A year after the inauguration of the Gozo Innovation Hub, the first project involving a new smart parking system installed in Victoria Gozo is now operating.
This is the first smart parking system on the sister island and was developed and installed by Microsoft Accredited Partners J2 Group, also based at the Gozo Innovation Hub.
J2 Group was formed 20 years ago and today, as a Microsoft Accredited Partner, it is investing together with Microsoft to bring the latest technology platforms that can bring sustainable solutions to Gozo. Its presence at the Gozo Innovation Hub effectively gives Microsoft and its technologies, a presence in Gozo.
“When we announced our presence at the Gozo Innovation Hub last year, our promise was to help Gozo step into a new era of AI, machine learning, Internet of Things and augmented reality amongst others. With this first IoT smart parking system installation in Gozo, we now have all Gozo ready equipped with the infrastructure for IoT technology. Our aim was to push for true change in Gozo and we have kept our promise,” said Brian Darmanin, Managing Director of J2 Group.
The smart parking system installed in Victoria’s St Francis Square is being hosted on the Government’s Azure Could Platform and caters for 16 parking spots. The system also includes a mobile app which when activated, will be delivering traffic management capabilities to users, helping them get visibility of available parking slots and avoiding unnecessary congestion in the square.
Kyle Anastasi from Microsoft Malta added “This is part of Microsoft’s CityNext project, a global initiative through which we help cities around the world become more competitive, sustainable, and prosperous. Our plan for Gozo is to make a case for projects in Artificial Intelligence across four key areas namely Transport, Healthcare, Education and Culture – with all four sectors having sustainability as their common denominator.”
“At Microsoft, have the technology tools and platforms to achieve sustainability in the way we live, how we work and how we travel and together with our Gozitan partners J2 Group, we are proud with this first tangible project in Gozo,” added Mr Anastasi.
Located in Xewkija, the Gozo Innovation Hub was the result of an MoU between the Ministry for Gozo, Malta Industrial Parks, Malta Enterprise and MCAST. The hub acts as an incubator to attract knowledge companies and digital innovation enterprises to use it as a base and by Gozitan start-ups and ICT companies to relocate and operate from Gozo.