Co-creating smart and sustainable cities in Europe: new flagship project announced
Across Europe, cities are accelerating their transformation towards cleaner, friendlier places able to respect and use resources more efficiently. IRIS - Integrated and Replicable solutions for co-creation in Sustainable cities - is proud to be identified at the forefront of this change and announce itself as the newest addition to the European Commission Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) lighthouse projects
Beginning in October 2017, IRIS, a five-year European funded project, will harness user-demand driven energy and mobility services; encourage more collaborative and effective urban planning and governance; as well as validate business model and technical innovations to fuel smart sustainable city aspirations across the continent.
These initiatives will be lead by lighthouse cities of Utrecht (NL, Project Coordinator), Gothenburg (SE) and Nice Côte d’Azur (FR) and their follower cities Vaasa (FI), Alexandroupolis (GR), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ES), and Focsani (RO). Each city will draw upon a mix of universities and research organisations, local authorities, innovation agencies and private expertise to accelerate entire communities to adopt ambitious energy, mobility and ICT initiatives.
At the heart of the project, IRIS is organised around five key challenges − energy positive districts, smart energy management and a smart e-mobility sector, a digital city innovation platform, plus citizen engagement and co-creation − with a mix of 16 targeted solutions supporting their delivery. Priorities in implementing these in each of the lighthouse and follower cities have been made after extensive analysis and capitalise on a selection of regional, national and European initiatives that have been building towards this landmark funding opportunity.
In a highly competitive tender, evaluators reserved specific praise for the IRIS approach to integrating renewable energies at a local level and mainstreaming electric vehicle infrastructure. Likewise, collaboration between lighthouse and follower cities, the city innovation ICT platform and detailed, high-quality business modelling tailored to each solution were singled out for their impacts and attention to detail.
Across all seven city locations, IRIS will work to apply their own winning mix with an ‘Open innovation’ approach embodied by the use of FIWARE to encourage professional collaboration and unlocking the collective intelligence of communities with co-creation techniques. At a European level, this open approach will ensure IRIS plays a proactive and full role in supporting the work of the nine existing SCC projects currently representing nearly 50 cities, as well as other projects and horizontal initiatives joining the smart cities community and thematic European Innovation Partnership.
Integrated and Replicable Solutions for Co-Creation in Sustainable Cities (IRIS) project consortium in full:
· Utrecht Lighthouse (NL): Municipality of Utrecht (Project Coordinator), housing corporation Bo-Ex, Utrecht Sustainability Institute / Utrecht University, LomboXnet, ENECO, University of the Arts (HKU), STEDIN, Qbuzz, Civity and KPN.
· Gothenburg Lighthouse (SE): Municipality of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Science Park, Chalmers University of Technology, Metry, HSB, Riksbyggen, Akademiska Hus, Trivector Traffic, and Tyréns.
· Nice Lighthouse (FR): Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur, University of Nice Sopha Antipolis, Electricité de France (EDF), Electricité Reseau Distribution France (Enedis), Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), Veolia Environnement, Côte d'Azur Habitat, NEXIMMO 96, and VU LOG.
· Follower cities: Vaasa (FI) with Merinova Technology centre and University of Vaasa, Alexandroupolis (GR) with Energyhive energy and natural resources cluster of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ES) with Sustainable Building Cluster (CCS), and Focsani (RO) with Polytechnic University of Bucharest and National Research and Development Institute for Energy (ICEMENERG).
· 'Horizontal' partners: Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH - GR), IMCG (SE), European Science and Communication Institute (ESCI - DE), Civity (NL), University of Brussels (VUB - BE), and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (SE).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 774199