SmartUp Accelerator often meets with people that can give us a sense of how policies and global trends influence innovation. How can these learnings be understood in relation to smart mobility?
At a SmartUp event in Estonia on April 22nd, counsellor on Transport and Energy in Ministry of the Environment Mart Raamat said that:
“Overall, the EU has done an incredibly good job in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. But there are three sectors where emissions have increased and these are all transport-related – we are lacking innovation in these sectors.“
What Mart Ramaat says is in line with views of the European Commission (EC). In 2016, they proposed that EU member states should commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so-called Effort Sharing Regulation goals (ESR). This in order to reduce overall emissions by a total of 30% in 2030. They also stressed the need for special actions to be taken within transportation due to challenges in making the necessary progression in this sector.
In Estonia, for example, much of their transport emission reductions come from their efforts to meet the ESR goals. The Estonian ESR target has been set to 13 % compared to 2005 levels and the transportation sector, with its heavy impact, is key in reaching this goal. So what is happening in Estonia within this field? In the city of Tartu, a new sharing system for electric bikes has been one of the priorities for mobility and by the end of 2019 all public buses will be running on gas.
What about trends affecting smart societies and mobility?
As mobility strategies are applied, the EC states that consumers will see environmental and safety-related enhancements, to name a few benefits. Technology is one important aspect in this as vehicles and transport infrastructure become connected and more refined – a process that is already very much underway with sharing services and automated driving.
At the Swedish Innovation Parliament in Karlskrona in May 2019, futurist Claudia Olsson discussed this topic by talking about exponential technological development. During her presentation, members of the industry organization Swedish Incubators and Science Parks listened intently as she presented technological innovations from all around the globe and stressed the importance of looking forward, keeping pace and being informed about what lies ahead.
On the topic of smart societies, which was the theme of this year’s Innovation Parliament, Claudia describes that a connected world and a smart society is something that requires us to learn continuously. At the same event, inspirational speaker on creativity,Tobias Degsell, suggested that people with different perspectives need to be included in creating development and taking on new challenges for the most relevant solutions to be identified.
What can SmartUp Accelerator do?
The EC state that local variations create a need for local strategies and policies to meet the overall aim. SmartUp Accelerator supports this by providing new innovation tools that meet local needs.
After the Latvian national seminar in Riga on April 25th, our SmartUp colleague Karlis Kivlenieks at the University of Latvia put quite nicely how all of this can be understood in relation to SmartUp Accelerator:
“My own personal conclusion after this seminar is that we should see more new solutions in the smart mobility field in Latvia in the upcoming years. There are many projects and activities going on. We need to understand how can we complement each other to get the best result. Smartup Accelerator will be one of the stakeholders that will educate people through our seminars and trainings in order to bring new companies from the Baltic Sea Region to enter Latvian market and test their products here.”
Already in 2019, smartups with smart mobility solutions can apply to join the SmartUps acceleration phase for companies that want to target a new market around the Baltic Sea. Karlis says that is was clear during the seminar in Riga that Latvia is becoming a good testbed for smart mobility startups and SMEs.