As long as we can remember parking in downtown Willemstad (most notably the neighborhoods of Punda and Otrobanda) has been a challenge. Hopefully this will soon come to an end now that the tender for managing downtown parking has been awarded to a new party. As of this year, for a period of five years, paid parking will be managed by DMO/SKO, a cooperation between the management companies of the areas of Punda and Otrobanda.
Last week local media reported that Aqualectra, Curaçao's power- and water provider, had started the roll out of their smart meters project. Over the course of the coming 3 years they intend to replace the old power- (~85,000) and water (~80,000) meters with these new smart meters. Aqualectra hasn't provided much information in the media about the implications of the new meters so we hope to give some background here about Smart Meters, AMI, Smart Grids, and what those fancy words mean for the end user.
Every year in September the Curaçao Clean Up Foundation organizes the World Cleanup Day in Curaçao. During this event thousands of volunteers take to the streets and bays to clean up the mess people have made during the rest of the year. It’s not a particularly high-tech endeavor but it is a good example of how a small grassroots initiative has grown into an influential public-private partnership.
Clear your agendas because on October 20-22 a slew of local tech/innovation promoters will host the Curaçao Data Days with an array of local and international speakers. With this event the organizers aim to promote the adoption of fact-based decision making in government and business.
Last Friday the Curaçao government announced that this week it will launch the Curaçao Health App. If you go to curacaohealthapp.com now you can already register and get your own EU Digital Corona Certificate (DCC) in the form of a QR-code. During the press conference last Friday they said that they want to use the app for 2 things: 1) allow vaccinated people from Curaçao to get a DCC so they can travel in Europe and 2) use it as a gatekeeper for the hospitality/entertainment sector.
This November the Curaçao Innovation & Technology Institute (CITI) and the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) organize the 23rd edition of the Curaçao Innovation Award. You can still register your innovation until October 3rd, 2021 and this year you can also nominate someone else's innovation.
We all know that small island nations face many challenges to prosper, besides the obvious economic and logistical implications, there are also cultural and many poverty-related complications that play a role. So too in Curaçao. As an island with beautiful beaches, World Heritage type architecture and top-notch cuisine, we could always count on a thriving tourism industry and we are pioneers in trust and hedge fund administration. The other side of this wealthy image is also a reality. A big part of Curaçao’s population cannot access the resources they need, but also lacks the mindset and knowledge to prosper and be more self-reliant.
Curaçao has a challenging relationship with data. On the one hand everyone wants to get their hands on as much data as possible (privacy be damned sometimes) but we quite often ignore the data we have to make decisions. And finding people willing to share their data is like finding a needle in a stack of needles. This is why last week was so positively refreshing; when the Department of Traffic, Transport, and Urban Planning (VVRP) asked the people to share pothole locations for the department to fix.
Registration is open for CITI's Startup Launchpad 2021 and all startups and small companies are invited to register for this year's 4th edition.