Tampere's Human-Centric Technology Solutions Nominated for Top Prizes at the World's Largest Smart City Event

Tampere's innovative use of smart technology for the benefit of residents, authorities, and businesses has earned it a spot in the finals at the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona on November 8, 2023. Competing in the enabling technologies category, Tampere stands alongside Kaoshiung from Taiwan, Libelium from Spain, and Zaragoza, among 411 submissions from 63 different countries.
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Tampere's competition presentation focuses on harnessing AI and data for the city's services, as well as generating social value through data.

The Barcelona Smart City World Expo & Congress is the world's largest smart city event, gathering technology industry giants and smart cities from around the world. The event annually recognizes pioneers in the field of smart cities.

Tampere made it to the finals with its presentation on "AI & Insight Enabled Urban Services – Social Value Through Data." The city secured its place in the competition thanks to its diverse ways of harnessing the IoT platform, an intelligent data center that resulted from interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Tampere IoT platform is an internationally significant achievement due to the possibilities it offers for safe and high-quality data usage. The platform has genuinely added value to the daily lives of residents, businesses, and authorities through various applications, programs, and services.

– The control of smart lighting was the first use case for the IoT platform. The outdoor lighting network provides a natural physical infrastructure for building an extensive sensor network. This solution enables energy and cost savings while reducing carbon emissions, says Maarit Vehviläinen, project manager from the City of Tampere, discussing the background of acquiring the IoT platform.

So far, the platform's data has been utilized among other things by emergency services, in event security, infrastructure and maintenance, and, for example, as the foundation for the Pulse application, which predicts visitor flows for local businesses.

The spot in the finals has emerged as a result of collaboration between the public and private sector 

– Our placement in the finals in the category of enabling technologies has been a collective effort from Tampere. None of us alone could have achieved this, points out Outi Valkama, program manager of the Data-Driven City for Citizens -development program from the City of Tampere.

The IoT platform is an example of collaboration among various parts of the city organization and business partners, resulting in a platform that securely handles data. 

– The collaboration has involved urban developers, technology companies, and design firms. The development of the platform required identifying the needs of different user groups, a clear vision, and a belief in the work. Its possibilities and potential are enormous. Our goal is mutual: we want to create smoother everyday life for people and be an intelligent partner for businesses, says Valkama.

– When acquiring the platform, we wanted to enable genuine data-driven capabilities in the urban environment for various use cases and thereby enhance operations and optimize costs. We also wanted to involve business cooperation more effectively in our joint efforts, notes Mika Heikkilä, the system manager from the City of Tampere.

Jari Kuusisto, product manager of IoT for Smart Cities from Wapice Ltd, is pleased with how many parties benefit from IoT and AI technology. 

– Tampere's boldness in utilizing the latest technology and developing services has also been recognized internationally. It has been an honor for us to bring the latest IoT and AI technology to educational institutions, businesses, and all citizens through IoT-TICKET, reflects Kuusisto.

Barcelona acknowledges Tampere’s smart innovations for the third year in the row 

In previous years, the finals have included the Tampere Junior development program, which conducted a family analysis to serve different families' needs, work towards Tampere's carbon neutrality program, and the SURE project, which developed intelligent security solutions.

– At the heart of our work are people and sustainability, and technological development is carried out with consideration for ethical principles. From a Nordic perspective, we sometimes forget how things that seem obvious to us can attract attention worldwide, reflects Valkama.

– One of our city's strategic goals is to be internationally recognized, as a city engaged in extensive collaboration in smart city development. The finals position is a fantastic proof that we are moving in the right direction to achieve these goals, says Teppo Rantanen, executive director of growth, business, and competitiveness from the city of Tampere.

The acquisition of the IoT platform was supported by the STARDUST project, which received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement N° 774094).

Further information

Teppo Rantanen
040 023 5442
Outi Valkama
Program Manager
040 801 6423
Text: Elina Uusitalo
Photos: Mikko Vares
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