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SmartImpact in Brussels

Edited on

02 October 2018
Read time: 1 minute

Our SmartImpact thematic expert, Alanus von Radecki, has been busy discussing smart city funding. In November, Alanus met with Peter Bandilla from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Brussels. They talked about opportunities for new smart city financial vehicles including how to enable the use of ERDF funds for smart city development project.

Earlier this month, Alanus presented to a workshop in Brussels hosted by JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions funded by the EIB) and CoR (Committee of the Regions). The workshop took part within the framework of the "Urban Agenda for the EU" follow up activities and brought CoR members, ESIF managing authorities, and regions and cities that are beneficiaries in JASPERS countries of operation, as well as representatives of the private sector and the European institutions. Discussions focused on the utilisation of ESIF for smart city development, including through the Integrated Territorial Investment mechanism. The workshop will be followed by a series of local events organised by JASPERS in some of the JASPERS countries of operation. The final outcome will feed into a joint report on the Implementation of the EU Urban Agenda, which supports the concept of the integrated approach to smart city development as a means of providing answers to local challenges.

This was followed with a meeting in Brussels of the SCC1 (Smart Cities and Communities) Lighthouse coordinators where SmartImpact was included in discussions. Technology is not the problem (we have it!) but two challenges are raised: the challenge to fund digital urban innovation and how to link digital innovation to the economic development of a city. Financing smart solutions needing new ways of understanding how value is created in smart cities leading to co-investment strategies with costs and benefits for public and private actors. A key area is the understanding of the dynamics of local innovation ecosystems and how they can be governed to support growth, jobs and transformation of cities. The European Commission has since invited the project to register for the European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) are a new approach to EU research and innovation.