Digital urban development: Thüga now a member of the “City Possible” network and launching joint smart city projects with MastercardOctober 12, 2021 | By Juliane Schmitz-Engels
Frankfurt/Munich, October 12, 2021 – Today, Mastercard and Thüga AG, the heart of the biggest network of municipal energy and water utility companies in Germany, have announced their strategic partnership. The focus of the cooperation is on joint projects and investments in the areas of digitalization and e-mobility. In addition, Thüga has become the first company from the energy and water supply industry to join the “City Possible” network initiated by Mastercard and will contribute its extensive knowledge of the development of connected, intelligent, and sustainable cities to the global partnership initiative.
Energy suppliers like the Thüga Group’s approximately 100 partner companies make a significant contribution to the development of e-mobility. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), over three quarters of the 42,000 publicly accessible electric charging points currently installed in Germany are operated by energy companies. That is why Mastercard and Thüga are aiming to cooperate closely in the area of e-mobility. Both partners want to combine their expertise in the field of charging infrastructure (Thüga) and payment transactions (Mastercard).
Both companies would also like to work together in the area of online services and analyze aggregated, anonymized spending data alongside publicly available external environmental information – covering the weather, traffic, and population, for instance, or points of interest like cinemas, restaurants, or public facilities. By doing so, geographic success factors can be identified with the aid of machine learning, making it possible to advise municipalities on how city centers can be revitalized and made more attractive, for example.
The Thüga Group’s utility companies and regional suppliers are strong partners to municipalities and work together on innovative solutions for the intelligent and livable city of the future. This also includes building the right infrastructure with smart city solutions based on this. To this end, Thüga and its platform companies provide the partner business with a secure and modular smart city concept that enables the development of digital solutions with various applications and services flexibly adaptable to the needs and wishes of the cities and regions. Living labs such as those in Freiburg i.Br. and Koblenz serve to demonstrate new business models in the connected city, giving Thüga partner companies and the representatives of their municipalities the opportunity to work with partner companies, see new technologies in use, and benefit from the insights gained. This allows the solutions to be implemented more smartly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
Dr. Matthias Cord, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board at Thüga AG, says: “The energy sector is changing. Climate protection, the energy transition, and new technologies are presenting challenges for the German municipal utility companies. The new partnership with Mastercard and the international sharing of experience within the City Possible network will help us to deal with the challenges of digitalization even more quickly and develop trendsetting solutions in order to promote integrative and sustainable urban development and actively shape the future of the municipal energy and water industry.”
Peter Bakenecker, Division President Central Europe at Mastercard, adds: “Whether it involves digital offerings, intelligent mobility solutions, or smart services, a growing number of cities and municipalities are moving toward a digitally connected future with smart city projects. That is why we are delighted to have found a strong partner in the Thüga Group, which has the biggest municipal network in Germany behind it. We want to use our digital solutions to help the more than 100 municipal utility companies seize the opportunities presented by digitalization and make processes more efficient.”
The global “City Possible” network initiated by Mastercard in 2018 brings together players from cities, communities, research organizations, and companies to facilitate dialogue on the subject of digitalization and inclusive urbanization. The partnership initiative focuses on the building of integrative and sustainable cities by improving access to urban services, expanding urban mobility solutions, and enabling data-assisted decisions to be made. This allows everyone involved to work together on matters with future relevance and play their part in developing innovative solutions for livable cities and municipalities.
Among the more than 220 members of the international partner program are major cities such as Athens, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne and New York as well as numerous smaller cities and municipalities such as the Salzlandkreis district. The initiative also helps more than 320 cities worldwide with the digitalization of local public transport systems.
Thüga AG (Thüga), based in Munich, is a holding company and specialist consulting firm rooted in local communities. Established in 1867, it is a minority shareholder in around 100 companies in the municipal energy and water sector throughout Germany. The respective majority shareholders are the cities and municipalities. Together with its partners, Thüga constitutes the largest municipal association of local and regional energy and water companies in Germany – the Thüga Group.
The common aim is to shape the future of municipal energy and water supplies. With more than 200 employees, Thüga develops and continues to expand the group and also supports municipal companies with advice and service companies, thereby helping its partners to remain competitive. They are responsible for active market cultivation with their local and regional brands. In total, Thüga's partners, with more than 21,000 employees between them, supply more than four million customers throughout Germany with electricity, two million customers with gas, and one million customers with drinking water. In 2019, they generated a turnover of 24 billion euros.
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
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