Finance and investment opportunities at the core of the 2016 EIP-SCC General Assembly

Finance and investment opportunities at the core of the 2016 EIP-SCC General Assembly
The City of Eindhoven hosted the 2016 EIP-SCC General Assembly with more than 500 attendees

Yesterday, Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner Violeta Bulc (Transport) and Dutch Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and Environment) hosted the 2016 EIP-SCC General Assembly, an associated event of the Dutch Presidency of the European Council of the European Union, which took place in Eindhoven. 500 participants, representing cities, regions, companies and other organisations from across Europe, met at the Klokgebouw Trudo to discuss and explore future needs and opportunities to invest in smart cities.

The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities is Europe´s key initiative to foster the roll-out of smart city innovation at large scale.

"Mayors experience first-hand that new disruptive technologies are blurring the boundaries between the worlds of energy, transport, digital and the circular economy. Cities are where the rubber meets the road; it's where traditional policy silos are broken first. An Initiative such as the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities is there to help them doing that", said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission.

Smart housing & living, smart electric mobility, intelligent lighting and mobility services...lots of things can and need to be done to deliver smart cities that benefit citizens needs. The solutions are there, but need to be taken up. This is why facilitating access to finance for cities, developing bankable business models and providing good and effective policy and regulation are now the focus of the work of this partnership.

“Cleaner air, safer transport networks, reducing congestion, optimising use of existing infrastructure – these are just some of the reasons why smart city development is so important. Cities need to come together in order to scale such investments into smart city development and to scale fast. A key priority for this Commission is simplifying and broadening access to finance; as well as developing innovative financing. We want more money to flow into good projects that can be replicated in cities across Europe, and then exported as solutions to the rest of the world. European cities and European companies need to stay in the global lead for smart and connected urban mobility. Therefore, better collaboration and co-creation between public and private partners is very much needed!”, said Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport.

Key achievements

The partnership strives to bring 100 cities and 100 industrial partners together in concrete projects in 2016. Some of the achievements of this partnership up to now include

  • In the field of sustainable districts, the 26 members of Small Giants have reached an agreement on the development of innovative pilots in the areas of Energy Communities, Smart City Office and Circular Economy reached.
  • In addition, 15 cities from 6 different countries have engaged in the development of Positive Energy Blocks, while about 30 cities, 22 industries and other stakeholders engaged to set-up an EU-Hub for intelligent lighting.
  • On sustainable urban mobility, the Memorandums of Actions back in January signed by major stakeholders in the fields of electromobility and new mobility services, keep growing to include now over 70 partners and providing outcomes such as starting new initiatives for electric bus deployment. Three cities are leading replication of standardised open urban multi-modal data sets for mobility services in up to 50 cities.  
  • The initiative on Urban Platforms continuous enlarging its supporters base with 21 cities and 2 city networks (representing 71 cities) collaborating in the specification of requirements and 38 industrial organisations who signed the Memorandum of Understanding to develop interoperable and open solutions.
  • Several cities, regions and city networks are co-creating a Manifesto for Citizen Engagement, including privacy key item, as a key enabling action.
  • 15 Cities and several EU projects and initiatives are committed to co-create a guidance package on integrated planning for smart city solutions.
  • Major actors work on KPIs to monitor European smart cities and to support decision making, management and benchmarking.  
  • A blueprint for a national smart city strategy is subject to discussion in a group of representatives of several Member States.
  • Finally, a Finance Experts Working Group is being created to enable all the mentioned initiatives to take advantage of available financial opportunities.

All the presentations and minutes of the event, as well as videos highlighting key outcomes, will be uploaded on the official website of the event by 8th June. In addition, the plenary session was live streamed by Periscope and will be available on the Twitter account of the EIP-SCC.