Comtrade was the general sponsor of the first regional smart community conference
Comtrade was the general sponsor of the 1st Southeast Europe Smart Society Conference, which took place on 20 December at InterContinental hotel in Ljubljana.
The conference was organized to encourage broad cooperation in the introduction of the concepts and solutions for the future of smart communities and is the first step towards a vital dialogue between economic stakeholders.
The conference hosted Slovenian and international speakers, including Andrej Kotar, Comtrade, Smart Cities and Communities group at the Slovenian Digital Coalition.
He presented the opportunities for strategic partnerships and stressed their importance for the development of smart cities: “At the moment, there are no broad partnerships among the key stakeholders involved – spanning governments, companies, research institutions, and local communities – and we would like to see them connect to each other.” He also stressed that the conference is the first step to creating broader networks and called for the signing of the Slovenian national declaration on accelerating the digital transformation of cities, villages, and communities into a sustainable smart society.
Among other topics, the conference focused on the presentation of the European Commission Digital Europe Programme, the overview of European financial mechanisms in the field of smart cities and communities and the presentation of Slovenia’s development plans in the area of smart cities and communities.
Regional best practices were showcased by the representatives of municipalities of Ljubljana, Novo mesto, Maribor, Idrija and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They presented different views and the challenges they’ve encountered when implementing the smart community principles in practice.
A key part of the conference was the presentation of the European and Slovenian declarations and the activities focused on accelerating progress. To speed up the resolution of challenges encountered as solutions for smart cities and communities are being deployed, we encouraged networking by signing the Slovenian national declaration on accelerating the digital transformation of cities, villages, and communities into a sustainable smart society and by signing the European declaration JOIN, BOOST, SUSTAIN.
The first signatory of the latter was deputy mayor of Ljubljana, Dejan Crnek.
By attending the event and signing the declaration, leading representatives of Slovenian and regional local communities, municipal and regional development agencies, all partners in the development of smart cities and communities and other event participants signaled that they are aware of the importance of strategic cooperation when building smart communities to enable the identification of regional synergies.
The event concluded with a panel discussion, entitled Each country is now “translating” principles and technical specs into guidance for local authorities and companies – challenges and possible solutions. It was moderated by Dalibor Baškovč who encouraged the debate among: Andrej Kranjčević, Telekom Slovenije; Simona Kneževič, Digital Innovation Hub; Mihael Krišelj, Ministry of Public Administration; Toni Richard Crisolli, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom; Davor Meersman, OASC.