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Elphilharmonie Eröffnung © / Christian Spahrbier

Hamburg to become northern Europe's "capital of knowledge"

Hamburg predestined to become "modern age laboratory", Scholz tells Übersee-Club

Hamburg is set to become a top centre of research and science in northern Europe, according to Mayor Olaf Scholz Tuesday (November 28, 2017) in a keynote speech at the Übersee-Club. International competitiveness can be measured by a company’s power of innovation and the ability to establish new technologies, products and services successfully on the market. The city is already well on the way to that goal as exemplified by the recent opening of the European X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) at DESY in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld.

“As the X-ray’s laser work is done mainly underground and is thus hidden, we literally brought XFEL out into the light during the opening ceremony – through a green laser beam from the Elbphilharmonie to Schenefeld. The green light connected the harbour with science and tradition with the age of modernity. And both shone brighter in each other’s light,” said Scholz.

Tradition and new technologies

“In hardly any other city has the best of the old and new world come together as well as in Hamburg. For centuries, our port has formed the heart of the city. It is a powerful heart strengthened by global flows of goods, free trade, modern logistics and new technologies. The port, like nothing else, is synonymous with Hamburg’s tradition and identity. But what would the port be without automated terminals and the progress brought by smart technologies? And what will become of the port when emission-free cruise ships dock at the quays and electric-run vehicles are driven on uncongested roads?”

Hamburg has made progress towards becoming a city of clever growth, Scholz added. “The global-orientated economy including the mid-sized sector have long since realized that they must open up towards science and research. Swifter access to knowledge is needed to assess developments quickly and to make ambitious products and services ready for the market.”

Innovations improving quality of life

Hamburg is striving to build successful, innovative chains. “They are prerequisites for our prosperity in future. They enable us to improve the lives of Hamburg’s citizens in a very direct way.” Innovations create jobs, bring new remedies and make transport more comfortable and so quiet that people can have pleasant chats on big streets. Innovations allow industry and trade to be in the city without disturbing neighbours. It also ensures that houses are warm and do not use too much energy and that Hamburg remains verdant even amid dense building developments.”

Hamburg – a model city of intelligent transport

Hamburg is predestined to become a modern age laboratory. “In our city, almost all the questions facing metropolises today can be answered: How will we travel in future and how will goods be transported – in the city, on water or by air? How can we cure illnesses and what will medical care look like in future?”

Hamburg is to become a model of transport and logistics. “Therefore, important research into autonomous systems, sensor technologies and robotics must be undertaken. The findings must then find their way to companies,” Scholz said. Earlier in November, Hamburg won the bid to host the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in 2021. The ITS Congress is the biggest of its kind and brings around 10,000 stakeholders from research, politics and commerce together.

Mayor’s speech on November 28, 2017

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