Enterprising Swiss companies are harnessing cutting-edge technology to help tackle water and food waste and even make it easier to track down a parking space.
Innovative solutions to problems facing modern cities will be the focus of a series of workshops, presentations and displays held under the Swiss banner during the opening weeks of Expo 2020 Dubai.
A focus week on urban and rural development from October 31 will feature Swiss companies already achieving success on the ground in the UAE.
“We want to combine sustainability trends via smart cities and circular economy ideas,” said Patrick Bertschi, of Switzerland Global Enterprise, the non-profit group linking Swiss businesses with the UAE.
“These two concepts will be combined in the first few weeks of the Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020.
"The idea is to present our solutions to these problems from companies working in these fields.
“Activities will involve six companies from Switzerland to understand more about the needs of the Gulf region.”
Water-saving plan already in use in UAE
One of those is Droople, a water-saving company already using its innovations at Gems Millennium school in Dubai.
Droople’s mission is to contribute to the global goal of preserving water, using information technology to improve the way people use, conserve and value it.
The company’s online management system can assess water usage to send alerts when cleaning of public bathrooms and toilet areas are required to reduce waste.
Traffic-easing solutions already in place in Zurich to monitor flow of vehicles on the approach to junctions and waiting areas could also be replicated in Dubai, using energy self-sufficient ground sensors.
Aadorf-based LTS AG uses embedded sensors to manage traffic flow around airports, hotels and rest areas.
Sensors relay real-time information to divert vehicles towards vacant parking areas, or waiting taxi customers via Google Maps or other navigation applications.
The scheme aims to help the environment by reducing the time cars spend travelling in search of parking spaces.
Other Swiss firms lined up for Expo2020 are recyclers DePoly, biogenic waste firm Renergon, green energy managers Stignergy and planning consultants Holinger.
Building on strong ties
The UAE is Switzerland’s largest trading partner in the Gulf, with luxury watches, precious metals and chemicals making up the bulk of exports.
Sustainable technology promises to be an emerging industry in future trade, delegates said.
“A two-day business programme will give an opportunity for Swiss companies to show their technologies and innovations in this area of smart cities of the future,” Mr Bertschi said.
“Three companies will represent Switzerland in the field of smart cities, with three other specialist firms working in developing circular economies.
“Innovative methods of plastic recycling and biogas production from food waste from hotels will feature during the first weeks of the pavilion.”