Smarter Together Attends SCIS Conference
“Empowering Smart Solutions for Better Cities”
From 2-3 October 2017, Smarter Together participated in the conference “Empowering Smart Solutions for Better Cities,” organized by the Smart Cities Information System in Budapest, Hungary. The Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) brings together project developers, cities, institutions, industry and experts from across Europe to exchange data, experience and know-how and to collaborate on the creation of smart cities and an energy-efficient urban environment. The conference connected representatives from across these spheres to discuss smart city solutions, replication, good practices and lessons learned in an effort “to drive forward a smart and sustainable vision of Europe.”
Smarter Together, participating with several project partners in attendance, is a project funded by the H2020 programme of the European Union that focuses on five concrete areas of co-created and integrated smart solutions in cities: citizen engagement, district heating and renewable energy, holistic refurbishment, smart data, and e-mobility. In a project structure that encourages the replication of solutions, the European lighthouse cities Vienna, Munich and Lyon, the follower cities Santiago de Compostela, Sofia and Venice, the observer cities Kiev and Yokohama come together to improve citizens’ quality of life.
Smarter Together Lighthouse cities and partners represented the project in a variety of ways, ranging from participation in the Smarter Together exhibition stand, presenting Smarter Together’s take on smart infrastructure and energy efficiency during parallel sessions of the conference, and participating from the project’s point of view in the two interactive sessions of the conference.
The first day of the conference presented an important opportunity to hear Eric Lecomte, policy officer for DG Energy at the European Commission, explain the core of the SCIS project, stating that “replication is embedded in SCIS to provide a platform for cities to share lessons learned and best practices.” A panel of deputy mayors from Warsaw, Brno, Budapest, Gothenburg, and Bilbao then spoke about the initiatives and priorities of their respective cities when it comes to creating a smarter city – and the opportunities this brings for innovation and replication. Complete with a walking tour and an interactive session focused on the key factors for success in replication, the clear focus of the first day was on narrowing down to the core of solutions and identifying what makes them replicable.
On Tuesday, 3 October, the conference featured various topic-based parallel sessions, with 30 speakers sharing experiences and best practices from their respective projects. Wolfgang Glock represented Smarter Together, presenting on behalf of the city of Munich’s urban infrastructure as a basis for data collection, smart data and IoT based solutions. Wolfgang provided technical and practical insights, stating that providing smart infrastructure can lead to improving access to information and quality of life. Bruno Gaiddon from Hespul, also involved in Smarter Together, led a session as well, discussing feedback from the construction and operation of a large positive energy building in the city center of Lyon, France.
The Smarter Together exhibition stand, set up throughout the two days of the conference, was an opportunity for project partners to collaborate in presenting to the public project goals, progress and solutions with the goal of fostering replication among follower cities and beyond. With promotional materials on hand to facilitate discussion, the exchange and dissemination of information was the essential point in making the stand a success. Additionally, Smarter Together participated in the common Horizon 2020 exhibition stand along with fellow Lighthouse projects. Jointly, the stand featured publications and materials from 13 Horizon 2020 projects.
Over the span of 2 days, the project partners of Smarter Together were able to listen to experts’ and city representatives’ points of view, exchange ideas in interactive sessions, present project solutions, and learn from fellow projects about their approaches, helping further the aim of SCIS and the conference of creating opportunities for replication of solutions, lessons, and good practices among cities and businesses across Europe.