This year's General Assembly will feature high level speakers putting a spotlight on the challenges and opportunities facing cities following the COVID-19 experience, discussing European efforts to deliver a sustainable urban transition and continuing a dialogue on the upscaling and replication of Smart City solutions. There will also be unique and interactive sessions to support cities and projects working to boost their Smart City implementation, focusing on issues such as citizen engagement, business models, financing, the role of smart energy systems and more.
On 2-3 September the URBIS Smart City Fair will be organised in Brno, Czech Republic, mainly delivered by the City of Brno. Brno is a fellow city in the Horizon 2020 Lighthouse Project RUGGEDISED, led by the City of Rotterdam.
Despite many interesting recent developments, especially around smart ICT solutions and knowledge hubs (including universities), Central-Eastern European (CEE) municipalities, businesses and researchers are still highly underrepresented in the Smart City field and have much lower participation rates in the mentioned Horizon 2020 Lighthouse Projects.
The URBIS Smart City Fair, one of the largest events in the Smart City context in Europe, is therefore another excellent opportunity to show visible support to CEE countries and to get involved locally with the wide range of offers from within the Smart Cities & Communities stakeholder family, including above-mentioned Lighthouse Projects, partner initiatives and the Explore-Shape-Deal services of the Smart Cities Marketplace: practical knowledge, capacity building support, shaping of project ideas and access to finance via its Investor Network.
This will help to overcome the challenges, which still seem to hinder the implementation of smart solutions in CEE municipalities, for example the lack of resources: local governments struggle to allocate resources for the preparation and implementation of plans.
Taking into account the above and reinforced by the Covid-19 crisis, the General Assembly brings a unique opportunity to intensify the exchange of experiences and knowledge with CEE city administrations and smart city stakeholders and to engage CEE city administrations, companies and academia much better in the EIP-SCC Marketplace’s community and therefore in the European Smart Cities approach.
It will also give an opportunity to discuss the future of the EIP-SCC Marketplace and its strengthened collaboration with relevant initiatives such as Living-in.eu, CIVITAS and the Covenant of Mayors, but also EU activities such as the Horizon Europe Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.
This, to make for maximised synergies and for enabling the EIP-SCC Marketplace to be a hub for relevant knowledge as well as replication and upscaling of proven solutions with the help of its Matchmaking mechanism and mainly (but not only) private financing, supplementing and supporting EU instruments.
The latter is of increasing relevance when taking into account the most recent EU policy developments as included in the European Green Deal - such as the Renovation Wave and specific activities in the area of Transport & Mobility as well as ICT- and the Recovery Plan including the suggested € 750 billion Next Generation EU package.
More details on the programme points are given below.
Aims of the event
Many of the factors behind underrepresentation of CEE actors are beyond the scope of the EIP-SCC Marketplace. Nevertheless, the General Assembly can be organised in such a way that it shows that the European project has additional value in the form of an EU smart city model based on open innovation, helping to engage CEE actors better, raising awareness for typical CEE contexts and conditions, helping to build capacities and more smart city projects.
More specifically, the aims of this year’s General Assembly are:
A detailed programme of the various plenary sessions, panel discussions and matchmaking possibilities will follow in due course.