IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Urban ICT Arena: Testbeds for digitalisation in an urban environment

Urban ICT Arena is a co-creation arena in Kista Science City, one of the world’s leading ICT-clusters, that believes in cooperation as crucial for meeting the goals set out in Agenda 2030. Urban ICT Arena provides tools for ICT companies and the public sector to overcome tomorrow’s challenges – today.

Kista Science City is the reality lab of Urban ICT Arena. It has real people in it, with real buildings, real traffic and real conditions. This is where the Urban ICT Arena IoT testbed is located. The testbed is ready for plug and play, which is the ideal spot for testing smart city devices such as sensors and hardware. All the necessary infrastructure for testing is already in place.
But technology cannot build smart cities alone. That is why Urban ICT Arena is working together with the public sector to ensure that our municipalities, regions and authorities are on board as well. Cooperation is crucial to bridge the gap between IoT-companies and the public sector.

Three Aims

1. Developing sustainable cities
In many cities, both policymakers and industry work hard to meet three urban challenges: social, economic and environmental sustainability. ICT is often described as a key component of the solutions to these challenges. Although there are many examples of successful ICT initiatives tackling such challenges, both clients and contractors still have a long way to go before the potential of ICT is fully realized to make cities truly sustainable. A lack of coordination between clients and contractors is one of the areas in need of improvement.

One of the aims of Urban ICT Arena is to foster more ICT-based solutions for urban sustainability challenges than there are at present, resulting in both greater impact (individually and in conjunction with other solutions) and lower costs.

2. Boosting innovation
The rate of growth of ICT, especially the Internet of Things, Big Data and 5G, is extremely fast. However, many innovation processes lose momentum too early, and in some cases fail permanently.

One aim of Urban ICT Arena is to secure and strengthen the capability to support innovation processes and to support SMEs and start-ups in developing ICT-based products and services. In particular, the region needs to get better at attracting new talent, and the role of the arena in boosting attractiveness for skilled labor can play a key part in this effort.

3. Securing the jobs of tomorrow
Kista Science City and the surrounding area have served as an engine for driving the growth of the jobs and labor market of tomorrow for nearly three decades.

One of the long-term aims of Urban ICT Arena is to advance the region and prepare it for new future demands. This will be done by securing more jobs in the region and determining the skills required to meet future needs.


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