Swiss Innovations at the Smart Cities Expo 2017

By Mattia Mäder, Junior Manager – Academic Relations & Projects, May 2017

In my previous blog post ‘How Smart are the Cities in Switzerland?‘, I’ve outlined the Swiss scope and initiatives in the field of Smart Cities. At the 3rd Smart Cities Expo 2017 in New Delhi from May 10th to May 12th, Switzerland presented innovative solutions that have a great potential for application in India. Why India? To name one reason: The Government of India started a “Smart Cities” Mission about two years ago and since then progress in 60 cities out of selected 100 cities have been picking up. Reportedly, 731 smart city projects worth INR 46,400 crores (CHF 7 billion) have been approved, and implementation has started for many projects. India now plans to have 109 smart cities by 2022.

In a joint effort by the Swiss Business Hub India (SBHI), Swiss Cooperation Office India (SCO India), Presence Switzerland (PRS), Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi and swissnex India, a pavilion was set up with nine Swiss exhibitors showcasing their technologies to make Indian cities smarter.

The Swiss Startups

Discover the two Swiss startups hosted by swissnex India – Smixin and Treatech

Smixin delivers a smart hand-washing solution for public areas and office
buildings. Its systems enable 90% water saving and 60% soap saving per hand
wash, resulting in over 500 kg CO2 reduction per system per year. Their
demonstration unit
attracted many visitors and was used 180 times in the 3 days of the Expo. Jean-Michel Deckers, CEO of Smixin, valued the opportunity to meet learned visitors who not only wanted to try the unique hand-washing machine but also inquired about purchase points for their own establishments in India.
TreaTech develops a liquid waste treatment technology that will enable an
eco-friendly treatment of the ever-increasing quantities of wastewater – while
recycling its valuable by-products and most notably clean water. At an early stage
of his business, Frédéric Juillard, CEO of TreaTech, had the opportunity to
showcase the technology which will be converted to a demonstration unit
presumably by early 2018. Additionally, he was able to meet a senior official of
the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India and a
professor at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) to discuss potential
opportunities for joint research.

The Swiss Companies

SBHI hosted five Swiss Cleantech companies. BNL Clean Energy Group provides plants that generate clean energy from waste. Paradox Engineering designs and markets Internet of Things solutions and services for smart industrial and urban networks. Sensile Technologies offers solutions for remote monitoring of tanks and meters, resulting in improved efficiencies and lower costs of the costumer’s bulk delivery planning. Sofies International is a consulting, services and project management group, focused on promoting sustainable, inclusive economic development. Last but not least, South Pole Group provides global sustainability solutions and services.

Indo-Swiss Cooperation Projects

SCO India presented their two Smart Cities projects. The Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project BEEP  provides technical assistance to reduce the energy consumption of buildings through efficient integrated design and innovative solutions such as external shading. The project CapaCITIES provides technical assistance support to four Indian cities – Coimbatore, Rajkot, Siliguri and Udaipur – in becoming low-carbon and climate resilient.

The Swiss Session

During the session ‘Swiss innovation for smart cities in India’ on the second day of the Expo, the Cleantech companies and projects presented and discussed their solutions directly with the audience. The Ambassador of Switzerland to India, Dr. Andreas Baum, inaugurated the session by pointing out the cooperation between India and Switzerland in business, science and technologies and how Swiss cities have become more sustainable in the past two decades. More than 100 people followed the presentation of Dr. Shirish Sinha, Deputy Head of SCO India, who named the enormous challenges the fast-growing Indian cities are facing today. As a concrete example, the Mayor of Siliguri, Mr. Asok Narayan Bhattacharya, presented his city’s urban development plans for the next five years. The following discussion and interaction with the public focused on the implementation of the presented Swiss solutions into the Indian market.

View the complete Swiss session or hear the speakers briefly describing their enhancing experience in a short video.
Furthermore, an evening dinner reception at the Embassy of Switzerland in India and Bhutan brought together 80 smart cities stakeholders from business, government, technology and science for more casual interactions.

Outcome

The Swiss Pavilion received footfalls of over 1000 visitors during the three days of the Expo. It proved to be an excellent platform for the Swiss exhibitors to connect with the Indian market. Also, the Swiss presence at the Smart Cities Expo was organised as a part of the 70 Years of Swiss-Indian Friendship: Connecting Minds – Inspiring the Future (SIF70). The biennial initiative (2017-18) includes a series of events to commemorate the anniversary of the Swiss-Indian Treaty of Friendship, which was signed in New Delhi on August 14, 1948.

By attending the conference, I had the opportunity to learn a lot not only from the Swiss exhibitors, but also about what’s trending in Smart Cities in India – the basis for my more comprehensive report on Smart Cities in India which will soon be uploaded on our website. Stay tuned!

Revisit the three day expo through these images!