

In July, Citylab fully integrated its work for the Innovative Business Network (IBN) Smart Cities Vlaanderen with partner DSP Valley. “After more than a year and a half of successful collaboration with DSP Valley, it is time for this step,” says Citylab director Marc Schepers. “By bringing our business cluster fully under one roof, we will become more effective and create room for further development of Smart Cities Vlaanderen!”   

DSP Valley and Citylab are the driving forces behind the IBN Smart Cities Vlaanderen, which was started more than a year and a half ago with the support of various big names in the tech world. Although still at an early stage as an organization, the cluster has had a promising start, successfully bridging the gap between business and government. Their strength has been converting Smart Cities issues into concrete business cases for companies.

Dieter Therssen (left), CEO of DSP Valley, and Marc Schepers (right), director of Citylab, signing the merger official agreement regarding Smart Cities Vlaanderen.
Dieter Therssen (left), CEO of DSP Valley, and Marc Schepers (right), director of Citylab, signing the official merger agreement.

The two organizations are convinced that they are coming together at the right moment. Schepers declared, “It is now time to connect even more and to continue our cooperation with DSP Valley. That is why we decided to fully shift our co- promotorship to DSP Valley.” 

From his perspective as CEO of DSP Valley, Dieter Therssen emphasizes the need for an encompassing structure. “In Flanders, several initiatives have emerged in the field of smart cities in recent years , but there is not yet an overarching approach across the region. At the same time, the demand from local governments for smart city solutions is increasing exponentially,” he states. 

CEO of Living Tomorrow and president of Smart Cities Vlaanderen, Joachim De Vos agrees that the time for joining forces is ripe as the movement for smart cities gains momentum. This merger between DSP Valley and City Labs is the first step toward an even stronger Smart Cities Vlaanderen consortium.

Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), which financially supports the consortium through its subsidies for IBNs, is also on board. Asked for comment, a spokesperson confirmed, “This evolution makes the position of Smart Cities Vlaanderen more powerful and stable and allows them to support companies even better in the smart cities domain. It will enable the cluster to actively contribute to developing Flanders into a smart region.”

 The integration between Citylab and DSP Valley “enables us to accelerate our role as a matchmaker between companies and local authorities, building business consortia and creating a digital platform in the quadruple helix,” says Peter Vandeurzen, Cluster Manager for Smart Cities Vlaanderen. DSP Valley will further expand and strengthen the cluster from its office at the Corda Campus in Hasselt.

A bundled structure can also be the starting point for jumping from Flanders to Europe in the context of digitization. By coordinating smart cities initiatives, the desired critical mass and strength can be achieved to make Flanders a leading smart region in Europe.

All information about the Smart Cities Vlaanderen community and how to participate can be found on their website.

Contact
info@smartcities.vlaanderen
www.smartcities.vlaanderen

Smart Cities Vlaanderen Cluster
The cluster was founded by a number of steering group members and co-financed by VLAIO. The founding steering committee members are: Living Tomorrow with Joachim De Vos, chairman of the steering group, Nokia, Cronos Group, MyCsN, Tractebel Engie, Mediahuis, Hydroscan, Niko, and AllThingsTalk.

Together for strong, ambitious innovation
More starters, more stayers, more growers: that’s what we aim for! The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Agency and the Innovative Business Networks want to facilitate cooperation between companies, knowledge institutions and governments. Smart Cities Vlaanderen is one of these innovative business networks. Discover the others at the website. #growingstrong #sterkgroeien   

Eclipse Foundation Comes to Europe

We are thrilled at the news that open source software foundation Eclipse Foundation is moving to Brussels!

Eclipse Foundation logo

Innovation and Collaboration

Styling itself “The Platform for Open Innovation and Collaboration,” the Eclipse Foundation is a non-profit organization working to provide a community of and for open source software users and creators. It provides IP management and IT infrastructure while also developing the ecosystem and processes to govern the community.

The Eclipse Foundation provides our global community of individuals and organizations with a mature, scalable, and business-friendly environment for open source software collaboration and innovation. 

-the Eclipse Foundation website

What Eclipse is doing has a strong connection with our work at DSP Valley. Collaborative business development means doing more in common than in isolation. An essential component of this are common foundations to work upon. The platform developed by Eclipse is an excellent example of nurturing such common foundations and creating opportunities to harness collective potential.

A move to Europe

In their press release on May 12, Eclipse outlined their reasons for moving their headquarters to Europe, creating Eclipse Foundation AISBL based in Brussels. Their rationale — and the decision itself — is a great illustration of how Europe and its approach to digitalization is extremely attractive at the moment. This especially with regard to how the European Union is (attempting) balancing technological aspirations and capabilities with societal needs and democratic control.

Contributions from a broad cross-section of European companies and governmental organizations to open source projects will be key to ensuring that these emerging technologies are fit for Europe, designed with consideration for the privacy and security of individuals and organizations, and have environmental impact in mind.

– Eclipse Foundation press release announcing move to Europe

A boon for our ecosystem

This is great news for Europe, and great news for the DSP Valley ecosystem. The foundation is already deeply involved in technology areas such as cloud and edge applications, IoT, artificial intelligence, digital ledger technologies, open processor designs, and many others: a great boost for our members. As we wrote about in March, Europe is actively engaging with how to move forward with AI and data technology. Eclipse will be a strong voice added to the mix of perspectives striving for that perfect balance between technology’s capabilities and societal needs. (See our article here )

Ultimately, Eclipse itself is a testimony to the need for as-open-as-possible collaboration with regard to digital foundations. Given our strong belief in collaborative business development, we’re delighted to welcome their headquarters to our shores.

Check out the details at the Eclipse website, and be sure to read Executive Director Mike Milinkovich’s statement, too.

Breathing with Confidence Thanks to Collaboration

By Jane Judge, DSP Valley
Breathe with Confidence

A small, partly cobble-stoned street in Antwerp’s Berchem neighborhood seems unremarkable enough. On one side, low garages, probably for the apartment buildings on the busier parallel street. On the other side, a newbuild of pleasing dark brick and street-level windows starting at your shoulder. This is the new Yust space (part hotel, part apartments, part co-working event space – but we’ll get to the specifics of what they do a little later).

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