in the current economic crisis and resulting collapse of local government revenue we are forced to innovate and find creative solutions. Technology is a critical component in our effort to continually improve services whilst reducing costs
Barcelona, Spain (PRWEB) February 4, 2010
A total of 317 entries were received for the Living Labs Global Showcase Award from 28 countries and 140 cities around the world. Awards will be given in nine categories; each presided by a partner city. The evaluation process was carried out by 43 international jurors who have nominated 5 showcases for each category. The list of nominees can be consulted at http://www.livinglabs-global.com/award-about-showcase.asp. The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony, held at ESADE Creapolis in Sant Cugat on the 14th of February with participation of 150 international Mayors and business leaders (see http://showcase-award.eventbrite.com/). Challenges put forward in the Showcase Award included new solutions to social inclusion, citizen participation, cultural engagement, water management and tourism.
Winners of the Living Labs Global Showcase Award will be invited to pilot their solutions in the cities, to demonstrate their efficiency and offer an important opportunity for providers to enter new markets.
During his presentation Jordi Puignero emphasised the commitment of the city of Sant Cugat to be a catalyst for innovation: “our policy for innovation emphasises the core characteristics of our city as a green an digital community.” He pointed out that participation of Sant Cugat in Living Labs Global, now in its 6th year, has “helped the city to continually exchange experiences and innovations with other cities. We have turned our traditional local radio station into a multimedia communications group, are using SMS for electoral offices, and installed intelligent irrigation systems.”
Puigneró added that “in the current economic crisis and resulting collapse of local government revenue we are forced to innovate and find creative solutions. Technology is a critical component in our effort to continually improve services whilst reducing costs.”
Cities in the Living Labs Global association represent about 100 million citizens across Europe, Asia and the United States, and are complemented by more than 290 innovative companies and institutions.
Sascha Haselmayer, General Director of Living Labs Global explained that “with 65% of the global population disposing of mobile phones, it is the most accessible technology today. Solutions based on these technologies can change our lives and promote development in cities. The fact that more than 50% of the world’s population live in cities and that local government spending amounts to about 10% of global GDP underline the importance of this initiative. As an association our goal is to create transparency, exchange experiences and provide tangible market opportunity to entrepreneurs inventing such services.”
Haselmayer further underlines that “the Award will lead to the implementation of the winning solutions. This implies an important impact in our societies that will experience these solutions first-hand”.
Joan Riera, General Director of ESADE Creapolis presented the satisfaction of his innovation centre to be the host for the Award Ceremony on February 14th. Further, he pointed out that “it is great news that one of the companies located in Creapolis, Maia Media, is among the finalists for the Award.”