Events – EIC ePitching to Procurers with Parkering Malmö: Turning smart parking into a reality
On 30 September 2021, Parkering Malmö partnered up with the European Innovation Council to address an important question: achieving sustainability in parking for the greater good of the city. Integrated in the EIC ePitching Procurers Day, eight EIC-backed SMEs presented their innovative solutions to address this pressing matter while focusing on smart, efficient, and sustainable parking solutions for both today’s needs and potential challenges of the future.
With a clear purpose of building and operating parking spots within the Municipality, Parkering Malmö – a municipal parking company, fully owned by the City of Malmö – challenged the participating SMEs to present optimising and pioneering ideas/solutions to face a rapidly growing city and its challenges, notably climatic ones.
To make this optimisation possible, not to mention grant the city residents more sustainable mobility solutions and help the city become smarter about the existing parking spots, Parkering Malmö needed better data on the availability of each parking spot. With this event, the company was able to have real-time information on potential ideas that could be beneficial.
In order to achieve these aforementioned goals, the EIC stepped in and allowed meeting with some of the most innovative SMEs. So, after the event, we met with Maja Johansson (Climate Strategist at Parkering Malmö) from the Procurers side who reiterated that the “city of Malmö is going to increase its number of inhabitants. At the same time, we’re a small city [geographically speaking]. So, there’s a huge challenge in trying to grow as a city without growing in geographical space. To do that, we need to use the space we have more efficiently, and that means we need to be better at monitoring the existing parking spots to make sure they’re used as efficiently as possible”.
That’s why on their side it made all the sense to be part of this event. She explained: “We were looking for something else than large-scale solutions, we wanted to see more solutions regarding open data and a bit more of a modern approach. Also, agile alternatives that could be available in the future”. Therefore, “I thought it was very interesting, and the pitching solutions were great. Making it also good for us to discuss it – internally speaking. From where we are right now, I was curious about what was out there and we got what we needed (regarding sensors, data, machine learning, etc.). There’s still a lot to be done, but it’s great to have these types of events and discover a common frame that can be discussed further”, Maja Johansson explained.
Another perspective was the one from the SMEs side. We met with Bohdan Jacos (Customer Relations Manager at GOSPACE TECH), that saw this as a valuable opportunity to present the company’s solution that is directly in line with what Parkering Malmö needs. He explained to us: “Our company has different product lines, and the one I pitched was Fleximodo – Digital parking. I presented the hardware part (for time’s sake), but there’s also a software component to it. It has a battery-powered sensor (IoT Parking Sensor) that works wirelessly and can be placed anywhere, enabling tracing real-time parking occupancy, and sending data over a wireless network. The second part was an IoT Permit that can be placed in a car and tell you who is parked there – this creates special conditions as in dedicated parking rights for those who need it: disabled drivers, residents of a city, or company parking for employees”.
About the motivation to apply to this EIC initiative? He said it was a no-brainer. Apart from the theme of the event being directly in line with their business, “Parkering Malmö was looking for something related to the occupancy of parking spaces, and we were the perfect fit because we’re solving exactly those kinds of problems”.
Regarding the event itself, Bohdan Jacos said that “it’s very good that the EIC can organise these types of events and allow companies to present their solutions. We’re a parking-solving related company so we appreciate having this possibility. We’re always happy to present the product and this one gave us the chance to do so, and it was very much appreciated”.
Are you looking for opportunities to connect with some of the largest procurers in Europe? Keep a close eye on our events calendar and the EIC Community for upcoming events throughout the rest of the year.