The Smart Cities Marketplace Forum, was organised as an on-site event at the Event Lounge in Brussels and featured high-level keynotes by Commissioner Kadri Simson and Eero Ailio (Adviser to Director, Directorate B, DG Energy · European Commission), three plenaries (Political, Innovation, Finance), six parallel sessions, a public Action Cluster BarCamp working on nine overarching topics to extract recommendations for the next edition of the Marketplace and a matchmaking event running in parallel (continued until today) plus plenty of opportunities for explore/shape/deal activities as well as networking at the event location and online on the event platform veertly via a Wonder.me integration which has already been used for previous events.
- Commissioner Simpson’s keynote emphasised how cities are crucial for the European Green Deal and how RePowerEU will move the EU away from dependence on Russian fossil fuels toward more sustainable energy, building much on the action in cities and this way accelerating the roll-out of the Green Deal.
- The need to develop a robust innovation ecosystem for climate-neutral and smart cities through the inclusion of multidisciplinary stakeholders and the assessment of innovative ecosystems.
- The important role of innovative technologies for cities which were presented during the Smart Cities Marketplace sharing their unique experiences with different areas relevant to innovation ecosystems in cities
- One topic that came up through numerous discussions was the importance of citizen engagement. We need to talk - and listen - to citizens, and they are incredibly important stakeholders in the energy transition, not only with respect to avoid resistance but also to proactively support the transition.
- The urban future should be green, sustainable and just.
- A big interest was also observed during a breakout session on the need for an increased female leadership in the clean urban transition.
- Cities are a pivotal part of the clean energy transition, but also need to rethink how they are working, e.g. breaking down silos and engaging in green procurement by using an integrated approach.
- The event also took a closer look at financing issues for the clean energy transition in cities. The funding support for 100 cities (as role models for other to follow) as part Cities Mission call was specifically highlighted. It was also highlighted that the Smart Cities Marketplace stands ready to collaborate on supporting the 265 cities (and others), which were not selected to be among “the 100”.
- Another important conclusion resonates with the future vision of the Smart Cities Marketplace (see attached slides), involving companies and start-ups. The development of a narrative for small and medium-size cities, a more inclusive and consortium-driven approach, and getting companies on board, will support this vision.
- The obvious need for massive investments has been restated as well as the need to include the aggregation of demand in the said narrative as this will provide for the much-needed scaling of investments, increasing the volume and decreasing the risk. Municipalities are in a pole position to steer that aggregation process at the local level.
Figures & additional info
- The event had about 340 participants over the whole two days on-site and online, the sessions were well attended and the feedback we directly received was very promising;
- 358 registered participants for the on-site participation;
- 2 Keynotes, 3 Plenaries, 6 Workshop Sessions, 1 Action Cluster BarCamp with 9 key topics looking into the future of the Smart Cities Marketplace;
- 193 people attended the on-site event over the two days at the Event Lounge in Brussels;
- 150 people watched the livestream on the event platform veertly;
- 18 Shape Meet-ups with experts from the expert corner on the topics of communication, consortia building, city networks, financing, knowledge, and technology;
- The event featured an exhibition area with 15 exhibitors;
- Five partner organisations have opened the event to their respective additional communities: the Covenant of Mayors Office, the European Innovation Council, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Global Fund for Cities (FMDV) and Scalable Cities.
The recordings of the various sessions will be uploaded in due course. Furthermore, the Smart Cities Marketplace team would like to thank everyone who has joined us in person and/or line!
You would like to know more about the partners of this year’s Smart Cities Marketplace Forum?
Have a look here:
- The European Innovation Council (EIC)
- Covenant of Mayors (CoM)
- The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
- The Global Fund for Cities (FMDV)
- SCALABLE CITIES