Cross-Sector News

Smart sports for smart cities


Making Indian cities more livable through Dutch Sport Infrastructure

Recycled plastic material to cover the ground, cut into puzzle pieces for ease of assembly. “Field in a box” kits, to enable play anywhere. Sport fields on top of parking houses. A ground cover that regulates water usage. A smart stadium, used as a big laboratory to test the smart cities technologies of the future.

There is no doubt for the participants of the Indo-Dutch event on innovation and sustainable sports solutions, which took place on Friday, 2nd December 2016 in New Delhi, that sports, and in particular sport infrastructures, have a role to play in smart cities, and a great potential to improve the lives of urban citizens in the sprawling metropolises of India by offering part of the answer on how to make cities more livable.

The event gathered both Indian and European participants under the aegis of Dutch Sports Infrastructure (DSI) and the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) to discuss what opportunities there were for Indian municipalities to integrate sports in their smart cities concepts, and which technologies they could count on to implement such a strategy. Poul V. Jensen, EBTC Director, highlighted that with the development of the Smart Cities Initiative in India, many Indian public entities were currently defining their own priorities within the local context, and were looking for technological solutions to implement these priorities. Helping these municipalities find the innovative answers they are looking for includes connecting them to the European companies and European cities that have already developed these solutions.

The Indo-Dutch event showcased the latest solutions for innovative and sustainable sports in the city. An innovation wall presented the different projects, and Ruben Dubelaar from Dutch Sports Infrastructure (DSI) stressed the possibilities that such smart sport technologies could have in India. Short introductory videos enabled the participants to see the capacities of the different products and concepts. Company and organizations representatives were also there to answer questions from the audience afterwards.

Outside of the pavilion stood maybe the best example of what these innovative Dutch companies can offer to Indian cities: the ColourField concept, which enables children to play in a clean and safe environment.

The ColourField next to the Nehru stadium in Delhi


Ten DSI companies combined their expertise to conceive this very smart playfield, from the turf material to the rain water harvesting system (including recycling to drinking water) or solar lights. It has been designed as a multi-functional venue for sports and community events.


The colourfield concept: high technology both above and underground

EBTC signs MOU with Agoria to bring Belgian Smart City Solutions to India.


Exploring business opportunities in India, a delegation of 55 companies and 85 participants from the private sector of the Flanders region of Belgium, visited the cities of Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru along with h the Minister - President of the Government of Flanders Mr. Geert Bourgeois.

In its efforts to bring European Smart City solutions to India’s Smart Cities, the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), signed an MOU with Agoria which is the largest sectoral federation in Belgium. The federation supports its members, which are active in 10 areas (Information and Communication Technology, Building Technology, Contracting, Materials Technology, Subcontracting, Production Technology & Mechatronics, Transport Systems & Solutions, Energy Systems & Solutions, Environment Systems & Solutions and Aeronautics, Space, Security, Defence Technology), through business development initiatives centred on markets, products and technologies, both nationally and internationally. 


(L-R): Joel Fernandes, Senior Advisor – West, EBTC, Mr. Geert Bourgeois, Minister-President, Government of Flanders and Ms. Ingrid Reynaert, Business Group Leader, Smart Cities, Agoria Belgium). 

Since 2011, Agoria has built a Belgian smart cities community with stakeholders from the government, local municipalities, city administration, industry, knowledge centres and financial institutions. The “Agoria smart cities project” focuses on 4 key domains: smart mobility, smart digital communication & infrastructure, smart building & living, and smart energy.   

The “EBTC EU-India Smart Cities Knowledge and Innovation Programme” focuses on the integration European solutions into one platform, which is positioned and presented to the Indian stakeholders at the conceptual and operational stages of the Indian Smart Cities projects. The program creates a Body of Knowledge (BOK) with resources from technologies and innovative solutions from European companies, frame works, best practices, case studies and standards from European Governments and Municipalities that will be shared with all relevant Indian Smart Cities stakeholders. This MOU will engage Flemish companies in India’s smart cities projects by presenting their smart city solutions to the relevant Indian stakeholders.  


“By visiting India, we further tighten the bonds with a trade partner who is gaining importance and offers many opportunities in a variety of sectors. Flemish exports to India amount to no less than €7.6 billion. With this mission, we seek to consolidate our diamond exports to India and promote other export sectors such as clean tech, food, infrastructure and high tech. In India, our Flemish innovative and knowledge-driven economy is held in high regard. Also, we hope to encourage Indian companies to increase investments in Flanders,” Bourgeois said. 

India is the seventh biggest destination for Flemish exports, and 97% of Belgian exports to India originate from Flanders. About 80% of the exports comprises of diamonds, followed by chemicals & pharma and machines & electrical equipment, which command about 4% each. 

