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Belfius Awards winners announced

The 'Shayp' team.
The 'Shayp' team.

At the Belfius Smart Belgium Awards yesterday, initiatives in several categories were recognised. It will be remembered that the awards, now in their third edition, and started life under the name of ‘Smart Cities’ but have broadened out to include other initiatives.

Belfius CEO Marc Raisière opened the proceedings by explaining that the role of his bank in the future would be to better serve consumers and society at large, along with the Belgian economy.

Moving on to the awards themselves, first to take the stage was the town of Donceel, in the category of cities of less than 30,000 inhabitants. It was honoured for its intelligent lighting which uses less energy.

Shayp – a Brussels start-up – won an award for an intelligent water meter which surveys consumption and gives alerts in cases of leaks.

Smart Care Award – the students of Githo Nijlen – with E-Buddy which automatically alerts the emergency services if an old person falls. This is also useful also for persons with epilepsy. Olen also won an award in the care domain, for a system enabling more precise treatment to be given in emergency situations.

Three of the Awards went to projects involving mobility/transport.
The award for cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants went to Ghent for Gent/TMaas (Traffic Management as a Service), a mobility solution enabling citizens to move about easily within and around the city with the most suitable mode of transport.

The public prize went to VRKeer, from the University of Ghent and Odisee St. Nicolas. They have developed a safety system which enables children to visualise traffic situations in real time while on a bike, thanks to virtual reality, using VR headsets.

And finally, Colruyt won the large company award for a new system allowing it to transport fresh goods more efficiently using liquid ice and a special container.

The diverse nature of these awards demonstrates that the world is moving forward in many domains, and that whole slices of what we have always taken for granted are now in need of ‘smartening’.
Tim Harrup

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