" A CITY NAVIGATING TO THE TOP TEN SCALE-UP CITIES IN EUROPE"- CLAUDE MARINOWER, ALDERMAN FOR ECONOMY, INNOVATION AND DIGITALISATION
In 1906, riots broke out in Verviers, Liège, caused by lamplighters protesting the electrification of city lighting. Today, Antwerp is experimenting with smart street lighting using software and smart sensors. This is just one example of how a twenty-first century city is in full digital transition.
As alderman for the Economy, Innovation and Digitalisation, I am making every effort to fulfill our ambition that Antwerp is rated as one of the top ten European scale-up cities by 2025.
Antwerp has emerged as a strong player in the innovation field in recent years. Between 2013 and 2018 the number of (digital) start-ups doubled. The capital raised by start-ups increased fourfold. Thanks to urban support, the market continued to grow at the same fast pace.
In 2020, the Corona crisis turned the world’s economy – and thus also Antwerp’s – upside down. But the city council did not give up. By launching two calls for innovative solutions against the pandemic, we gave Antwerp’s tech sector a strong boost. Following this call, the company Byteflies rolled out a telemonitoring system for Covid-19 patients, enabling them to leave the hospital sooner.
Digitalisation, the circular economy, creative and health are the four lines on which the city of Antwerp has focused its investments in innovation. This has been done via innovation hubs such as The Beacon and Campus29 (digitalisation), BlueChem and BlueApp (the circular economy) and Vaccinopolis (health) and via the network of Antwerp. Powered by Creatives.
Together, private initiatives, public initiatives and publicprivate partnerships have created an unprecedented dynamic. I am convinced that Antwerp has what it takes to help shape the economic growth that awaits us.
Claude Marinower has been part of the College of Aldermen in Antwerp since 2013. First for Education and from 2019 for Economy, Work, Innovation, Industry, Digitalisation, Marketing and Communication, Public domain and Litigation.