Stimulating electric transport in the royal city gets focus in the startup programme
21 februari 2023
Today, the Municipality of The Hague announces the winners of the sixth edition of Startup in Residence Intergov: startups Tiler and Biosphere Solar. The Municipality of The Hague is working with Tiler on e-bike hubs with smart pavement tiles for electric shared bicycles to be used in the Binckhorst. Biosphere Solar is working on circular and fair solar panels to charge electric vehicles in Scheveningen. Seven years ago, the Municipality of The Hague started the Startup in Residence (SiR) program in The Netherlands, which was already successful in San Francisco: the startup program in which startups collaborate with governments on innovative solutions for social challenges. Between 2016 and now, 31 startups have already collaborated with the Municipality of The Hague and eight received a follow-up assignment.
Sustainable travel to the Binckhorst
Apollo14, Titaan, and the Caballerofabriek, who was not inspired? In recent years, the Municipality of The Hague has been building a new, vibrant heart for creative and innovative entrepreneurs: the Binckhorst. And: the first residents are already living in their new homes. Until 2040, around 25,000 homes and 30,000 jobs will be added in The Hague’s Central Innovation District (CID) and Binckhorst. But the infrastructure around it is not yet ready for these numbers of travelers. To keep the area accessible and liveable now and in the future, it is important to encourage more sustainable travel behavior among residents, entrepreneurs, and visitors. That is the impact that the Municipality of The Hague will create within SiR, part of the ImpactCity program, together with startups.
De Binckhorst will have smart pavement tiles for electric shared bicycles
Startup Tiler submitted the winning idea: e-bike hubs where electric shared bicycles charge wirelessly on smart pavement tiles. The municipality will soon test these at practical Park and Ride locations. A number of employees of the innovation hubs in Binckhaven can park their cars there and continue on their e-bikes to the Binckhorst. “When cars are no longer the center, people and nature are”, is the mission of startup Tiler. Over the next six months, Tiler will work with the Municipality of The Hague within the Startup in Residence Intergov program to further develop and test this concept.
Generating sustainable energy in Scheveningen
The second challenge that the Municipality of The Hague hopes to resolve in the near future with the SiR Intergov program is about thé place to go in the city as soon as the sun starts to shine: Scheveningen. Every year, approximately 4 million tourists visit the seaside resort. More and more people are using electric transport to get there. In order to offer all those people the opportunity to charge their car, bicycle, scooter, or step, there is a need for new possibilities to generate large amounts of sustainable energy locally. To be precise, on the Northern Harbor Head of Scheveningen. It is a challenging area right by the sea, with all the weather and climate conditions that come with it. Wind or solar farms are not desirable or possible. Then what is possible? A solution is not easy with the affects of sand, salt, water, and wind. The beautiful city behind the dunes is therefore using the Startup in Residence Intergov program to tackle this issue.
Circular, fair, and translucent solar panels
Startup Biosphere Solar is the winner of the challenge and will work on a solution together with the Municipality of The Hague. We know that solar panels are one of the most important technologies for a sustainable future. But the production – which often takes place in China – leaves much to be desired, as do the possibilities of reuse. The Delft startup Biosphere Solar developed circular and fair solar panels together with TU Delft and Leiden University, which are produced in the Netherlands. Their solar panels look like glass and are translucent. The symbiosis between the solar panels and the green dune vegetation ensures a good integration into the environment, while the combination of sun and wind can deliver the highest possible yield during changing circumstances. Biosphere Solar and the Municipality of The Hague will be working on a prototype in the coming months. If the prototype works, the municipality can act as the first customer.
More winning startups
The sixth edition of the Startup in Residence program in which the Municipality of The Hague collaborates with startups Tiler and Biosphere Solar will start in mid-March. The results of the collaboration are expected in September 2023. SiR Intergov is part of the ImpactCity program for the Municipality of The Hague, the ecosystem of entrepreneurs and organisations in The Hague in which everything revolves around innovations for a better world.
In addition to the Municipality of The Hague, the Province of South Holland and the Ministries of the Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, Social Affairs, and Employment and Economic Affairs also collaborate with each other and startups in the SiR programme. They will announce the winners of their social challenges on March 13.