ITEA is the Eureka Cluster on software innovation
ITEA is the Eureka Cluster on software innovation

ITEA at Smart City
Expo 2019

Bringing together Smart City Challenges and Smart City Solutions


At the end of November last year, Barcelona’s Fira Exhibition Centre was the venue for a sparkling and spectacular success if numbers are anything to go by: 12 running ITEA projects presented their Smart City solutions to the 24,399 visitors to be precise and over one thousand exhibitors from 146 countries at the Smart City Expo (SCEWC) 2019.

As ITEA projects are based on customers’ needs and focus on both societal and business impact, it can be regarded as a logical step for ITEA to reach out beyond its own Community to a customer-oriented fair and engage with a wider audience, including potential customers and end users, to showcase the results of its projects. Thus the Smart City Expo (SCEWC) was not an opportunity to let slip by!

Stepping outside its ‘comfort zone’ to showcase some of the latest innovations and solutions at this major and impressive congress, ITEA joined participants and stakeholders from all over the globe to address the challenges faced in the Smart Cities domain. With stands At the end of November last year, Barcelona’s Fira Exhibition Centre was the venue for a sparkling and spectacular success if numbers are anything to go by: 12 running ITEA projects presented their Smart City solutions to the 24,399 visitors to be precise and over one thousand exhibitors from 146 countries at the Smart City Expo (SCEWC) 2019. ranging from the voluminous to the intimate and representation from Montreal to Moscow and from Seoul to the host city itself, a whole spectrum of innovative and fascinating solutions was presented to the hordes of visitors over the three congress days. Three days in which attention focused on matters like breaking down information silos or deploying connected services, enhancing mobility or optimising energy consumption, citizen engagement and quality of life – all urban dilemmas and all with potential solutions.

SCEWC 2019

Solving Smart City challenges

The twelve project booths at the ITEA ‘pavilion’ each offered several solutions for a variety of Smart City challenges. For example, the DANGUN project, involving French and Korean partners, aims to tackle urban mobility issues such as traffic jams and autonomous driving assistants in an affordable and practical way. Not for the few but for the many. Or PARTNER, which addresses the health domain that is part of the significant quality of life challenge to cities both now and in the future. This project is geared to optimising the patient journey through the engagement of the patient beyond the hospital walls in his or her health and wellbeing. And in terms of the air that we breathe, this is a real measure of quality of life so the ESTABLISH project wants to convert sensor data into actionable information on an individual level and so boosts the quality of life for citizens.

The projects present at the ITEA pavilion were:


Engaging visitors

With e-commerce having transformed the retail industry, the SOLOMON project uses the same technologies as a counterweight to improve the customer experience in bricks-and-mortar stores. It enables interaction between the technology and the retailers, shop personnel and consumers through seamless services. To demonstrate the benefits, visitors were invited to build their own app in just a few clicks. The interactivity – visitor engagement – was even taken a step further by the MOS2S project that aims to develop audio-visual Smart City technologies that address the needs of citizens and embed these solutions in a dedicated Smart City Playground. The walk-in booth at the corner of the ITEA pavilion encouraged passers-by to quite literally drop in and give their opinions on urban issues … in the comfort and nonthreatening safety of a ‘private’ area. This offers an opportunity for honest and frank engagement between the citizen and the city. It is just one of the steppingstones towards a full Smart City Operating System that can help accelerate the creation and market introduction of new unique Smart City applications to improve profitability, sustainability, safety and customer experience.

Innovation Discovery tours ...

At its pavilion, ITEA offered visitors customised Innovation Discovery tours. In these engaging personalised guided tours, ITEA staff took their guests to the projects that specifically dealt with the Smart City challenges they were facing. Designed around customer needs, these tours firstly aimed on bringing together Smart City Challenges and their Smart City solutions. In this way, some 20 representatives, from Almere to Istanbul and from Oulu to Grenoble, were made aware of how they could actually exploit the relevant ITEA innovations with the support of the ITEA Community partners. It was all hands on deck, ensuring that these urban stakeholders got the best insights and information possible.


… and an Innovation side event

On the final day of the congress, a further flavour was added to the theme of innovation discovery with a Smart City Innovation side event organised by ITEA. This event gave the audience of city stakeholders the possibility of actively engaging with ITEA project leaders in the latest ideas and developments as well as sharing challenges and perspectives. Using an interactive tool, the audience provided views and opinions during the presentations, giving the projects a better insight into priorities and ideas of the audience. For example, safety is a main priority in all Smart City challenges, and although autonomous driving is already possible now for some traffic situations, 60% of the audience will only be ready in 10 years to buy a car with autonomous driving capabilities. It was evident that trust is an issue that needs to be resolved too.

Reaching out

but a logical step for a platform dedicated to solving the challenges shared around the increasingly smart and urban world where health, energy, mobility, connectivity and other such issues need solutions.

Zeynep Sarilar, Chairwoman of ITEA, commented: “I think that this has been a very positive initiative. Looking at the 12 projects represented here, I can really appreciate how the smart solutions we are generating are not only exceptional from a technological perspective, but it is clear at a congress like this that our results are having an impact on users. The feedback we have received from visitors to our booth suggest that this Smart City Expo is the right place for us to be. We are in the middle of the marketplace, close to the users of our innovations.”

Looking back…

This is a sentiment echoed by the stand holders and project leaders present, who commonly advise other projects to take part in similar events, as it can lead to relevant new business opportunities. The evaluation survey also shows that nearly all respondents that have taken part in previous ITEA Co-summits indicate that exhibiting at SCEWC was better for the project and 65% would participate again, while others are ‘not sure yet’ as their project has come to an end.

CitiSim, which has just been completed with the development of a Smart City 3D simulation and monitoring platform and which had several demos all around the SCEWC Expo, was represented by its project leader Carlos Jiménez. “In my opinion, participating in this edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress was a very successful experience for the CitiSim project. In that sense, being part of the ITEA Community together with other innovative projects had a very positive impact in terms of increasing the interest of the audience towards our project 14 ITEA Magazine ITEA at Smart City Expo 2019 and attracting more visitors. In the same way, the support provided as well as the promotion opportunities managed by ITEA resulted not only in great possibilities for disseminating the outcomes of the project but also in interesting contacts for partners of the CitiSim project. This event was also a great chance for us to test and show some of our real-world demonstrators and update our knowledge about real market demands.”

…and looking forward to the 2020 customer-oriented events

ITEA can look back at a successful new experience, with of course some valuable lessons learnt, but now it is time to look forward. Encouraged by the positive feedback ITEA feels to have chosen the right path for its event strategy and is now preparing its participation in two costumer-oriented fairs in 2020. Together with a selected set of related projects ITEA will participate in the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo that will take place on 24 and 25 November 2020 in Amsterdam and they will return to the 2020 edition Smart City Expo in Barcelona on 17-19 November.

If you / your ITEA project would be interested in participating, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the ITEA Office!

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