field lab MUC-AMS update

Signing LoI field lab MUC-AMS 11 Oct

This press release is sent out by Creative Holland, October 8.

Successful collaboration between Munich and Amsterdam enters next phase with Cities of Things field lab

On 11 October 2011, at the EXPO REAL event in Munich, City of Amsterdam alderperson Victor Everhardt and Clemens Baumgärtner, Head of the Department of Labour and Economic Development of the City of Munich, will sign a Letter of Intent regarding the continued partnership between the two cities on innovation and the creative industry. This signals the joint launch of the ‘Cities of Things’ field lab: a program to identify and test new solutions for urban issues.

This joint field lab follows from the Creative Embassy MUC-AMS initiative, in which Dutch and German creative companies cooperate to develop solutions for the challenges facing society. With these programs, Creative Holland (an initiative of the Dutch ‘top sector’ program supporting the creative industry) aims to stimulate international business development. The goal is to give Dutch creative SMEs a kick-start on the other side of the border.

Launched in 2017, the Creative Embassy by the top sector program has a unique approach, based on collaboration between government, academia and industry (public-private partnership, PPP), and a business development manager for Germany with a foothold in the Dutch creative industry.

Another strength of Creative Embassy is that it works in close cooperation with consulates to identify local issues and explore the possibilities for Dutch creative companies to respond and generate new business.

On 11 October 2021, Clemens Baumgärtner, Head of the Department of Labour and Economic Development of the City of Munich, and Victor Everhardt, City of Amsterdam alderperson, will sign a Letter of Intent to continue the Creative Embassy partnership between the two cities. ‘Cities of Things’ is the first field lab to arise from this partnership.

Deputy Mayor Everhardt says: “This cooperation between our creative businesses and those in Munich is very important for Amsterdam. Both the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the Munich region are home to numerous innovative companies that create new solutions for urban challenges, such as making logistics more sustainable. We need these innovations to keep our regions healthy, environmentally friendly and liveable. The knowledge shared as part of this partnership with Munich accelerates the innovative process and makes our companies more competitive. In addition, for an open economy like ours in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, international business is vital to the long-term economic well-being of our region.”

Jann de Waal, chair of the creative industry top sector program, says: “In the ‘Cities of Things’ field lab, companies from Amsterdam and Munich will work together on challenges that are familiar to both cities. The diplomatic post in Munich cannot do business development for these individual companies. And for most companies, a dedicated international sales representative is unaffordable. So, to us, the field lab collaboration is an opportunity to build a long-term partnership between public and private organizations from both countries.”

Iskandar Smit, the founder of the Cities of Things foundation, says: “New intelligent technology brings new opportunities, but it must be designed in such a way that it can add value for the people living in the city and that there is an economic spin-off at the same time. Some challenges are familiar to us all, such as the ‘last-mile delivery of packages, collection points for parcels, logistical routes for vehicles and the use of cargo bikes. But just as important is the interaction with elderly and young people in a digitally oriented city. An important partner in Munich is the Munich Urban Colab, with German academic and research institutes, several companies, and the City of Munich. In the Netherlands, Space and Matter, Springtime, Sophisti, INFO, WAAG, the Cities of Things Foundation, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and various companies from the Amsterdam Area are involved.”

Gerbrand Bas, secretary of the Creative Industry Federation, explains the importance of bilateral cooperation: “The Dutch creative industry is vital to finding solutions to the societal challenges facing so many large cities, in the areas of health, safety, energy and climate. By continuing this partnership, Amsterdam and Munich are reconfirming their confidence in this approach.”

Carina Weijma, business development manager Germany for the creative industry top sector program, says: “We aim to exchange knowledge and share solutions across our borders. Both cities in the Netherlands and Germany have stated their wish to learn from each other. With the Cities of Things concept, we lay the foundations for a long-term exchange that generates value for commerce, academia, and for regions. The Dutch NLinBusiness organization also supports the public-private partnership. We look forward to sharing knowledge this way between the two cities, but especially to the business, it generates. Perhaps we can share the experience we gain here with other densely populated cities.”

Head of the Department of Labour and Economic Development of the City of Munich, Clemens Baumgärtner: “The City of Munich is actively working to strengthen and expand its position as a center of innovation. One of our flagship projects in this respect is the Munich Urban Colab, jointly established by the City of Munich and UnternehmerTUM. At the start-up and innovation center, which opened in June, companies, the city administration and science work together in dialog with Munich residents to develop sustainable solutions for the city of the future. Innovations thrive on impulses from outside. The Amsterdam metropolitan region has many interesting, innovative companies and shows courage in trying out new ideas – we can certainly learn from them. That’s why I have high expectations for the synergy effects that will result from the cooperation between Amsterdam and Munich, and I am pleased that we are continuing and deepening our long-term relationship.”