The Belgium scaleup Rombit has signed a Scaleup Support Agreement with the EIT Digital Accelerator to help it expand into new foreign markets. Rombit and EIT Digital are already talking to the city of San Francisco about implementing their Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for smart cities and harbours.
The Antwerp-based IoT solution provider Rombit has already implemented IoT solutions for smart cities and harbours in Belgian cities and municipalities. Antwerp, with half a million inhabitants and one of Europe’s largest harbours, is currently the biggest city using Rombit's technology, says Chief Strategic Officer Evert Bulcke. “San Francisco is a new opportunity for us.”
According to Bulcke, the uniqueness of Rombit's technology was one of the reasons to work with the EIT Digital Accelerator to grow quickly in new markets. “We want to roll-out our solutions worldwide. EIT Digital can introduce us into diverse networks. We are already talking with the city council of San Francisco. It is very interesting for us to work with EIT Digital's local teams who know their own markets and regulatory environments and can advise us on how to adjust our product offering.” As well as the US, Rombit also wants to expand into European markets such as the Netherlands and France. The order in which they will approach each market is not yet defined, says Bulcke, and depends on opportunities.
The collaboration with the EIT Digital Accelerator is also a logical consequence of Rombit's participation in the EIT Digital Challenge, says Bulcke. Rombit was one of the finalists in the Digital Cities category. “We developed very good relationships with EIT Digital's business developers. We see EIT Digital as an organisation that can open doors for us with customers that we want to work with. The Challenges have been an educational journey and have given us a good introduction to EIT Digital's ecosystem and value.”
Rombit makes both soft- and hardware to smart manage cities and harbours. A*Sign is one of Rombit's smart city software applications that proves, according to Bulcke, how smart traffic signalisation contributes to smart city management. “Every day, 20 percent of public spaces such as pavements, streets and parking lots are taken out of public use by citizens or construction workers putting containers such as skips in them or executing public works. This puts pressure on the space available and causes parking- and mobility problems. With A*Sign, city workers can better monitor all the works that are taking place in their city at any one time.”
Rombit is the first company in the world to have developed digital road signs that display temporary parking restrictions. The signs display on a digital screen where people cannot temporarily park their cars. The signs are connected to a cloud platform giving city workers an overview of the entire city. As well as processing all requests for temporary use of public spaces, they control the digital signs remotely. The result is that cities and municipalities experience fewer parking and mobility problems.”