Smart cities and villages, smart solutions for full connectivity and efficiency in everything and of everything... But would people be smart enough to do this in a smart way? We’d like to introduce to you Radoslav Koshkov in order to “paint” the picture of the future for which he works as a business leader. He is the Regional Manager of Schneider Electric for Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo and is the first Bulgarian to be responsible for the operations of an industrial group in the four Balkan countries. He joined the company in 2000 and went through different levels and positions.
What is the future that Schneider Electric leads us to?
Everything is now much more connected than before. Boundaries are blurring – and not only the boundaries between countries are becoming more open, but also those among different business sectors are not what they used to be. The so-called smart technologies open up space for new products and solutions that give a competitive edge to companies, which, until recently, have operated in totally different sectors. And the speed at which the processes are running is constantly increasing. All this is due to the connectivity between devices and the access of more and more people to this connectivity. This is also at the basis of our EcoStruxure platform, which connects products, software and big data, and allows the overall management of buildings, networks and industrial processes. It offers analysis and optimization and maintenance tips.
The Smart City Concept
The topic of smart city is a natural extension to the discussion on connectivity. Our company has numerous projects in different parts of the world where the management of multiple city systems is joined into one common network. The smart city is exactly a collection of systems that do not work in isolation from each other, but exchange data and information about events, so that the city reacts as an organism and spends its resources optimally by providing the best possible conditions for citizens.
Efficiency and Sustainable Development
The more efficient our consumption, the more we derive from our resources, the more sustainable our future will be. However, reducing global energy consumption is impossible, on the contrary, it is steadily increasing. In Schneider Electric, we believe that the access to energy is a fundamental human right, and we are convinced that all people should have this right. The only key to the future remains efficiency – energy management and more and more efficient consumption. Measuring, knowing what exactly we consume, constantly removing imperfections and improving productivity is the right way.
The City of the Future
Reality may well surprise our wildest dreams. Until the massive penetration of the Internet, technological fantasies were focused on flying cars and other solutions that are still far from our everyday life. But look at what happened – no one could predict modern connectivity – you can now “talk” with your air conditioner at home while you are at work and have a device in your pocket that collects and replaces dozens of other devices. In the future, cities will be more and more efficient and convenient – this should be a commitment and a goal both for technology companies and for all of us as citizens.
It is no longer a dream to have villages in which modern technologies are part of the everyday life. Even in Bulgaria, there is a company that offers a smart solution for bee hives. This is an example of the endless possible applications of the existing technologies. The new generations, born and grown up in the digital age, will enter their mature life, and thus, in a natural way, the digital will penetrate everywhere and everything. There are more and more people, even in Bulgaria, who live in a village but are fully “connected” and combine technologies with the traditional environment around them.
Business and Development
Being linked to more and more public services, businesses will have to be increasingly responsible. The main tool for that is healthy competition. Despite making the work environment more difficult in some respects, the presence of more and more companies on this field encourages development. The idea of “connectivity” is to have the freedom to integrate any devices, even “competitive” ones. The main challenge will be cybersecurity and how companies will achieve uniform and sufficiently high criteria for protection.
The uneven technological development of major cities around the world and the imbalances created by the different financial opportunities are a fact. But technology can help both to electrify the poorest communities supporting their inclusion, and to manage resources properly without having waste in the richer areas. The constantly emerging new technologies can be applied in many ways and in them, we can look for the key to ensuring equal access and higher quality of life for all.
Technology Is not an End in Itself
Man is always threatened by himself. Still, I think that in the future, we will develop a culture that will stop the sinking into technological goals that are an end in themselves. If, ultimately, a technical solution is not useful to anyone, it is doomed to a short life.
Schneider Electric is a company established in France. It gradually became global and, 20 years ago, it expanded the territory of its production and markets by coming to Bulgaria through its company Schneider Electric Bulgaria. The concern offers solutions to a number of industries in the field of energy management and covers segments, such as the generation of electricity and the transmission to final consumers. A successful privatization transaction for part of the electrical plant in Perushtitsa took place in 1999. In 2007, the company opened a new plant in Plovdiv, where its entire production from Perushtitsa was moved.