City of Groningen to create smart city infrastructure

Groningen in the Netherlands signs a memorandum of understanding with Huawei to develop a smart city infrastructure

The city government of Groningen in the Netherlands, along with the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), will roll out a smart city infrastructure based on technology to be supplied by Chinese networking supplier Huawei.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at the conclusion of Huawei’s European Smart City Summit in Amsterdam on 3 June 2015.

Huawei already has smart city projects underway with Amsterdam, The Hague and Tilburg in the Netherlands, and works with city governments in more than 40 other countries besides.

The supplier plans to explore a number of strategic relationships with various bodies in and around Groningen, which is situated in the far north-east of the Netherlands, a long way from the country’s main economic and population centres.

“Huawei is committed to contributing to the city of Groningen by improving the quality and intelligence of citizens' lives, and enhancing environmental protection, public safety, urban services and business activities,” said Huawei’s western Europe enterprise business president, Leon He.

Folkert Kupiers, speaking for the UMCG, said that deepening co-operation with Huawei offered advantages both for the medical centre, which is one of the largest in Europe, and the city itself.

“Groningen is already leading in some areas. This leading position can be further expanded with a global player,” he said.

Vice-mayor of Groningen, Joost van Keulen, said the collaboration cemented Groningen as a knowledge and innovation city. “Again there is a large foreign ICT company that recognises the many opportunities that our city could provide,” he said.

Huawei’s smart city concept revolves around a set of technologies that range across the public sector, covering aspects such as safety and emergency command technology, healthcare, education, energy supply, and tourism – all of which it plans to explore in Groningen.

With speakers including numerous city representatives – one of which is Amsterdam's chief technology officer, Ger Baron – the supplier’s Smart City Summit has brought together public sector representatives from across the Netherlands, as well as Germany and the UK.

The summit, which will be running until 5 June 2015, is examining a number of aspects of the smart city movement, including the future of European Union policy around smart cities.

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