Denmark was the exclusive partner at the first German Smart Country Convention. The three-day program brought together digital business solutions and ideas, politics, trade organisations and the public sector, combining a congress, workshops, expo and networking events.
The Smart Country Convention 2018 (SCC) was organised by Bitkom, Germany’s most influential digital trade organisation, and Messe Berlin in cooperation with the German Ministry of the Interior, who is responsible for the digitisation of the public sector in Germany. The organisers had selected Denmark, as digital frontrunner nation, to inspire Germany on how to utilise digitisation to create a strong and sustainable growth economy and an effective and well-managed public sector. The convention with the slogan “Digitise Public Services” took place from 20 – 22 November at CityCube Berlin.
Danish Prime Minister opened the Convention
Denmark was invited as partner country to the conference due to its lead position on rankings of most digitalised countries in the world. Most prominent rankings include EU’s 2018 Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) and the UN’s 2018 ranking of eGovernment. As Germany works toward bettering its position, Denmark was invited to share its experiences and concrete solutions. As part of the official Danish trade promotion in Germany, Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen headed the Danish business delegation.
He opened the convention with the words: “It is no coincidence that the Smart Country Convention takes place here. You are an important pillar for Europe and an inspiration to the world. Digitisation is not only a challenge for every single country but an issue in which we can only make a concerted effort to progress. I hope that this congress will facilitate further cooperation within our European family.”
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Link between digitisation and sustainable development
As a partner, Smart Country Denmark was showcased throughout the convention – in speeches, conferences and workshops as well as in the exhibition area. Presentations of Smart Country Denmark revolved around three main themes: Future of work, smart health and smart urban solutions. The later was opened by Executive Director of State of Green, Finn Mortensen, illustrating the importance of digitalisation in developing sustainable societies and associated considerations.
“Most of us have now heard many times that Denmark is one of the best when it comes to digitisation. And this is evident in our energy, water and heat sector, where data and access to consumer data are important now and in the future. In that regard, I think it is important to understand the Danish model correctly. Namely that partnerships based on credibility and mutual trust are crucial. The public and private work together, as do our owners, to be able to use data and digitisation as a means. In the Danish population, there is also a high level of trust in the public sector and towards each other. This is crucial as this enables models, solutions and methods to be developed, based on actual data from consumers,” Finn Mortensen explained.
Minister addressing Danish-German relations
Lars Christian Lilleholt, Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate opened the Smart Urban Solutions Conference with a speech on digitisation. Addressing the close partnership between Germany and Denmark, Lilleholt said:
“There is a huge potential in [Danish] energy exports to Germany when looking at the energy policy objectives for 2030 and 2050. We already have a close and fruitful governmental cooperation with Germany, which we are strengthening now. With this new effort, we will clearly signal that we are still a strong partner for the Germans within the field of energy-planning solutions for the green change. And the conference today is an optimal springboard for Denmark”.
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Denmark greatly represented in Berlin
Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Lars Chr. Lilleholt were not the only high profile Danes in Berlin. Sofie Løhde, Minister of Public Innovation, and Ellen Trane Nørby, Minister of Health, also held speeches at the Convention. The participation was planned and arranged by the Danish Embassy in Germany, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Export Association.
More than 30 Danish companies took part in the convention, including Danfoss, Grundfos, Rambøll, Kamstrup, Logstor and many more. The event will take place annually in November in Berlin and will gather all the relevant players representing administrations, politics, the digital economy, associations and science.
Photo credit: www.kasperjensen.com