The world witnessed the launch of the inaugural Cloud City BRICS International Innovation Forum in late August, a groundbreaking event that convened tech leaders from across the globe to explore the future of urban digitalisation and cultivate cross-border partnerships in the tech sector.
With representation from 30 countries, including Brazil, India, South Africa, the UAE, Indonesia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, the forum underscored the global unity in advancing technology. Distinguished figures such as Aisha Bin Bishr, a renowned global digital and Smart Cities expert, emphasised the urgency of international cooperation.
Over 300 speakers from Russia and abroad converged in Moscow for this historic event, contributing to 50 themed sessions that delved into the cutting-edge realms of technology and innovation. Nobel laureates like Professor Muhammad Yunus and UN Adviser Rae Kwong Chung graced the stage with their insights, alongside visionaries like Daouda Gueye and Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
The forum served as a rendezvous point for Russian and international experts, architects, investors, mayors, government officials, and IT firms, sparking discussions on the latest approaches to urban digitalisation. Topics spanned from harnessing big data and cloud technology to the potential of virtual twins.
The multi-day conference explored diverse facets of digital transformation, including designing cities for safety and comfort, understanding the evolving digital consumer landscape, and the convergence of urban economies and technology. Furthermore, it delved into the prospects of cross-sector innovations, the sharing economy's potential, and showcased futuristic megacities like Saudi Arabia's car-free urban centre and Akon City in Africa, powered by renewable energy sources.
The forum also marked a significant stride in Russia's technological collaboration with Arab nations, particularly concerning cloud cities and digital economy transformation. Numerous Russian and foreign IT companies seized this opportunity to ink cooperative agreements, resulting in deals worth an astounding $347 million. Moscow-based Autonomika alone secured over $320 million in investment, furthering its expansion into the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
The crowning moment of the event was the signing of the Moscow Declaration of Innovative Development, uniting BRICS nations' development institutions and the Moscow Innovation Cluster in a shared vision for technological advancement.
A pinnacle of the forum's conclusion was the presentation of the World Innovation Award in Sustainable Development by the World Organisation for Development (WOD), a UN Global Compact member. This prestigious international prize honored exceptional individuals like Natalia Sergunina, Deputy Mayor of Moscow, for her substantial contributions to Moscow's digital ecosystem and its potential for global scalability. Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Rae Kwong Chung bestowed the award upon Sergunina, while other distinguished awardees included leaders from Managua, Telangana, Istanbul, Egypt, and Dakar.
The inaugural edition of the Cloud City BRICS International Innovation Forum has undeniably catalysed international collaboration, propelling advancements in innovation, urban planning, digital services, and public spaces. With an impressive turnout of over 5,000 participants, this groundbreaking event signals a promising future for global tech cooperation.