Despite the fact that the traditional picture of Switzerland is one of Heidi, the Swiss wrestling championships and Alpine roses, the country actually has a high level of urbanisation. Three out of four people live in cities. This increasing densification is posing challenges for the municipalities and their utilities. It was precisely these challenges that were taken up by the SmartSuisse congress staged by the MCH Group at the Congress Center Basel (CCB) on 11 and 12 April 2018. Following the one-day premiere last year, an extra day was added to SmartSuisse 2018 at the exhibitors' request. This strategy congress with keynote speakers in the plenary session held in Hall 4.1 and workshops that looked into individual topics in greater depth, was accompanied by a specialist exhibition in "SmartAvenue", with a total of 40 exhibitors. Space for personal discussions and networking, by contrast, was provided on the "SmartPlaza".
Greater quality of life – less energy
This topic is doubtless a pressing issue – the MCH Group welcomed more than 650 participants from the world of politics, public administration, utilities, mobility providers and innovation managers, plus many more. Experts from the different "smart city" disciplines presented papers on innovative practical examples. These included Jörg Astalosch, CEO of Italdesign, who, together with Airbus, presented a revolutionary concept for helicopter drones. Highlights at the exhibition included the City of Zurich's 3D plaster model depicting urban development of the future, and BMW's solar panels linked up directly to an electric filling station.
"A smart city offers its inhabitants a maximum quality of life while consuming a minimum of resources, based on the intelligent interconnection of its infrastructure". This is the definition of a smart city adopted by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. "Converting data into a greater quality of life", is how Mike Vogt reduces the definition to a mere eight words. The managing director of Internet of Things IoT and initiator of SmartSuisse was delighted at the CCB premises – "it's amazing how versatile Halls 4.0 and 4.1 are and what kind of atmosphere can be generated there. SmartAvenue was a source of inspiration and personal networking".