Arcadis today announced a global partnership with Irys, a Techstars start-up based in Texas.
The new partnership will see Arcadis incorporate Irys’ cutting edge and human centric engagement tools within its own infrastructure, mobility and buildings projects with the aim to increase community involvement, collaboration and improve decision making.
Irys, which was founded in 2017, supports government-citizen communication and engagement across major cities and municipalities in the US. It has pioneered the use of modular-based System as a Service (SaaS) digital platforms and engagement tools – which enable data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and web browser – to improve information gathering across complex public sector projects. Their platforms seamlessly collect and manage information and make sure the voice of citizens and communities are heard throughout a project lifecycle, from design and planning to completion.
The start-up, previously known as CityFlag, joined the first wave of ‘Arcadis City of 2030 accelerator, powered by Techstars’ in 2019. Over the last two years, the Irys team have worked closely with Arcadis business mentors to develop strategies to swiftly grow their business into the infrastructure and resilience sectors, fine tune products, build relevant networks, and explore scalable opportunities for collaboration within Arcadis and with its clients.
One such product, which the two businesses have developed together, is a new easy-to-use community engagement app that enables project owners to engage in two-way communication with the community on any infrastructure project-related planning, policy or design issue. The app provides citizens or stakeholders with a quick and convenient way to provide input and helps drive community inclusion. Through the app, users can provide project related feedback, complete surveys, receive event notifications and access various project resources.
“People who live, work, play, in a specific place or city know its needs best. They know what will work and what will not work, and what sort of changes will improve their everyday quality of life, opportunities and sense of belonging,” said Stephan Ritter, Chief Innovation Officer at Arcadis.
Arcadis will be deploying the app to a number of major infrastructure, buildings and resilience projects in the UK and US in 2021 with the aim to roll out the app globally in 2022.
“Working with ecosystem partners to help us deliver digitally-led and sustainable solutions for our clients is an increasingly important element of our strategy at Arcadis. I am very proud to see the evolution of our relationship with Irys: from the early exploration on our Techstars accelerator program to a global partnership centered around a cutting edge and scalable digital tool to shape communities and create the infrastructure we rely on every day,” said Ritter.
"How we redesign our cities will have a significant impact on the world we leave to future generations. In collaboration with Arcadis, we've developed a scalable solution that makes it easier for teams to design, build, and manage community-driven projects that will improve the quality of life in natural and built environments," said Beto Altamirano, Irys’ co-founder and CEO.