“India and Flanders share a holistic view on innovation, wherein investing in technology is not enough, but people of the country should want to, and be able to, use it. This is an endeavour to leverage the existing ties between India and Flanders to further boost production technologies and client-bases for companies from either countries,” said Pascal Cools, General Manger, Flanders District of Creativity.  

The European Business and Technology Centre was incorporated in India in 2010. EBTC has played a vital role in creating viable ecosystems for EU-India cleantech collaboration. EBTC has a pan-India presence and focuses on the 4 key sectors of ICT, energy, environment and transport. Aligning EBTC’s actions with large scale national initiatives of India, such as Clean Ganga, 100 Smart Cities, Make in India, and more, has become paramount for ensuring such collaborations.

EBTC at the heart of activities @Smart Cities India 2015 Expo


20th – 22nd May 2015 saw EBTC at the centre of activities for EU SMEs interested in Smart Cities in India. From a busy European Pavilion which was the hub of EU-India B2B’s organised by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN India) consortium, to a two-part workshop to share European best practices, and the signing of three EU-India collaboration agreements.

The European Pavilion – a space to showcase European solutions and engage in EU-India B2Bs


Alongside Mr. Poul V. Jensen (Director, EBTC), the large European pavilion at the Smart Cities India 2015 Expo was inaugurated by the Ambassadors of 4 European countries.  (L-R) H.E. Mr. Tomasz Łukaszuk (Ambassador from the Republic of Poland to India); H.E. Mr. Harald Sandberg (Ambassador of Sweden to India); H.E. Mrs. Darja Bavdaž Kuret (Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to India), and H.E. Mr. Jan Luykx (Ambassador of Belgium to India).

The Pavilion, spearheaded by EBTC, showcasing European technologies and solutions, and importantly, connecting them to Indian counterparts as a dedicated space for fluid B2B meetings – the majority of which were pre-planned via the EEN India B2Match platform.

50 European companies, from 11 EU countries (UK; France; Sweden; Germany; Belgium; Spain; Poland; Slovenia; Finland; Netherlands, and Hungary) were represented at the expo.  These European SME’s were brought to India by EBTC, the Enterprise Europe Network, as well as EBTC’s partners Basildon Council; Cambridge Cleantech; Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI); IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute; Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India, and VITO. 

Hosting 5 European city administrations, as well as both research bodies and EU SME’s with fascinating technologies and solutions, EBTC ensured a fertile ground for many discussions over 3 interactive days counting a total of 305 business meetings for the delegates with Indian counterparts.  The activity was also promoted as an Enterprise Europe Network India brokerage event, having 14 European EEN partners work closely with the EBTC led EEN India, and supporting the success of the event. 



EBTC organised a two-part workshop to share European best practices – ‘Making it Smart and Sustainable’ on 21st May 2015. 22 smart city experts from Europe provided insights and attracted more than 200 participants.  


Mr. Poul V. Jensen (Director, EBTC) was also a panellist at the seminar on ‘Smart & Green Solutions from Poland’ organised by GreenEvo on 22nd May 2015. 



3 MoU’s were signed at the pavilion - the best sign of intent for cross-border collaboration

Research and Innovation Management Services (RIMS) &FINIBIS (Belgium) entered into three collaborations with Sustainable Reference (Delhi, India) AeroDef and GM Hitech (Alwar, India)

Both RIMS and Finibis have products related to sustainable construction and closed sanitation. Following the matchmaking event organised by Enterprise Europe Network India, a cooperation agreement was signed with Sustainable Reference who provide a cloud-based solution which measures sustainable indicators in real-time and shares this data across an organisation helping users make crucial decisions. A second cooperation agreement was signed with GM Hitech who are in the business of manufacturing engineering components with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Alwar in the State of Rajasthan. The company excels in the art of making high precision components in mass quantities at very reasonable prices.

Basildon Borough Council exchanged an MOU with the Aluva Municipality of Kerala aiming to enhance the institutional structure for effective service delivery by sharing best practices which was facilitated by British High Commission in the presence of Mr. Bharat Joshi, Deputy High Commissioner; Chennai. The MoU was exchanged during the EBTC workshop to share European best practices on 21st May 2015 at Smart Cities India 2015, an EBTC platform that an EU Member States leveraged to celebrate collaborated successes in India. 


Next Steps

Following the event, EBTC continues to engage heavily in providing targeted efforts to navigate and support the EU delegates, so that the meetings had will lead to concrete projects. 

Contact Mr. Tamil Selvan Chandru (Business Development Executive, EBTC) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


In the news

Press Release:

150+ representatives from Indian and EU organisations to meet at the Enterprise Europe Network India Matchmaking Event during Smart Cities India 2015

4 European Ambassadors to India inaugurated the European Pavilion at Smart Cities India 2015


Contact Mr. Tamil Selvan Chandru (Business Development Executive, EBTC) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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