Innovation

The challenges for government and business in the cities of tomorrow

13 of December of 2012

On November 22nd, I had the opportunity to participate in EmTech Spain 2012. The summit, organized yearly by Technology Review, is one of the most important events of the year in the field of technological innovation.

Among the speakers at the meeting were experts like Gustavo Vinacua (Director of BBVA’s Innovation Center), Malcolm McCulloch (Professor at Oxford University), Danny Gal (co-founder of the Tel Aviv “hub”), Elisa Martin (Director of Innovation and Technology at IBM Spain), Rahul Puri (Director General for Innovation and Development for the PRISA media group), Juan Carlos Ureta (President of Renta 4 Bank) or Jens-Axel Kalinowski (Director of the London Stock Exchange Group for Europe).

Explaining our smart cities model

During my speech I presented Ferrovial’s “smart cities” model. Clearly, responding to the new necessities of our urban areas will be a major challenge over the coming years. Therefore, our proposal is focused on developing a comprehensive model of management that understands “smart cities” concept in an integral way.

Drawing on enhanced indicators of quality and efficiency, we can optimize the service we provide to the public day after day. In this very competitive field, our company needs to continue acting in innovative ways to avoid being left behind. This is why we promote research projects in partnership with different universities. The Spanish city of Málaga is a good example of that, since we are currently helping the local government improve it’s lighting system by working hand in hand with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

We understand that these commitments must have a long-term focus. This is why our collaborative model looks to establish public-private partnerships through periods of twenty, thirty years. By doing so, we can fully develop the potential of our “smart cities” model, deploying more investment and improving projects on the run.

During my talk at EmTech Spain I talked about the coffee market, where few companies had considered, until recently, the need to provide consumers with quick and easy ways to prepare their drink. We also believe it’s time to reinvent the service we give to the citizens in our cities. This is why our “smart cities” model focuses on saving money to local councils while improving the quality of services and promoting environmental sustainability. And only by integrating all the latest technological developments can we meet these market needs.

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