In a series of six breakfast meetings, the founding partners of The Beacon lift the veil of their innovation strategy, objectives, and pipeline. More important, they explain how tech companies can participate in these initiatives.
07/10 - City of Antwerp
Antwerp is the first city in Belgium that appointed a dedicated Chief Digital Officer. Mr. Youri Seghers and his team initiate and implement the City's internal digitization strategy and determine the innovation agenda. One of their key objectives is to increase the dialogue with, and participation of technology companies. The CDO and his team will discuss the following topics at the first Innovation Briefing.
- Digital transformation strategy City of Antwerp
- New strategy Smart City
- New strategy Central Data Layer
- Enterprise Architecture & Procurement strategy Fabric
8/11 - Port of Antwerp
Piet Opstaele, Innovation Lead at the Port of Antwerp, took us for a dive into one of the largest ports in Europe, and the second largest chemical cluster in the world. Indeed, the Port of Antwerp is a lot more than just seagoing vessels coming in, and offloading their containers. The port is an economy, and one of the main employment and growth engines in our country.
This broad approach is also reflected in Port of Antwerp's innovation strategy, as explained by Piet. Becoming a sustainable port, including the energy transition of one of the historically most pollutive clusters, is one of the three key objectives in this strategy.
The smart use of data was a common thread in Piet's explanation as well. The Port of Antwerp has pioneered the NxtPort data platform, and is taking steps towards the development of a fully fledged Digital Twin.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Data only isn't the panacea. As a matter of fact, Piet gave a number of insightful examples to illustrate the higher effectiveness of people vs. data when it comes to loading/unloading containers, and the downside of automation projects in terminals.
Ecosystems and communities have taken a central place in the Port's overall strategy in the past couple of years. For innovation, the collaboration between the Port and other stakeholders - such as the City of Antwerp - has culminated into a rich, diverse and dynamic mesh of hubs and communities such as BlueChem, NextGen District and of course, The Beacon!