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Smart cities share stories of digital governance



Smart cities share stories of digital governance

Digital governance is a trend, not a choice, in solving common problems of urban development such as aging populations, and of improving efficiency to benefit people in these changing times, experts said at a recent forum.

Many countries have introduced digital tools like big data and artificial intelligence in the creation of smart cities, and significant achievements have been made in fields such as agriculture, education and industry.

At a smart farm in Palmerston North, New Zealand, AI is used to monitor cows and enables them to roam freely with little human interference.

“There will also be an area with digital monitoring to allow the cow to get its back scratched when it needs, and the milking process has been automated so that cows can be milked when they feel the need to be milked. Minimum human labor is needed,” Gabrielle Loga, international relations manager for Palmerston North, told China Daily at the Smart City Forum for International Friendship Cities in Guiyang, Guizhou province, on Friday.

“The application of AI is not only great for production itself but also has boosted tourism, and is particularly popular with children for educational purposes,” she said, adding that the city will hopefully collaborate with Guiyang on smart farming soon.

Palmerston North consults residents on public issues, which Loga says generates “thick documents or submissions with lots of words” that traditionally are quite labor-intensive and time-consuming to read through.

“However, since we have been experimenting with large language models, AI has been able to help us go through submissions much faster, so we will be able to encourage more submissions in the future and better understand what our residents want,” she said.

The city council has also adopted intelligent environmental monitoring and intelligent monitoring for endangered species, and places importance on green buildings and sustainable construction. As a sister city of Guiyang for the last 31 years, Palmerston North hopes to continue cooperation on agricultural technology, smart learning and digitalization, but is also looking to expand cooperation in other areas such as commerce and ecotourism, according to Loga.

Busan in South Korea, the first smart city approved by the country in 2018, has introduced innovative services like real-time water quality management, smart parking, intelligent medicine and carbon-free applications in its 28,000-square-kilometer Eco City area.

In January last year, 65 families moved into the Eco City to test out the services, and local authorities are smoothing out the problems before the system is expanded to other areas, according to Kim Myogeum, chief representative of the Shanghai office of Busan.

Busan became a super-aging society in 2022, and there are many old residents who live by themselves. We observe their behavior and condition so help and care can be offered in time,” she said, adding that technology is being used to create a healthier and cleaner environment so that residents can live better lives.

Busan ranks first in terms of smart city construction in South Korea, according to Kim.

In Tripolis, Greece, devices have been installed in all public areas to monitor the use of energy.

Through intelligent calculation, resources needed to grow a crop can be determined precisely to avoid excessive use, and with flooding a frequent hazard, the city has developed an alert system to warn inhabitants of danger, Konstantinos Tzoumis, mayor of Tripolis, told the forum at the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2023, which concluded on Sunday.

This year is the first time the expo has resumed in-person events since COVID-19. It’s also the first time a special booth has been set up to showcase the achievements of 13 cities in eight countries — Greece, Italy, South Korea, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, secretary-general of United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific Section, said that sharing the experiences of digital governance is important because cities and local governments have a wealth of information on improving productivity and helping people live more comfortably.

“From this forum, we’ll learn how cities have been using smart city technology in fields like agriculture, health and education. This inspires other local governments to do better as well,” she said.

The organization, which connects 140,000 cities in 140 countries and regions, plans to create a committee for digital governance to help more governments and cities embrace digitalization and sustainable development, she added.


Venture Capital Fund Manager Token Bay Capital Granted In-Principle Approval To Invest In Tokens With First of Its Kind License in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)



  • License will permit investment in both the equity and tokens of crypto start-ups
  • Opening of Token Bay’s new offices in ADGM aligns with planned second fund

Token Bay Capital Limited (“Token Bay”) is expanding its venture capital footprint in the capital of the UAE and has been granted an in-principle approval (IPA) from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) to carry out regulated activities in the ADGM. Subject to final regulatory approval for the grant of the Financial Services Permission (FSP), Token Bay brings niche capabilities to manage both token and equity investments in early-stage crypto start-ups under the FSRA’s Venture Capital Fund Manager (VCFM) framework.

Founded in 2021, Token Bay is a leading Crypto Venture Capital Fund that has adopted a regulatory-first approach from day one. Token Bay invests in start-ups building next-generation blockchain infrastructure and decentralized applications for Web3. Building on the success of its first fund, Token Bay is now launching its second fund and will continue to back outstanding entrepreneurs building infrastructure solutions for the new token economy. In addition to Abu Dhabi, Token Bay also has offices in Hong Kong, and is strategically positioned across digital assets hubs in both the Middle East and Asia.

Founder and Managing Partner of Token Bay, Lucy Gazmararian: “This marks the first phase of global expansion for Token Bay, and we’re excited to have been granted the IPA in ADGM for venture capital investment in tokens as well as in equity. Blockchain technology has the potential to drive innovation through tokenization, and as blockchain networks continue to evolve, it is important that as venture capitalists we are fully equipped to support talented founders building in Web3 by directly participating in these networks and taking an ownership stake through tokens. We extend our sincerest thanks to the regulator for their forward-thinking approach and open dialogue so that we were able to reach this important milestone and establish Token Bay in one of the world’s leading international financial centres and digital assets hub.”

ADGM’s progressive regulatory framework, English common law legal framework, status as a leading centre for financial innovation and vibrant blockchain and digital assets ecosystem have attracted Token Bay to set up offices in the capital of the UAE.

