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October 27, 2020

Virtual Smart Country Convention starts today

▪ 27 – 28 October 2020: Virtual congress and trade fair for the public sector

▪ Key topics: E-Government and the Smart City

▪ Speakers include Heiko Maas, Thierry Breton and Dorothee Bär

In Germany a visit to a local authority takes 148 minutes on average. Visiting online would be much faster and easier. According to a representative survey of the population commissioned by the digital association Bitkom, people want online services above all for passport and ID card applications, and a centralised portal where they can register their children at kindergarten and school. Many local government offices have already introduced new online services during the coronavirus pandemic. “The majority of German citizens want to deal with local authorities online“, said Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, managing director of Bitkom. “What is important is that online access to a local authority is user-friendly, quick and environmentally sustainable.  Policymakers, businesses and municipalities need to talk about the next steps and make the digital transformation permanent. With the Smart Country Convention we are bringing all the players together.“ 

The Special Edition is 100 per cent virtual

This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Smart Country Convention will be an entirely virtual event. The congress programme will be live-streamedand can be followed from the comfort of one’s home or in the office. “The events taking place at the Smart Country Convention are now more topical than ever“, said Jens Heithecker, executive vice president of Messe Berlin. “Whether home-schooling, online public services or videolinked doctors’ surgeries – the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation. At the Smart Country Convention leading figures from politics, the digital economy and science will be highlighting what the digital transformation of the public sector is about. The object is to learn from the experiences of the best, speed up digitalisation and implement it according to people’s needs.”

E-Gov Day (27 Oct.) and Smart City Day (28 Oct.)

This year’s event will place special emphasis on E-Government and smart cities: 27 October is E-Gov Day, when the spotlight will be on digital sovereignty, the latest developments concerning the Online Access Act (OZG), electronic identification, IT security and cloud computing in local government. The Federal Ministry of the Interior will also present its digitalisation strategy. 28 October is Smart City Day. Taking best practices as examples, experts will highlight ways to achieve the smart city of the future, whether through smart services for towns and rural areas, data platforms or urban mobility.

Leading figures representing politics, local government and the digital economy have been invited to speak. They include Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Finland’s Minister of Education Li Andersson, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior Anne Katrin Bohle, and Dr. Markus Richter, Government Commissioner for Information Technology and State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Theo Blackwell, CDO for London, Prof. Dr. Kristina Sinemus, Minister for Digital Strategy and Development of the state of Hesse, Thomas Bönig, CDO for Munich, and José David da Torre Suárez, managing director of the Digital City Darmstadt, will report on developments in cities and municipalities. The partners of the Smart Country Convention will also present their solutions for the digital transformation of the public sector, among them Accenture, Bechtle, Bundesdruckerei, BWI, Google Cloud, Huawei, SAP, Telekom and Smart City Berlin.

In order to follow the live-streamed programme of events please register here. Registration is free of charge.

Our Partner Highlights will have news about the topics and innovations that our partners are presenting at the event.

Press photos can be be downloaded here.