The broadband expansion projects to supply Bonn with fiber-optic technology have so far included the city's successful participation in two funding procedures, the so-called "area application" and another special call in the commercial areas, schools and hospitals. Both programs have different funding characteristics, but are aimed at the same goal of providing private households, businesses and public institutions with future-proof data lines. Last but not least, this is also a basic infrastructural prerequisite for being able to operate "next generation access" in the form of 5G. Expansion planning has begun for the area application, and expansion is scheduled to start in 2021. The focus is on connecting elementary and special schools as quickly as possible.
Other important drivers are the state funding program "Gigabit Coordination" and the federal funding program "Gray Spots". On the one hand, the Gigabit Coordination (as successor funding to the Broadband Coordination) is to continue to drive forward the ongoing expansion and act as a point of contact for politicians, urban society and, above all, the business community. On the other hand, the "Gray Spots" program considerably expands the funding opportunities for Bonn.
In addition to the subsidized roll-out, it is important to create incentives for the roll-out of fiber-optic infrastructure by the telecommunications companies participating in the market on their own initiative. In 2020, Deutsche Telekom AG had declared its commitment to the expansion of Bonn's Nordstadt district, with more than 12,300 households, with fiber-optic connections. The expansion, financed exclusively by Deutsche Telekom, envisages the use of state-of-the-art fiber-optic technology throughout, from the exchange to the home. In addition, the Pützchen business park will also be upgraded on its own account. Some delays have occurred due to the Corona pandemic. However, planning has been largely completed and the roll-out has now started.
In summary, broadband not only means fiber-optic supply, but fiber-optic supply is the basis for other lighthouse projects, such as Education in the Digital World and Digital City. Overall, this will secure Bonn's future viability as a science / business and UN location on its way to becoming the future "Smartest City in NRW". However, the Corona pandemic also shows that, above all, the "basic supply" of the population with fast data lines in the area of "learning at a distance", "home office" and "new work" must be guaranteed.
Digital Hub Region Bonn
The state of NRW supports so-called DWNRW Hubs as centers of the digital economy in Aachen, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Münster and the Ruhr region. The Digital Hub Region Bonn, located at Bonner Bogen, has been operating with the support of the state of NRW and many private-sector and public-sector partners and shareholders since 2017. The Hub supports young, digitally-oriented startups and founders as an accelerator and incubator with financing, infrastructure, mentoring & coaching, and a unique network. The City of Bonn supports the Hub with an annual earmarked donation for the period 2017-2022, is a member of the Supervisory Board and the Advisory Board, and cooperates with the Hub, among other things in the context of the Founder Scholarship of the State of NRW, as well as at events and networks. Particularly important is the networking with companies at the Bonn location as well as in science. A second location was also opened directly at Bonn's main train station.
Cyber Security Cluster Bonn
With the founding of the "Cyber Security Cluster Bonn e.V." in October 2018, Bonn has expanded its importance as a location for security. The association brings together all the security institutions operating in the region under one roof. On March 13 and 14, 2019, the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn held the Cyber Security Tech Summit Europe for the first time at the World Conference Center Bonn with 1,760 participants. Due to the Corona pandemic, the 2nd Cyber Security Tech Summit Europe 2020 took place on August 20 as an online conference. Under the guiding theme "How do we immunize society against cyberattacks?" the latest developments for improving cybersecurity in business and society were presented. DIGITAL.SICHER.NRW is the new competence center for cyber security in business in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since March 2021, the competence center, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, has been established at the two business locations in Bonn and Bochum. The non-profit GmbH, which was commissioned by the MWIDE to operate the competence center, was founded by two associations, the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn e.V. and eurobits e.V. from Bochum. In addition, a wide variety of topics are dealt with. For example, the Cyber Security Cluster Bonn e.V. has established the independent Wise Men's Council for Cyber Security 2019. It consists of six renowned professors from the most important clusters of excellence in Germany. The Panel of Eminent Persons published its first report on pressing digital security issues on June 24, 2020, and submitted it to the German government. In August 2021, Thomas Fetten, Head of Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH, was elected as the new Chairman by the Board of the Association. He thus succeeds Dirk Backofen after successfully building up the association.
