We had the pleasure to interview Stefanie Horn and Katrin Schleife from Fujitsu as co-hosts of our latest Smart City Hub Ideation Workshop. They give us fresh insights on the topic of data as key for combating climate change and the energy crisis.
With the present energy crisis and soaring temperatures reaching a new high, it’s imperative that we find innovative ways of making our buildings more sustainable. Because of that, we need to increase cross-sector cooperation to make use of innovative methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation to make decisions effectively and accurately.
Katrin has worked at Fujitsu since 2019 as a Business Consultant with Smart City focus. With a background in economics and statistics, Katrin's projects often focus on data management, data monitoring, and data analytics. Her purpose: to make cities and regions more livable and sustainable by supporting them with data-based and human-centric Smart City strategies and solutions.
Stefanie is together with Katrin one of the “founding members” of Fujitsu’s Smart City department. She is responsible for Intermodal Mobility and their bridging Technology to Quantum Computing – the Digital Annealer – as well as AI. She just started a new role as a Business Development Manager in the private sector and is additionally focusing on sustainability, IoT-Operations cockpit, and logistic solutions. Her goal is to utilize data for sustainability and foster data literacy.
BIA: Can you tell us about the projects you’re currently working on?
Katrin Schleife: Our team is involved in the traffic-optimization project “MOZART” at the Hamburg harbor, which we exhibited at the ITS World Congress last year and which received some attention from German media. The Port Authority has the challenge that trucks going to or coming from the ships to load or unload containers are often stuck at crossings due to red lights and too much traffic. To make the traffic run more smoothly we involve our quantum-inspired optimization services to find the best traffic light pattern and truck routes. This is an innovative project which not only directly saves time and money for the harbor and the logistics companies, but also helps to reduce NOx emissions – therefore a highly sustainable approach.
Stefanie Horn: Currently I’m involved in preparing a project regarding real-time route optimization in the context of Intermodal Mobility. We want to make it easier to integrate personal preferences such as “barrier-free-routes” into “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) apps and plan complex routes not only in real-time but also holistically for a whole city or region. Our goal is to make eco-friendly mobility and logistics more attractive, flexible, convenient, and reliable and provide a so-called “capacity-aware routing”. Therefore, we as Fujitsu are working with major public transport providers such as BVG and Deutsche Bahn. Also, I’m involved in a citizen participation campaign that is running in Berlin regarding the Adenauer Platz. We need such insights to build solutions that solve “real world problems” and which address the pains and needs of (end-) users.
BIA: When we talk about economic, social, and environmental sustainability, what do these topics mean for Fujitsu?
KS: Our business is highly oriented on these topics. We provide our customers with sustainability-focused consulting services, business modeling and offer solutions that help them to get their processes and actions less harmful to the climate and save money at the same time. For example, based on smart sensors and our enhanced data analytics platform, our IoT Operations Cockpit supports customers to monitor their energy consumption and detect anomalies and waste of energy. Based on that, customers can adjust their building management and processes to reduce energy consumption. In times of energy shortage and rapidly rising energy prices this is an important approach for private AND public companies and institutions worldwide.
BIA: This Smart City Ideation Workshop aims to foster innovation and cross-sector collaboration. What would be the tools and partnerships you wish to bring back from this workshop?
SH: We are aiming to constantly expand our ecosystem with Co-creation and co-innovation with the help of such workshops: We are looking for partners and customers who are interested in working with us towards the SDG and ESG. It is important to stress that sustainability and profitability are not competing goals, but goals that can and should go hand in hand. Zebra-Startups are an interesting example in this regard from which we can learn. Workshops are also an excellent opportunity for sharing knowledge and receiving new valuable insights regarding current challenges, new perspectives, and inspiration. Only together and with the cross-sector collaboration we will be able to tackle today’s challenges such as climate change and the energy crisis – those are issues that concern every sector and every one of us. Finally, we exercise speed in those workshops: It is still impressive how quickly we can come up with new solutions and with people whom we often did not know before. We generally need to become much faster and more assertive to save our future.
According to Stefanie Horn, such ideation workshops are like a creativity and innovation boost for their teams and company. It helps them step out of their corporate comfort zone and “ivory tower” to discuss new approaches and experiences from other sectors and stakeholders. It’s touching base with reality and regularly checking if they are on the right track and if they are developing fast enough.
BIA’s Ideation Workshop is for guests only, but if you are a property, sustainability, or innovation manager, you can send us a request to participate via Anastasia Sukhomlinova.
BIA is a New Work & Innovation Agency, dedicated to creating better organizations through leadership training, consulting, and innovation programs.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese global information and communication technology company, offering a wide range of technology products, solutions and services. We build new possibilities by connecting people, technology and ideas, creating a more sustainable world where anyone can advance their dreams.