Global tech heavyweights converge on Taiwan: 2024 Smart City & Net Zero City Expos signal major growth

Chloe Liao, Taipei; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0


The 2024 Smart City Expo and the 2050 Net Zero City Expo are slated to unfold on March 19 for a four-day run at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. This year boasts a record-breaking participation of over 600 exhibitors, presenting cutting-edge solutions and technologies. Alongside a full lineup of domestic tech firms, international heavyweights are set to join, with a notable European country earmarking billions of euros for smart city development, signaling opportunities for Taiwanese companies to expand globally.

At a pre-show press conference, Acer chairman Jason Chen, also the president of the Taiwan Smart City Solutions Alliance (TSSA), pointed to several milestones for the twin fairs. Notably, a 13% increase in exhibitors and a 16% rise in registered overseas visitors totaling over 2,000 from 46 countries highlight Taiwan's pivotal role in driving global smart city and net-zero city initiatives through its technological prowess.

Anticipating the market arrival of AI-powered PCs and phones within the next 1-2 years, the expo has introduced an "AI+" zone, showcasing AI applications across diverse sectors such as retail, transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing. According to the Taipei Computer Association (TPA), one of the show organizers, this year's exhibition will focus on the ecosystem from upstream to downstream, shaping Taiwan's AI industry clusters by connecting different fields.

Intel's Renu N. Navale, vice president of its network & edge group and general manager of video and AI cities, will address the 2024 AI series forums, underscoring the company's deepening collaboration with Taiwanese system integrators.

There will be more heavyweight overseas visitors, including the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) ICF, known for its global smart city rankings. This year, the organization is cooperating with the Smart City Expo for the first time to hold the ICF Smart 21 release event.

The Spanish National Industrial Technology Development Agency (CDTI) is also leading a delegation to visit Taiwan for the first time. The visit comes as the Spanish government has allocated up to billions of Euros for developing and promoting smart cities nationwide. According to TPA, the CDTI's visit signifies the Spanish government's search for relevant smart city solutions to be adopted in Spain. They are also seeking cooperation opportunities with Taiwanese partners. However, the specific smart city projects the CDTI will focus on during their visit remain unclear. More details are expected to be revealed during the expo.

Continuing the dual-axis exhibition model in Taipei and Kaohsiung, the 2024 twin fairs will jointly feature the theme "Digital and Green Transformation." The Net Zero City Expo, in particular, will unveil the "Taiwan 2050 Net Zero Emissions Pathway" blueprint, bolstered by 12 key strategies. Additionally, the involvement of state-owned and private banks indicates growing financial support for large-scale green projects, aligning with the global shift towards sustainable finance.