Official Launch of DEVISE project in Santander

Photo L- R. Keith McManus – IT Sligo, Patrick Devine – NWRA, Jose Manuel San Emeterio – ERNACT, Aidan McKenna _ Enterprise Ireland, Michael O’Brien – NWRA and Tara Nicholas – Derry and Strabane District Council.

Partners from the Northern Western Regional Assembly and ERNACT were joined by two stakeholders from Enterprise Ireland and IT Sligo at the Official launch of the DEVISE project in the port city of Santander on the 29thJanuary 2019.

The launch event was hosted by the Spanish partner, the Regional Government of Cantabria included a workshop and presentations on Industry 4.0 and a number of site visits to technology companies in the region.

In the morning, D. Jorge Muyo López (General Director of Innovation, Technological Development and Industrial Entrepreneurship) welcomed more than 50 attendees including representatives from companies of digital and other key sectors such as manufacturing, DEVISE partners and their stakeholders from Ireland, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Finland, United Kingdom, France and Belgium.

Following the welcome, attendees started their day by participating in the workshop Factories of the future Cantabria – focused on industry 4.0 as one of the big enablers in the digital transformation of SMEs. The workshop allowed us to get the perspective from actors from different types of organisations, including the Spanish Industrial School Organisation (EOI), digital SMEs providing solutions in fields like robotics (IBEROBOTICS) or virtual reality (BINARYBOX STUDIOS) and manufacturing and automotive companies immersed in the process of their digital transformation like FUNDICIONES CARG, SEG AUTOMOTIVE, FLUIDOS Y MECÁNICA Cantabria and FLYMCA. A fruitful discussion took place reflecting on key factors like the development of Industry 4.0 skills among the staff and the importance of leading the digital transformation from inside the organisation.

In the afternoon, the DEVISE partnership had the opportunity to visit the Santander Teleport, a unique facility providing satellite coverage over the Americas, Europe, Africa, parts of Asia, as well as the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

On day two, partners met for their first Steering Committee (SC) meeting to review progress on project activities and agree on future steps. In parallel, stakeholders had the opportunity to attend very interesting site visits including the Santander International Entrepreneurship Centre, the Traffic and Public Transport modelling laboratory and the Telematics Engineering Group (GIT) of the University of Cantabria, with wide expertise and long track record in Smart Cities, recognised at EU level for having led flagship projects such as Smart Santander.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Regional Government of Cantabria for organising a fruitful event, and to partners and stakeholders who made the journey.

Visiting stakeholders visited the University of Cantabria and first met with Professor Federico Gutiérrez-Solana from the Santander International Entrepreneurship Centre.  Professor Solana and his team outlined the programmes offered to support Entrepreneurship throughout Spain and internationally.

Next the group met with the Transport Systems Research Group at the University for a demonstration of a research on traffic management.  Using multiple sources of data such as traffic counters, traffic cameras, traffic light information and bus tracking the centre provides solutions for traffic management, emergency response and the planning and management of public transport.

Figure 1- Traffic Systems Research Group

The final presentation was of the Smart Santander project, a future internet project.  The project involves the deployment of thousands of sensors and Internet of Things (IOT) devices throughout the city for Santander and the monitoring and analysis of the data to improve services to the city and its inhabitants.