1. To learn about the long term vision and decisions on urban & port mobility and smart city, over the election period, of the port developed cities located at the Black Sea.
2. To pass Flanders state of the art logistic, mobility and smart city technologies and applied expertise for a sustainable civic and customer service, without ignoring cost gain.
3. To look for partnerships with larger, medium sized and small business organisations, business schools and universities for in company learning of state of the art entrepreneurship & business in Flanders, with regard to logistic, mobility, smart city and other technologies supported by Flanders in spearhead clusters in full creation.
4. To explore the interest in a Flanders knowledge & Ukraine experience centre in Ukraine, with attention to logistics, mobility, smart city, food & beverages processing equipment, food & beverages and fashion.
5. To explore the interest in a logistic, mobility and smart city technologies transfer and facts finding mission to Flanders of the cities of Odessa, Mykolaiv and Kherson.
6. To explore the opportunity of a Port of Antwerp mobility and logistics mission to the Ports of Odessa and Mykolaiv in 2017 (including the opportunity of an Antwerp Red Star Line Museum exhibition about the Jewish emigration around the turm of the 19th century over Antwerp to the US).
Public sector has to invest time to understand the language of the private sector and vice versa. In most of the cases, the public sector is not aware of the technological solutions and the private sector is not aware of the future needs of the city. It is not about a private partner that invests in a city. Collaboration models and financial schemes have to be developed in order to realize sustainable logistics, urban mobility and other smart city solution that give an answer to the need of the port developed city. Regional or federal legislation blocks innovation and implementation of smart city technologies. One may have to stick to small innovation projects and does not come to scalable and sustainable implementations.
The first question of our fact finding mission is: What is the need of the port developed city? Short, medium and long term investments can be made based on that need. In the first place the development of a long term vision and decisions over the election period is needed. The city and governmental organizations (e.g. public transport, energy, …) will start with an open mindset.
Citizens are part of the project. You cannot start to integrate residential buildings on a smart grid when the citizen is not involved. The citizen is a key player, who has to follow up his energy consumption, adapt his consumption in function of the availability of the electricity, etc. Information sessions are needed to inform the citizens. During the project feedback of the citizen is crucial to adapt the system in favor of everybody’s comfort. The possibility is there to have a city without city hall, with remote communication with the citizen, to have self-energy sustained cities based on renewable energy and storage, with electrical automated and connected public transport, with energy-neutral and automated regulated houses, where green (in walls and roofs) plays an important role, where working and living is embedded in the environment, and where comfort is foreseen so that young families and elderly can live together.
"Learning from the clustering winners."
The Flemish government approved on March 4th, 2016 the final conditions for innovation clusters in Flanders. The objective of the cluster policy is unlocking untapped economic potential and achieving competitiveness increases in Flemish companies through an active and sustained cooperation between different international lead and small and medium sized companies, research and knowledge centres and government (triple helix). The ever faster changing economic and technological environment pushes companies to pay attention to new value chains that are multidisciplinary and reach across traditional sector boundaries. Moreover more than in the past, the emphasis is lying on the step following research and development, with activities focused on bringing to market the innovative processes, products and services developed within the cluster. Examples of successful global clusters that are responding adequately are well known: Silicon Valley, Boston-Cambridge, Singapore, Oxford and Brainport Eindhoven in Holland. They have managed to build a huge economic advantage and thus to take a position as a world leader in a particular specialty area.
The Flemish government cluster policy is aimed at groups of Flemish companies with growth ambitions, being conscious about innovation, looking over the borders and willing to work together with other companies and knowledge centres. Through the cluster they realise their own business objectives but they contribute as well to the competitiveness increase at a large group of Flemish companies. The Chamber of Commerce BeNeLux - Ukraine offers its 25 years Ukraine experience for the international orientation of the clusters at the one hand. At the other hand our Chamber makes use of the open mind set to offer to Ukrainian entrepreneurs and managers visits and in company learning at that large group of Flemish companies, research and knowledge centres. This will allow Ukrainian companies to find easier their place in the EU market. In order to achieve a level of excellence in terms of innovation and new business there can't be many clusters and they have to focus on activities with higher added value. One of the first clusters in Flanders covers logistics and what comes with logistics.
"We put the cat with the milk and learn to like it as cream."
"Solid democracy and strong civic society come through entrepreneurship."
After 25 years we are more than ever convinced of these. The gained conviction helps to make more of less.