Cities, drivers of Innovation

Europe is a continent of cities, with more than 70% of the population living in urban areas, facing today challenges for environmental, social and economic sustainability. Have you positioned your project for these challenges?

Cities and development have always been directly connected but urbanization presents challenges to environmental, social and economic sustainability if we are to have affluent and inclusive societies.

The main challenges (climate change, population ageing, migration, housing, energy transition, security, sustainable mobility, globalisation, water and waste) are included in the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDS) and especially in the Urban Agenda of the European Union. They are not only the challenges of cities, but they are the challenges for the planet: cities are the centres of social and technological development, and they are the key actors in providing solutions.

What's our role?

At ZABALA Innovation Consulting we have long been committed to the challenges of cities: we help to adopt technological innovations and apply them in the growth of cities towards a "smart" model providing a how and for what to the use of these technologies, and we act as connectors between city, research, business and society and we link with other European cities and networks. The role we play in connecting technology with the social factor is very important in driving the creation of truly intelligent cities based on citizen participation.

How do we do it?

We do this by first helping to fund city proposals in programmes such as HORIZON 2020, LIFE, URBAN INNOVATIVE ACTIONS or URBACT, and above all by helping to ensure the success of the project during its execution. For example, in projects such as SINFONÍA (Seville), REPLICATE (San Sebastian), or STARTDUST (Pamplona), we support the consortium in the management of each project, with more than 30 partners each one and 5 years of duration. We also help as experts in the exploitation of results and contribute as legal experts for innovative public procurement processes.

In addition, we have a specific social innovation team, which facilitates citizen participation, which is key to the success of the projects, and which does so for example in the REZBUILD project, on energy rehabilitation of buildings and which has pilots in Madrid, Oslo or Rome.

Shall we position your project?

We are now getting ready for the latest HORIZON 2020 calls, with topics for cities in the Sustainable Transport, Environment, Energy, Health, Safety or Food programmes, and also working hard on another of our favourite programmes, URBAN INNOVATIVE ACTIONS, which will close the programme on 12th December with topics on Air Quality, Demographic Change, Culture and Heritage Culture, and Circular Economy.

And for the following programme, 2021-2027, we already know the main lines of HORIZON EUROPE, LIFE and the new EUROPEAN URBAN INITIATIVE, and they follow the tendency to give more emphasis and budget each time to urban issues.

If you have a project of urban issue call us and we will talk. At ZABALA we love city projects.

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