As Breeze Technologies, we were thankfully less impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Nonetheless, the new year is a moment to reflect and look back on the wins and challenges of the last twelche months. Our CEO Robert Heinecke has put together a summary of our experience of 2020 below. Enjoy reading!
2020 – what a year! It was challenging for all of us. We at Breeze Technologies would like to thank all our customers and partners, as well as our citizen hosts and other involved parties for their continued support throughout the year. We are especially thankful for all our city and corporate customers that continued and renewed their collaborations with us – which we see as a testament to the value that we bring to them. Looking back, we were able to realise some amazing successes with our partners:
New solutions for air quality monitoring and management
In January 2020, with the support of the European Commissions Joint Research Center (JRC), we published AQWidget, an open source software that makes sharing air quality data by integrating it into websites incredibly easy. AQWidget builds upon the European Common Air Quality index, a standard framework for air quality assessment used by the European Union. Since then, AQWidget has helped numerous partners to make air quality data more accessible in collaboration with our citizen portal for air quality. At the same time, we were also consulting the Danish Environmental Ministry on the state of the air quality sensors market.
Additionally, and to support the fight against the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we later during the year launched a new Coronavirus prevention mode for our indoor air quality management suite. The solution is now used in offices and co-working spaces like the one from the Digital Logistics Hub Hamburg, to encourage users to take part in Coronavirus prevention by actively airing the office regularly. You can learn more about the solution here.
Impactful partnerships and projects
Partners are incredibly important for us. Following the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 17 (“Partnership for the Goals”), we focus on building networks of governmental institutions, businesses, NGOs, researchers and other organisations that work collaboratively on monitoring and improving air quality in our cities. In 2020, we were happy to deliver a first large-scale project with our partner Microsoft as part of their “AI For Earth” effort. On 22 April – the 2020 Earth Day – we launched the world’s densest air quality monitoring network in the city of Hamburg. The data from this network has enabled us to more closely look into the relationship of local traffic flows and hyperlocal air quality, and craft a white paper on this topic. We were also incredibly honored that Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella visited us during his virtual country tour throughout Germany, to discuss applications of artificial intelligence in the enviornmental space
Next Stop: Hamburg!! @satyanadella trifft jetzt Robert Heinecke, Gründer des Startups @projectbreeze, um zu lernen, wie mit Hilfe von #KI die Luftqualität gemessen, transparent gemacht und nachhaltig verbessert wird. #AIForEarth #TeamsTourDE https://t.co/a1oEhsKVI7 pic.twitter.com/aPuUteKeAu
— Microsoft Germany (@MicrosoftDE) June 22, 2020
We were also able to extend our partnership network with Proximi.io, a Finnish leader in indoor and outdoor position platforms. Together, we are developing HealthyPlaces, a routing app for pedestrians to get from A to B while exposing yourself to as little pollution as possible. Through our participation in the SpinLab accelerator and the urbantech program, we also gained important exposure in new markets and started new pilot projects and partnership conversations with several industry leaders, including COWI and VELUX. COWI’s CEO published on LinkedIn:
For our work, we were also very proud to receive several awards – including the ImpactCollective award that has been organised by Citypreneurs (where we also won the 2019 scale-up prize), a platform co-sponsored by the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). Our long-term air quality monitoring network in the German city of Neckarsulm got featured as a digitalisation lighthouse at the Digital Summit of the German government. To further commit ourselves towards creating smarter and sustainable cities, we also joined WeGO, the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization.
Our outlook for 2021
One and a half months are already over, and we have kicked off 2021 with a bang! Already now, numerous new cities, business and other organisations have signed up for our air quality management and monitoring suite, and we are looking forward to an amazing year with our existing and new partners and customers. We just launched the Air Quality Academy, a knowledge base for all information about air quality – which we hope will help to make access to reliable information about the topic easier, and help to educate decision makers about the importance of the fight against air pollution. We also recently started providing our customers with access to the European Space Agency’s air quality satellite data through our platform, and will continue to extend its the data aggregation and analytics capabilities.
If you are interested in working with us on air quality monitoring and improvement projects (or have developed an innovative solution to improve air quality indoors or outdoors and would like to deploy it at our customers) please do not hesitate to contact us!