The end of the Smart Cities Information System was celebrated during a 2-day conference taken place on November 4th and 5th with nearly 200 participants and 19 sessions with 44 speakers from cities, businesses, research institutions and the financial sector.
The Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) – a knowledge platform to exchange data, experience and know-how and to collaborate on the creation of smart cities, comes to an end. SCIS brought together European project developers, cities, research institutions, businesses, experts and citizens to help support the deployment, replication and upscaling of smart and sustainable solutions in cities and communities.
However, as the title of the final conference A BEGINNING – NOT THE END implied the focus of the conference was on the integration of SCIS into the Smart Cities Marketplace. With keynote speeches from Walter Eevers, scientific director at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) and Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of Eurocities, the online conference emphasised the incorporation of the various SCIS elements such as policy recommendations, solution booklets, videos and podcasts but also data from projects into the Smart Cities Marketplace to provide a one-stop shop for answering nearly all smart city related questions.
The conference covered a wide range of topics – from storytelling to the important role of replication and upscaling as well as funding from EU sources and financing with private investors. In parallel to the conference meetings were organised with a total of 12 projects received and 4 projects matched with investors in special ‘deal meetings’ (total investment 84 million EUR).
Georg Houben, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Energy at the European Commission, said:
“The relevance of SCIS is accentuated by the latest evolution such as the Green Deal, the Renovation Wave, and unexpectedly, the post-COVID recovery effort: smart and sustainable cities have a pivotal role to play, and here are SCIS and the Smart Cities Marketplace to fully support these efforts.”
Han Vandevyvere, Project Coordinator, Vito / Energy Ville, highlighted:
“SCIS is so much more than a database! The co-creation of solution booklets where the output is written together with the people from the projects is just one example. SCIS and the Smart Cities Marketplace are not just a database or a repository, they are knowledge platforms, community hubs and active support channels.”
Tatiana Pasquel Garcia, Project Coordinator, Smart Cities Marketplace, stated:
“We will continue to actively use the resources produced by SCIS like the solution booklets, the videos and stories and the publications or the policy advise. Our communication will remain open to all… SCIS brought together the Smart cities community and the Smart Cities Marketplace will do that too, our door remains open!”
The Smart Cities Marketplace is an initiative for those looking for inspiration, knowledge-exchange or investment to deliver Smart City solutions in any of the areas of Energy, Transport & Mobility, or ICT. The platform is launched by DG Energy, and supported by DG Move and DG Connect, through merging the Marketplace of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC) and the Smart Cities Information System (SCIS).
Integrating the two initiatives will make the accumulated experience of the big community of Smart City stakeholders – including more than 100 cities already involved as either Smart City ‘Lighthouses’ or ‘Fellows’ – easily accessible for any city or company with ambitions to implement smart solutions.
In order to get Smart City projects (including above-mentioned Initiatives) to the market the Smart Cities Marketplace features a process called Matchmaking by which project ideas can be realised with financing through the platform’s own Investor Network. Potential project promoters can submit ideas to the Smart Cities Marketplace and/or join one of the dedicated Matchmaking Events, which allows interest parties to:
- EXPLORE - See and learn what’s been done and what is next
- SHAPE - Shape projects and action plans
- DEAL - Create relations and opportunities
The work done by the Smart Cities Information System to collect and disseminate the accumulated learnings from the many monitored Smart City projects and initiatives will continue under the new platform.
The Smart Cities Marketplace is a hub for all stakeholders, groups, networks, platforms and initiatives being involved in the Smart City field. Its single purpose is to support the massive upscaling of Smart City solutions across Europe and deliver more sustainable cities.