Dialog for cybersecurity
To promote exchange on cybersecurity issues and raise awareness of Bonn as a location for IT security, the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) and Deutsche Telekom launched the Bonn Dialog for Cybersecurity (BDCS) back in April 2013. The city of Bonn and the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce are co-organizers for the events. In March 2021, the 16th Bonn Dialog for Cybersecurity " Corona 2020 - What else happened: IT Legislation in Extraordinary Times" took place.
Center of the geo industry
The geoinformation industry also continues to be a significant economic sector of the ICT sector. In the Bonn region, the geospatial industry is particularly well represented across all company sizes. The geo sector is a cross-sectional industry, as the services and products it produces are extremely versatile and can be applied in a wide variety of areas. The geoinformation network of science, research, business and administration, which was founded back in 2004, is supported by the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Economic Development Agency and the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Commerce and Industry in various formats: After the first successful season of the geomentoring program, the second season was launched at the beginning of 2020 with now 16 mentees and mentors.
On March 11, 2021, the 9th GeoDIALOG took place as a virtual networking event of the geobusiness region bonn with the topic "Geoinformation in Pandemics". Geoinformation is one of the most important tools to depict the pandemic in its course and consequences. Prof. Dr. Klaus Greve from the Institute of Geography at the University of Bonn, Michael Herter from the company infas 360 and Christoph Höser from the University Hospital Bonn described in their presentations the outstanding importance of geoinformation in pandemics and especially in the current Corona pandemic. The 9th Geodialog made it very clear that, on the one hand, GeoIT still represents a unique selling point for Bonn's IT location. On the other hand, the introductory lecture by the CDO of the City of Bonn, Friedrich Fuß, shows that geo-business is becoming an important player and driving force for the Smart City Bonn. This is also made clear by the integration of the website into the Smart City page of the city of Bonn.
Nationwide Digital Day 2021
The nationwide Digital Day serves to inform about the profound changes in everyday life and profession due to digitization. Numerous activities will highlight and discuss the various aspects of digitization. It is also about concerns and fears, about opportunities and challenges. The city of Bonn, under the project management of the Human Resources and Organization Office, has been involved in the Digitaltag with many activities. The Economic Development Office made various contributions with its digital offerings in the areas of innovation support, start-ups and graduate retention, as well as with a podcast contribution on the Digital City strategy paper.
Smart City App “Citykey”
With the Citykey app, the city of Bonn, together with Deutsche Telekom and other partner cities, is pursuing the vision of bundling a wide range of digital municipal services in a single app. This one-stop service or app would provide a centralized range of services that has not been available to date. This would have many advantages for users, including simplifying the time-consuming search for individual city services via mobile access.
The project, which was launched in 2019 under the project management of Deutsche Telekom with a letter of intent, is currently being developed with 10 community cities. Citizens will then be able to realize the benefits not only in their own city, but in any city that is a member of the app community. In a first phase of realization, the platform built on the idea of a modular principle will provide the following platform services for the city of Bonn:
- Waste collection calendar
- Digital administration/online access law/OZG
- Short surveys
- Places of interest
Services under testing are expected to go "go-live" in the fourth quarter of 2021 and will be available in the appropriate app stores.
Digitization for medium-sized businesses
In cooperation with various partners, the Bonn Economic Development Office further expanded and continued its offerings for digitization approaches in SMEs. This included, for example, a series of webinars in cooperation with the Kompetenzzentrum 4.0 Handel and the Bonn/Euskirchen Retail Association to promote digitization in Bonn's retail sector. A total of more than 150 entrepreneurs took part in the four webinars and three in-depth workshops.