Epson has signed an agreement as technology partner to Ålesund Futurlab – U4SSC (United for Smart Sustainable Cities implementation program), which is part of the UN’s implementation program aimed at utilising technology to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in cities around the world.
Ålesund Futurlab is based in the Norwegian archipelago seaport of Ålesund and comprises an interdisciplinary partner network from academia, public sector, industry and commerce. It has been created to accelerate sustainable development and to cooperate on smart and sustainable projects including the development of a digital collaboration platform for the creation of smarter cities worldwide.
Epson has already been working closely with the Offshore Simulator Centre (OSC) at Campus Ålesund, which uses Epson technology to support the Norwegian Maritime Competence Centre (NMK). At NMK, Epson laser projectors play a key role in the development of smarter solutions including the creation of virtual meeting spaces, development of control rooms for autonomous vessels to monitor shipping traffic in real time and to shape the future of the global maritime industry.
Epson expertise and visualisation technology used in NMK’s shipping simulator is now being applied to other emergency planning including scenarios for the fire and rescue services to reduce response times without the need for new road construction. This visualisation tool has also become the official tool for the UN to simulate city development for all cities in the world.
Henning Ohlsson, Sustainability & CSR Director, Epson Europe, commented: “We are honoured to be invited to participate in this socially transforming project. The U4SSC implementation program will help cities and societies all over the world to transform the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into actions and results. In 2020, the program will work actively to create a solid framework for local development and use the best available technology to deliver smarter solutions for cities and communities across the world.
“Through the partnership with U4SSC, Epson will participate in a global network where cities exchange their knowledge and strengths to find sustainable and smart solutions. Epson is committed to delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and this initiative relates well to SDG17, in developing effective partnerships to deliver positive social change.”
Marielle Furnes Mannseth, Managing Director of Ålesund Future Lab, added: “Epson is an important addition to the program and Ålesund Future Lab is very pleased to include one of the world’s largest technology manufacturers as an IT partner. This will give the partnership a new perspective and even greater breadth and we look forward to working together with Epson to develop new technology solutions for UN smart cities in the future.”
To see a video on Epson technology in use at the Ålesund Futurlab go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N1dsqYduTs
About the U4SSC’s implementation program
16 UN organizations stand behind the development of a measuring tool that makes it possible to evaluate the performance of cities and communities in every country, as well as where they have the best conditions for smart and sustainable development and value creation. This regards each location individually, but primarily together with other partners across sectors and countries.
Ålesund as the first region
In the last three years, 100 cities across the world have been evaluated with this tool. The new municipality Ålesund consisting of five former municipalities, Sula and Giske, was the first regional city to be included in this network. Using the measuring tool, a team of international and local experts have collected data and KPIs to develop the smart city profile and analyse the region’s standing linked to the use of smart technologies and sustainability. Among others, the study includes people’s health as well as how well the health care system works, water loss, public transport, organized outdoor areas, education, equality and more. The project has always recognized the fact that it will not be possible to reach the sustainability goals without close cooperation with private businesses and academia.
Other municipalities in Norway are also performing or have finished their KPI analyses such as Asker, Bærum, Trondheim, Bodø, Rana, Stavanger, Haugesund, Narvik, Karmøy, Molde and Kristiansund.