Arvind Ramamurthy, Chief of Market Development at ADGM said, “We extend a warm welcome to Token Bay Capital as they join ADGM’s international financial centre and commence their establishment in Abu Dhabi, marking the beginning of their global expansion journey. ADGM is dedicated to cultivating innovation and excellence in the financial sector, particularly within the virtual asset space. With progressive regulatory frameworks that facilitate companies like Token Bay Capital, ADGM’s vibrant ecosystem stands as the optimal platform for initiating their global growth trajectory.”

Token Bay’s Venture Funds offer institutions, multi-national companies, private banks, family offices and high-net-worth individuals the opportunity to invest in an emerging asset class right at the start of a multi-decade cycle.

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Walmart chooses Swisslog ASRS powered by SynQ software to enhance transparency and delivery of quality products in third milk processing facility




Swisslog, a leading provider of best-in-class intralogistics warehouse automation and software, has announced that Walmart will install a Swisslog automation solution within its Robinson, TX, facility to enable seamless material flow and increase uptime. Walmart is planning to break ground on the milk processing facility later this year with the facility scheduled to open in 2026.

This is the third Walmart milk processing facility to deploy Swisslog’s automated storage and retrieval solution (ASRS) featuring SynQ software and Vectura cranes. The company worked with Swisslog to open its first milk processing facility in Fort Wayne, IN, in 2018. This facility served as a blueprint for its second facility in Valdosta, GA expected to open in 2025, as well as for the just announced Texas facility.

According to Walmart, the ASRS continues the company’s commitment to building a more resilient and transparent supply chain to deliver high-quality products. It also will bolster the company’s capacity to meet consumer demand for milk. The products from the facility will serve more than 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs throughout the South including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and parts of Arkansas and Mississippi.

Designed by Swisslog’s automation experts, the ASRS brings together five Vectura pallet stacker cranes with KUKA palletizing and de-palletizing robots, a ProMove pallet conveyor system, as well as a conveyor system for small loads. The automation solution operates on synchronized intelligence from Swisslog’s SynQ software, which provides warehouse management, material flow and automation control system functionality in a single, modular platform.

“We are honored that Walmart continues to put their trust in our automation solutions and our people behind those solutions,” said Sean Wallingford, president, and CEO of Swisslog Americas. “This has been a very collaborative relationship as our two teams work together to create value for Walmart and ensure our automation solutions and software enable the company and its farmers to bring fresh, transparently sourced dairy to market.”

SynQ management software not only optimizes the flow of the equipment to increase efficiency and accuracy of the operation, it also orchestrates the operation of multiple sub-systems. It equips warehouse automation and IT systems with synchronized intelligence of people, processes and machines to boost the efficiency and productivity of warehouse processes and adapt to changing market requirements. SynQ provides sophisticated inventory management and material flow capabilities that enable real-time inventory tracking and management of items to ensure freshness, quality and transparency of the food supply chain.

This project also includes Swisslog’s IT Managed Services, which puts in place experts to proactively manage the IT systems and software required to keep the equipment running at peak performance. The higher-level 24/7 support allows Walmart to free up internal resources from routine IT system administration, while also enabling data-driven proactive maintenance that helps reduce unplanned downtime.

For more information on Swisslog automation technologies and software, visit

About Swisslog

We shape the future of intralogistics with robotic, data-driven and flexible automated solutions that achieve exceptional value for our customers. Swisslog helps forward-thinking companies optimize the performance of their warehouses and distribution centers with future-ready automation systems and software. Our integrated offering includes consulting, system design and implementation, and lifetime customer support in more than 50 countries.

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Rally Ventures' Justin Kaufenberg Joins PayGround Board of Directors



SportsEngine co-founder brings payments industry experience and understanding of consumer expectations as PayGround prepares for continued growth

Justin Kaufenberg, Managing Director of Rally Ventures, has accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of PayGround, a healthcare fintech payments platform. Kaufenberg, who is the co-founder and former CEO of SportsEngine, brings a unique entrepreneurial perspective as well as a deep understanding of payments and banking.

Rally Ventures participated in PayGround’s Series A fundraising in 2023.

“From our very first conversation, Justin and the Rally Ventures team have been enthusiastic about joining PayGround on our mission to empower individuals and families with a healthcare digital wallet,” says PayGround CEO Drew Mercer. “We are in a season of hyper-growth and innovation at PayGround, and we are looking forward to having Justin at the table as we look for ways to provide additional banking capabilities for both healthcare providers and consumers.”

A core investment focus for Rally Ventures is products that deliver mission-critical software with embedded payments and financial services.

“Fixing the payment process within the healthcare industry has proven difficult because of all of the disparate systems involved. This is an industry in dire need of innovation, and I believe PayGround is approaching the problem in a smart and strategic way,” Kaufenberg says. “I’m looking forward to offering any guidance I can to help PayGround move the healthcare payments industry forward as they develop a strategy that looks to integrate various billing systems into their platform. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this company.”

About PayGround

PayGround is a healthcare payments platform that streamlines the payment experience for providers and patients. For patients, it’s an easy-to-use mobile app to manage, track and pay all medical bills in one secure place. For medical providers, it’s a modernized payment platform that reduces costs, simplifies processes and boosts patient and employer satisfaction. PayGround — the meeting place for healthcare payments. Learn more at

About Rally Ventures

Rally Ventures invests exclusively in early-stage business technology companies, focusing on entrepreneurs creating major new markets or bringing transformative approaches to existing ones. Since 1997, Rally Ventures’ partners and venture capital industry veterans have invested in or run early-stage enterprise business-to-business technology companies with a proven ability to deliver superior returns regardless of the overall market environment. For more information visit

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