PublicSonar Experiences in IMEC-Programme

27 Jan 2022
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Author: HSD Foundation

PublicSonar from The Hague deploys advanced algorithms and AI on social media to provide early warning of security incidents. The company, an HSD partner, is a spin-off from the research that TU Delft and TNO conducted into the tragedy at the Belgian music festival Pukkelpop in 2011. The technology is already being used in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and now PublicSonar is hoping to convince Germany as well through the IMEC process. IMEC is an International Market Entry Coaching programme for companies that are situated in the The Hague Region.

 

Signals from the public

Whether it is an earthquake in Groningen or a blazing fire, people share it on social media,' says Linda Kroesbergen, head of marketing at PublicSonar. That such information is invaluable to governments and organisations was demonstrated by research conducted by TU Delft and TNO, based on signals from the public during Pukkelpop 2011.'

 

At that time, the festival visitors were surprised by heavy weather and fled into the large festival tent, which subsequently collapsed. An investigation into messages on social media showed that valuable information had been shared about the possible impact of the weather. Had this been available to the organisation, different choices might have been made. The advanced online monitoring technology developed as a result of the research forms the basis for PublicSonar.

 

Step towards Germany

 'In the Netherlands, PublicSonar's technology has been used for almost ten years by information managers in municipalities and emergency services for example,' says Linda. And we are also making inroads in the United Kingdom. When we were recently approached by parties from Germany, we realised that a different approach was needed compared to the UK. We got in touch with IMEC and were able to participate in the 2021-2022 track.'

 

Changed approach

Participation in the IMEC project is very valuable for PublicSonar. Linda: 'IMEC is unique, because in a short time it gives a complete picture of the culture, regulations and way of working of a target country. Sharing knowledge and experiences with the other participants is also instructive. Based on the programme, we have changed our initial approach from a more opportunistic one to a more thorough one with references, standards and emphasising privacy and ethical aspects. That is the only way you can succeed in Germany.'

 

Enthusiastic students

Through IMEC, PublicSonar also came into contact with students of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. They conducted a market study into the use of the technology among German disaster relief workers. The research provided interesting insights into how these organisations work, what challenges they face and - also important - how we can approach them,' says Linda. 'We are confident that our customers in Germany will soon be using our technology to respond to incidents more quickly and appropriately.'

 

Support of InnovationQuarter

The Hague Business Agency and InnovationQuarter offer SMEs from The Hague region a pathway to a flying start on the international market: IMEC (International Market Entry Coaching). Read more about it here. Participation in this programme is free of charge and entering is possible until 6 February 2022.

 

Doing business in Europe?

Ambitions to find out what other opportunities there are in Germany and the rest of Europe? Please also read the article ‘Opportunities in Europe’!

 

Click here to read this article in Dutch. 

HSD Partners involved

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