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At the Fujitsu Forum in Munich, five start-ups competed for the new Fujitsu Startup Award. The winner was Rombit, an IoT solutions provider and product engineering firm. The Belgian scaleup, also a finalist in the upcoming EIT Digital Challenge, helps companies and governments to optimize administrative workflows and to create rapid insights into company processes.
The Fujitsu Startup Awards featured five nominees, the Dutch startups Argu and ConnectedCare, the Belgian companies NRGcoin and Rombit, and a German startup, 5Analytics. Whilst the nominees were selected by a professional jury, the winner was chosen directly by the audience of 10.000 visitors, through an online voting system. During the two-day conference, each company had to pitch twice, and once live on stage. Rombit stood out amongst the other nominees because it offers more than just a product and a service.
IoT as an important ingredient
Thomas Nagels, Innovation Manager at Rombit: “I believe we won the Fujitsu Start-Up Award because of our unique approach to solving business problems. We work with organizations looking to digitize and automate their business. We solve these problems using technology, by connecting different parts of an organization and adding a pleasant user experience. IoT is an important ingredient, but never the starting point.”
Rombit is well known within the industrial ecosystem in Flanders and abroad, for its methodology and ability to solve difficult business problems. It focuses on cutting administrative workflows and creating rapid insights into company processes by building tailor-made solutions on top of its Romcore platform. This open framework is technology-agnostic and can integrate legacy hardware and software with modern IoT-sensors, big data processing analysis, and visualizations. In addition, Rombit has an in-house R&D facility that develops IoT-applications for smart cities and harbors, such as collision detection and drone monitoring systems.
The first mobile IoT traffic sign
One standout project is A*Sign, the first mobile IoT traffic sign in the world. This was specifically created for the city of Antwerp. Rombit developed this digital traffic sign in-house, equipped with Sigfox/LoRa, NFC, GPS and E-ink screens. By connecting the IoT traffic sign with its own Romcore Smart Cities platform, an automated system was created for managing public parking requests. This also includes the planning and tracking of digital signage.
The next wave of technology
“Rombit has a threefold company focus,” said Yves de Beauregard, head of Fujitsu Benelux. “It makes civilian life more convenient by enabling smart cities, drives efficiency in smart industries and improves customer experiences by smart facilities. The company fits perfectly within the next wave of technology in the fields of AI, drones, AR/VR, cryptocurrencies, autonomous vehicles and, of course, the Internet of Things.”
The Fujitsu Start-Up Awards at Forum Munich is a new initiative from Fujitsu, meant to showcase the projects of companies that are driving digital transformation and are improving people’s lives. Fujitsu places a high value on collaborating and interacting with young start-up companies to feed its own creativity.
“Driving co-creation is central to Fujitsu‘s strategy,” Yves de Beauregard continued. “By working with startups within our ecosystem, we become more agile with a faster time-to-market and improving our proximity to the latest market developments. We infuse entrepreneurship into our technology company to deliver new ideas and values to our customers. This year at our Fujitsu World Tours we launched the co-Cr8 incubator in the Netherlands and SmartTalks Cafe community platform in Belgium. Adding to this, we are continuing to expand our footprint in the startup community, by cooperating with technical universities accelerators and regional incubators.”
More information and updates on the Fujitsu Start-Up Awards can be found here.