At the Dutch Australian Smart City Summit that took place on November 3, 2016 in Sydney, five Australian smart city organisations have received the Golden Ratio statue in recognition for their future collaboration with the Global Smart City and Community Coalition (GSC3).

The presentation followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GSC3 and the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA), ACT Government, City of Ipswich, Greater Sydney Committee and Lake Macquarie City Council.

The Golden Ratio, which symbolised the power of collaboration and the new relationships forged between the Dutch-led GSC3 and the five Australian organisations, provided a platform for collaboration by sharing challenges and best practices.

One of the most important challenges for smart cities and communities is working together and sharing. However, sharing smart, sustainable and scalable solutions with other cities and communities is difficult and this is where the GSC3 can lend a hand.

While all five signatories are leaders in the Australian smart city area, this new relationship would not only inspire and empower them, it would connect them with other smart communities worldwide.

The MOUs were signed during the week-long Dutch Smart City Mission which included the Dutch-Australian Smart City Summit held in Sydney on 3 November.

140 delegates attended the summit to hear about smart city developments in Australia and The Netherlands. There were also panel discussions about how private industry, local businesses and research organisations could work together to develop smart city technologies.

There are many advantages to being a smart city or community – greater efficiency, lower costs, a healthy living environment and reliable infrastructure – which all lead to a better quality of life.

The focus of GSC3 is on putting people first and developing smart solutions to deliver community services to meet their needs, as well as benefiting the planet.

Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands attended the summit and witnessed the signing ceremony between the GSC3 and ASCA President Michael Whereat, Lucy Turnbull (Chair of the Greater Sydney Committee), and Mayor Kay Fraser (Lake Macquarie City Council).

Earlier that week, an MOU was signed in Canberra by Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director General, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate and in the City of Ipswich by Mayor Paul Pisasale.

The Smart City Summit was held as part of the Dutch King and Queen’s official State Visit to Australia to celebrate the landing of Dirk Hartog on the West Australian Coast 400 years ago.

A follow-up visit took place in March 2017, when the delegation visited all the cities that have signed MoUs with the Dutch-led Global Smart Communities and Cities Coalition (GSC3).

A Dutch delegation was back again in May 2017. This time the visit coincided with the Smart Communities Conference in Adelaide, organised by the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA). The Dutch Government hosted a networking reception in Adelaide on Sunday 28th May. GSC3 also participated in the Smart City Mayors Meeting hosted by the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, the Hon Martin Haese. Apart from Adelaide the delegation also visited Sydney and Brisbane.

Significant effort has gone into building collaboration links between smart cities in the Netherlands and the GSC3 smart cities in Australia (Adelaide, Canberra, Bendigo, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Sydney (GSC), Ipswich and Moreton Bay).

Businesses in both Australia and the Netherlands are critical in assisting in the collaboration projects between Australian and Dutch cities. This is particularly interesting for businesses that operate internationally and a range of meetings are planned to explore these business opportunities.

But also R&D collaboration will be explored. During the same period the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions met with potential R&D partners in Australia.

Paul Budde