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The Hanseatic Silicon Valley? New digital centre to be built in Hamburg

Watch out, Berlin. Construction on a digital centre in the Hanseatic city state is set to start in a few days, attracting big companies and start-ups alike.

The Hanseatic Silicon Valley? New digital centre to be built in Hamburg
An conceptual image of the new hub. Image: Hammerbrooklyn.DigitalCampus

The hub, located between Hamburg’s main railway station and HafenCity quarter, is being billed as a place where innovative solutions for the city are to be devised and tested out.

Set to open in early 2019, “Hammerbrooklyn.DigitalCampus” is meant to be a place where companies, start-ups, and movers and shakers in various industries can work together with city authorities on site and develop ideas for Hamburg's digital future. 

Companies such as Deutsche Bahn, Siemens and Volkswagen have already signed up with plans to work on mobility concepts, having rented out a space at the centre for at least five years, reports the Hamburger Morgenpost.

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“The guiding idea at Hammerbrooklyn is to develop, try out and learn something new,” co-founder of the project, Mathias Müller-Using, told the Hamburger Abendblatt.

“This is where the city of the future is to be conceived,” Müller-Using added.

Image: Hammerbrooklyn.DigitalCampus

The ambitious and costly project, which will profit from a total of €150 million in investments over the next ten years, has generally been met with applause from politicians, according to the Hamburger Abendblatt.

Frank Horch (independent), the Hanseatic city’s senator for economics, has encouraged businesses to get involved.

“Hamburg must be innovative and creative to be internationally competitive,” Horch said, adding that “it is especially important that companies and organizations seize the challenges and opportunities of digitalization for their own benefit.”

Head of Hamburg's central Mitte district, Falko Droßmann of the Social Democrats (SPD), said he was already looking forward to the completion of the hub in 2019.

Pilot projects at the centre will focus on smart city and smart mobility concepts, including augmented and virtual reality, block chain technology and 3D printing.

These projects will play a key role in implementing Hamburg’s strategy as host of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in 2021.

Once the 50,000-square-metre hub opens its doors members of the public will also be able to visit.

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.

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