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European cities seek solutions to balance regulations and innovation

European cities seek solutions to balance regulations and innovation

From June 20-21, one of Europe’s largest technology and innovation conferences, The Next Web 2024, took place in Amsterdam. The event gathered companies, investors, and representatives from national and local governments. Tallinn was represented by Deputy Mayor Margot Roose, who met with innovation leaders from various cities and participated in a panel discussion.

During the conference, Roose met with Amsterdam’s innovation leaders, Valencia’s Deputy Mayor Paula Llobet Vilarassa, Kyiv’s digital advisor Oleg Polovynko, and Barcelona’s smart city team. They discussed how cities can balance innovation, entrepreneurship, and regulations. They also agreed on a collaboration that will allow Estonian companies to present new products and services to these city leaders.

"Over half of humanity now lives in cities where many problems arise, and ignoring these would have irreversible effects on our planet. Therefore, the role of cities as amplifiers of innovation must grow," said Margot Roose. "Cities' new wealth consists of data and waste, both of which need safe and smart management. Our common goal is to create an environment where public interests are protected, and business thrives."

Roose also participated in a panel discussion titled " Cultivating Champions: The Role of Ecosystems in Driving Sustainable Growth," which targeted entrepreneurs, investors, and government leaders. The discussion focused on the challenges and best practices in fostering startup growth and promoting a successful business environment. Other participants included policy makers Janette Wiget (Merantix), Clara Chappaz (French Tech Mission), and Pedro Lopes (Cabo Verde government), along with Andrii Degeler, media lead at The Next Web.

"By creating a favorable business environment for (start-up) companies, we offer city residents the opportunity to benefit from the latest knowledge and innovative solutions," Roose said, adding that Tallinn is open to innovative products and services through the Test in Tallinn project. "The benefits are mutual - the testing company understands user needs more easily and develops the necessary solutions more quickly. The city, in turn, finds new sustainable partners among the best innovations."

The Next Web conferences have been held in Amsterdam since 2006, attracting over 10,000 attendees each year.