Living Labs Global Showcase Award Ceremony

As the culmination of the four month Living Labs Global Showcase Award process, over 100 representatives from Europe, North America and Asia attended the Showcase Award Ceremony in Sant Cugat des Valles. The three hour event was a unique opportunity for the nine award category cities and the 45 showcase award finalists to learn about other innovative entries and to celebrate their own contribution to the competition. Sascha Haselmayer, the Director of Living Labs Global, opened the ceremony by emphasizing the truly global nature of the competition, highlighting that the 317 entries submitted for the Award came from 28 countries across four continents. Mr. Haselmayer further elaborated that this kind of global collaboration in service development is unprecedented and is a testimony to the need for more transparent marketplaces for digital and mobile technologies and services, increased cooperation between municipalities and more open-minded service acquisition processes; therein, Mr. Haselmayer suggested that this Awards process is just an initial step towards developing and delivering better urban services through more efficient and effective processes. Without a doubt this was a sentiment shared by most everyone in attendance, municipal representatives and entrepreneurs alike. Following this initial opening by Mr. Haselmayer and the city of Sant Cugat, the ceremony proceeded with individual city categories, beginning with Barcelona and ending with Sant Cugat. Of the nine category cities, only the cities of Taipei and Chicago were unable to deliver the Award in person. Instead, these award partners congratulated their winners by telecast from their respective locations. Prior to announcing the winning Showcase for each category, the Living Labs Global team aired unseen footage from the shortlisted category videos; these videos were presented to jurors by entrants to help them to better understand the technology behind each innovation and the possible applications for the technology. Each video montage gave attendees a glimpse of the innovative solutions shortlisted by each city and illuminated the diverse nature of the solutions on offer. All of the winning showcases and the shortlisted showcase videos are currently available to be viewed on the Living Labs Global website. The winning showcases included Autonomous Sensors to Monitor Garbage Capacity in Urban Dumpsters for Barcelona, Energy Saving through Smart Applications for Caceres, Sustainable Food for Chicago, the Local Innovation Plan for Eindhoven, the Central Intelligent Irrigation Controller for Oeiras, the Central Intelligent Irrigation Controller for Oeiras, Sustainable Food and Wikiloc Active Routes for La Selva, Real-time Parking Management in a City for Sant Cugat, Open Green Map for Stockholm, and Wikiloc Active Routes and Taxi2 for Taipei. Once the last award was handed off by Sant Cugat, attendees had the opportunity to network and meet with fellow event participants over an offer of delicious appetizers and drinks. Perhaps the most exciting consequence of an event like this is that it gives cities and companies the opportunity to see what other cities are pursuing in terms of service innovation and their long-term service plan. Whereas the Portuguese city of Oeiras’ category had focused upon improved water management, they walked away inspired by the participatory technologies implemented in the city of Hamburg by the firm German firm TuTech Innovation. Needless to say, it will be exciting to see what the next year holds in terms of pilots and other service acquisitions for Showcase Award Participants and Winners and we look forward to keeping you up to date as success stories unfold.