Zemin Istanbul Living Lab

Image provided by City of Istanbul.
Image provided by City of Istanbul.

Zemin Istanbul was launched in September 2018, as a Guided Support Project within the scope of the Istanbul Development Agency.

Since September 2019, Zemin Istanbul (Ground Istanbul) has been under the management of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Smart City Directorate.

Zemin Istanbul provides opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop their business models in the thematic areas of environment, energy, transportation and social innovation. Its also provides a basis for the people of Istanbul, especially young people, to play a participatory role in the smart city journey of Istanbul.

Image provided by City of Istanbul
Image provided by City of Istanbul

Zemin Istanbul has been designed in a structure that will facilitate the development of innovative products and services in local governments, and aims to produce and experience these products and services together with citizens.

Zemin Istanbul aims to be a centre where technologies such as blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence can be used for the services of IMM, and where applications can be developed and experienced at its futuristic physical location in Şişhane. The existing data of IMM can be accessed to provide solutions to the problems of the city.

The units operating at Zemin Istanbul are listed below:

Experience Centre

It is the centre where citizens can experience services or products before they are offered to the market, and give helpful feedback for product redesign based on their experiences.

Activity Center

Meetups, training and conferences are organized to bring together technology manufacturers, users and investors to develop a new generation of products and services.

Acceleration Center

Enable promising early stage entrepreneurs to quickly scale their ventures by perfecting their business models.

Education Center

Free, technology-based trainings are provided within the scope of the protocol signed with the Provincial Directorate of National Education for children between the ages of 11 and 16.

Photo provided by City of Istanbul
Photo provided by City of Istanbul

Animation Studios

It is a centre where children between the ages of 7 and 10 years old can create their own cartoons, and share them with their friends by using objects on a tablet.

Relevant challenges

The main drivers were supporting projects, trainings, events and active entrepreneurs by taking into account the importance of IoT technologies, software, blockchain, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship and fintech areas, which will shape the present and near future of technology in Istanbul.

The free trainings and activities are carried out under the guidance of the municipality - where current developments in information technology are followed closely, and important topics that will determine the future of technology were discussed.

At the same time, the trainings that were not available in the curriculum of the Ministry of National Education were given to students in public schools thanks to a mutual agreement.

Zemin Istanbul hosted many events with domestic and international participants as the centre for the municipality. It allows local governments to learn about new technologies and to show that such a centre is in Turkey. IMM has implemented a system to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem and contribute to the development of technological studies among children and youth in the city of Istanbul.

Since September 2018, Zemin Istanbul has hosted 67,163 visitors, 1,138 people have been trained, 1,664 people have participated in the events and working space and workshop areas have been provided for 27 entrepreneurs.