Last week, the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN) organised the 9th EBN TechCamp, the network yearly technical event aimed for incubation and innovation practitioners. This year, EBN member TVT Innovation hosted the event shaped around the topic ‘Smart Cities innovating sustainably’, and welcomed to Toulon more than 80 participants who got the chance to discover how innovation can support cities to become greener and more sustainable.
After a warm welcome and introduction from Patrick Valverde, the outgoing chairman of EBN and CEO of TVT Innovation, and Javier Echarri, CEO of EBN, IESE researcher Ana Isabel Duch presented the latest results of the IESE Cities in Motion Index. By globally connecting a network of city experts with specialised corporates and organisations, the goal of this initiative is to develop valuable ideas and innovative tools that can stimulate the development of smarter cities and promote change at the local level. Ana provided insightful information to the participants, especially on the scientific definition of smart cities, how to find better ways of managing mobility and transport in cities, and how the cities need local solution to fight global challenges.
Following the keynote, Samuel Bachelot, Business Manager at EBN Member Atlanpole, moderated a session on best practices and initiatives implementing innovation to make cities become greener. Manuella Portier, Director of European Affairs at Cap Digital and EBN Member, presented how Cap Digital is helping Paris to become a smarter city, while Leïla Belmerhnia introduced the participants to CityLab, a best practice case of urban lab, developed and hosted by TVT Innovation. Finally, Andreas Schmalzbauer, researcher at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), presented the CLEVER Cities project and how cities can implement nature-based solutions to become greener and more sustainable.
Before the lunch break, participants had the opportunity to discover the new internationalisation services that EBN is going to propose in the coming months to its members. Do not hesitate to get in touch with the EBN Secretariat if you think that your startups could benefit from this opportunity.
The networking lunch allowed the attendees to continue the discussions initiated in the morning and make new business connections. Special booths dedicated to EBN activities and opportunities under the umbrella of projects such as PentaHelix, SmartEEs, CLEVER Cities or CAST were displayed in the networking area and team members were available to answer any questions from the participants or provide more information.
The afternoon started with four parallel sessions. One session, supported by TVT Innovation through the Co-Create project, focused on Design thinking towards a sustainable Europe. Then, a bootcamp for startups supported by EBN Members Cyric and WestBIC took place, organised in the context of the CAST project. At the same time, those interested in new technologies could attend the presentation of the ICT tools developed in the frame of the MED Urban Transport Community. Lastly, EBN member ESTIA – with the support of FRI_START project – presented the best practices of transborder cooperation.
The first day ended with the EBN Annual General Meeting, the opportunity for the members to learn more about the actions and decisions taken within the past year at EBN as well as to witness the election of both the new Board and the new Chairman of the network: David Uhlir, active in the EBN Board of Directors for the last six years, now taking the lead.
Participants were then invited to round off the day with a nice networking dinner by the sea. EBN TechCamp participants together with speakers of the Murex Festival were able to share the insights of the days in a very festive manner.
The second day of the EBN TechCamp took place at the National Theatre “Le Théâtre des Libertés” to join synergies with the Murex Festival. Speakers from all over the world came to share with participants their visions on digital culture, creative industries and new creative trends. In this frame, Helena Deane, from WestBIC and EBN Member, and Ana Moniche representing NeCSTour, showcased different opportunities to startups and incubators in the creative tourism sector.
Those two inspiring days ended with a special After Party in the centre of Toulon. Despite the heatwave, the participants showed a lot of energy to enjoy the party and taste traditional drinks and food.
The EBN Team is already working hard on the next EBN Event: EBN Congress 2019, 23-25 October in Rome. Stay tuned for further information and in the meantime feel free to take a look at the EBN TechCamp 2019 picture gallery.
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