According to the UN, up to 70 percent of the world's population is expected to live in cities by 2050. This creates major challenges and calls for new innovative and digital solutions that can push construction and urban development in a more efficient and sustainable direction.
Now, eight start-ups selected from across the globe will help to turbo-charge the development of tech-based solutions for future sustainable cities - in the Nordics, and around the world.
This is done through Urbantech - an innovation programme for the world's most promising and innovative technology start-ups. Three Danish corporations, COWI, VKR Holding / VELUX and EWII are behind the initiative, with support from philanthropic organisations Realdania and the Danish Industry Foundation.
In the Urbantech programme, the eight start-ups get the opportunity to scale and grow their solutions, through an intense and tailored acceleration process.
Through Urbantech, the start-ups will team up with COWI, VKR Holding/VELUX and EWII. These three Danish companies will help the start-ups to further develop their technology and businesses. The innovative approaches coming into play range from advanced materials (e.g. Solartes and WattGlass), innovative uses of sensors (e.g. Breeze Technologies, CLIMAID and Linc), new ways to manage projects and assets in the urban space (CAALA and VisiLean), to gaining strategic insights from data flows (e.g. InfoTiles), plus technology with a potential to be applied at scale, yielding significant sustainability gains for cities across the world.
Urbantech creates business results
This is the second time Urbantech has run as a programme. During the first round, in 2019, the outcome was a range of pilot successes. These included transparent solar cells applied in new ways, sensors for improving indoor climate and sensor-based technology that minimises geotechnical uncertainties on megaprojects. Furthermore, for many start-ups, the collaboration provided a boost to their commercial development.
The business partners also experienced a business gain from the collaboration:
"We look forward to this year's team of innovative companies with ideas for sustainable development of the cities of the future. Our experience from the first year is that this type of collaboration enriches both parties. Urbantech is also an important source of inspiration for our portfolio businesses - including product development in VELUX" says Mads Kann-Rasmussen, CEO of VKR Holding.
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