Bicsi gets smart

Information transport conference to focus on rise of smart cities.

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By  Sean Robson Published  April 11, 2009

Information transport conference to focus on rise of smart cities.

The information transport systems (ITS) industry will be discussing the concept of smart - smart cabling, smart communications, smart cities and other smart concepts when it comes together on the 4-5 May for the 8th annual Bicsi Middle East Conference and Exhibition.

"We are very excited about this year's conference. This year the central theme is smart and especially smart cities with everything that comprises them. There are a lot of those projects, both large and small, around the region and we will have the right mix of presentations for the event to be very informative this year," said Eugene Botes, Bicsi chairman Middle East and Africa.

This year the central theme is smart and especially smart cities with everything that comprises them.

Bicsi is a professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry. The organisation provides information, education and knowledge assessment for individuals and companies in the ITS industry and serves more than 23,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians around the globe.

The event will be hosted over two days with a number of presentations as well as exhibitions by prominent regional users and leading vendors. Amongst the companies present is infrastructure solutions provider Commscope who will be represented by regional services director Wes Tweedley, he will be delivering a presentation entitled:Looking for a Smarter City.

Tweedley will be defining the concept of smart cities from a telecoms, IT and municipality systems point of view. The presentation will cover the issues affecting the economics of system and infrastructure design, including labour, ducting, fibre and the importance of wireless for a smart city.

As the world and region absorb the effects of the current financial instability in the market the recent push towards a green environment has become less pronounced. This however, does not make it any less of a priority and so Mohamed Babikar of Cisco will be discussing the impact of ICT on sustainability and the environment.

Babikar will be touching on issues such as the costs and integration of technologies in the development of green buildings; if ICT is sustainable in the real estate market and how smart building technologies and green building requirements can merge in order to deliver a sustainable real estate environment.

The issue of green technology recently emerged at the Bicsi conference in Saudi Arabia, and Botes believes that the issue is pertinent to the whole Gulf region He points to a growing trend amongst organisations to try and stay ahead of the forthcoming green regulations.

"We are finding that our clients are becoming increasingly aware of the need to reduce the impact of energy consumption, as well as reduce the costs associated with that consumption, in their organisations," said Botes.

He pointed out that BICSI is currently working with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to develop strategies for the recognition of technology infrastructure related innovation credits in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system.

Botes is extremely positive regarding the importance of what he calls ‘smart'. "The need for speed and bandwidth is one of the functions of smart and the other function is to have an economically sustainable city that's cost effective to run and easy to manage."

"The benefit we have in the Middle East is that we are building these smart cities from scratch, it's literally a case of going from desert to high rise. This is in contrast to many other parts of the world which already have established cities and so it is possibly more difficult and more expensive to roll out the smart city concept," said the Bicsi chairman.

While membership of the professional body has slowed in recent months there is still a stream of professionals eager to improve upon their qualifications.

"We are definitely still getting new members in a step by step fashion, so we are growing but maybe just not as fast as previously," explained Botes.

NME is the official media sponsor of the Bicsi event and will be covering the event from start to finish. The NME Innovation awards will also be held in conjunction with the event with the best of the information transports systems industry being rewarded for their hard work over the last year.

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