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December 11, 2018

First Smart Country Convention sets the standard

Trade fair and congress brings together representatives of local government, politics, the digital economy, associations and science

  • 500 speakers and 130 partners attended the event
  • The second Smart Country Convention will take place from 22 to 24 october 2019

Today in Berlin, the Smart Country Convention came to an end with a speech held by chancellery minister Prof. Dr. Helge Braun. ”It seems the new format has caught the mood of the industry – just the right incentive and momentum needed for 2019!“, said Messe Berlin CEO Dr. Christian Göke in his assessment of the three-day event. The show combined an exhibition, stage events, advanced training and large specialist congresses with numerous supporting events, startup pitches and hackathons. 130 partners and close to 500 speakers participated on the six  stages. Commenting on the new event Achim Berg, president of Bitkom, said: ”The first Smart Country Convention has already established itself as the leading platform for digitalisation of local government and public services. Germany still has a long way to go in the digitalised world, and this event will help to shorten that journey. It must be our aim to become a leading business location for the digital economy, local government and providing public welfare. The relevant technology and solutions exist. Now national, state and local governments must have the courage to act. The Smart Country Convention is our contribution to speeding up digitalisation in the public sector.“

Denmark, the partner country, highlighted its international experience at the Smart Country Convention over the three-day event. The Danish ambassador Friis Arne Petersen said: ”Digital innovation is essential if we want to maintain our pioneering role in Europe. According to the EU Commission, the United Nations and the OECD, Denmark is the European leader in digitalisation and the world leader in eGovernment. We already live in an advanced and citizen-friendly, digitalised society in Denmark and are happy to have demonstrated this at the Smart Country Convention in Berlin.“

In addition to the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the partner country Denmark, the event was supported by the three leading organisations representing local government – the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the Association of German Cities, the German County Association, as well as the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU). This display of joint support by the representatives of the public sector and the digital economy is unparalleled.

Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin: ”Close to 500 speakers, 150 hours of events on six stages and an exhibition area covering 6,000 m² – the first Smart Country Convention has laid the foundation for developing a leading international trade fair. Digitalisation of the public sector and public services is of such importance that it urgently requires a top-quality event. From our experience we know that leading trade fairs are not only a platform for exchanging specialist knowledge, but that they also accelerate the pace of innovation in the entire industry.“

 

The Smart Country Convention will be back from 22 to 24 October 2019 at the CityCube Berlin. The event is co-organised by the digital association Bitkom and Messe Berlin. The three-day event gathers all the relevant players representing local government, politics, the digital economy, associations and science. Combining a congress, workshops, expo and networking events, the Smart Country Convention examines the digital transformation of cities, communities and the public sector. The focus is on eGovernment as well as the digitalisation of public services in the fields of energy, transport, safety, waste disposal, water supplies, education, healthcare and housing.

Print-quality press photos of the Smart Country Convention can be downloaded here. TV footage is also available for editorial purposes.

The Smart Country Convention is a new event which focuses on the digitalisation of the public sector and is co-organised by the digital association Bitkom and Messe Berlin. The three-day event will take place annually in November on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and gather all the relevant players representing administrations, politics, the digital economy, associations and science. Combining a congress, workshops, expo and networking events, the Smart Country Convention will examine the digital transformation of cities, communities and the public sector. The focus will be on digital administrations as well as the digitalisation of public services in the fields of energy, transport, safety, waste disposal, water distribution, education, healthcare and housing.

Bitkom represents over 2,600 companies in the digital economy, over 1,800 of whom are direct members. With their IT and telecoms business alone, annual turnover is 190 billion euros, including exports worth 50 billion euros. Bitkom members in Germany employ a combined workforce of over 2 million. Among Bitkom’s members are 1,000 SMEs, over 400 startups and practically every global player. They market software, IT services, telecoms and internet services, manufacture appliances and components, represent the digital media or other parts of the digital economy. 80 per cent of these companies are based in Germany, 8 per cent each are in Europe and the US, and 4 per cent in other regions. Bitkom supports and is a driving force behind the digital transformation of the German economy and campaigns for a broad societal involvement in digital processes. The aim is to make Germany one of the world´s prime locations for digital business.

About Messe Berlin

Based on turnover and growth, Messe Berlin is among the world's ten leading trade fair companies. Each year it develops, markets and hosts hundreds of live events in Berlin and around the world. Its wide-ranging portfolio includes IFA, InnoTrans, ITB, FRUIT LOGISTICA and the International Green Week, all leading global trade fairs, as well as major conferences and outstanding events such as the street celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate. Messe Berlin has around 90 foreign representatives who market events in over 170 countries. Each year some 30,000 members of the media from all parts of the world obtain accreditation for events on the exhibition grounds in Berlin where the company has its headquarters. Thus, Messe Berlin acts as a driving force of the metropolis that is Berlin. Its aim is to be an outstanding host for visitors to every event at Messe Berlin, to give individuals an optimum boost for their business and to ensure fair conditions for everyone. This approach is reflected in the company slogan: ‘Messe Berlin – Hosting the World’. www.messe-berlin.de