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Call to Transform Cities into Large-Scale Innovation Labs

02-09-2017 04:25 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: 21c Consultancy

European businesses and research organisations can apply for a share of up to 800,000 euros each for the research and development of an innovative Internet-of-Everything platform.
The SELECT for Cities Initiative has launched its call to support the development of an Internet-of-Everything platform for open innovation in Europe. Selected organisations will receive support and funding from EUR 36,000 to EUR 800,000 each. The grants are funded by three cities – Antwerp, Copenhagen and Helsinki - with support from the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme.

The SELECT for Cities initiative is premised on the fact that modern cities generate vast amounts of data daily thanks to the ubiquity of smart phones and use of sensors in public service management. This ever-growing wealth of data provides unlimited opportunities for intelligence extraction from combining and analysing different sources. The resulting intelligence has the power to boost the effectiveness of existing services, enhance operational decisions and kick-start innovation. However, due to competing demands, many Public Administrations lack the capacity, let alone the tools and techniques required to make sense of this new data tsunami.

Overcoming this challenge through collaboration with their greatest source of innovation – entrepreneurial citizens and organisations – the European Cities of Antwerp, Copenhagen and Helsinki, have joined forces to launch SELECT for Cities, a research and development procurement. Launching a call for tenders across Europe, the cities seek to harness the power of the Internet-of-Everything (IoE) to create large-scale IoE platforms for city service innovation. “For us, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is one of the main drivers transforming the way people live and work in our urban environments” stated Hugo Goncalves of Forum Virium Helsinki. “We believe that by harnessing the power of IoE on a city-wide scale, we can foster a vibrant innovation ecosystem that will result in co-created public services and businesses based upon real-time need and demand”

“However, to realise the true potential of IoE for new service delivery we need to overcome several barriers including a fragmented marketplace, lack of common standards and ways to systematically test and introduce new solutions within the cities” he continued.

To address these barriers, SELECT for Cities lays forth a challenge open to all companies across Europe to design and develop an open, standardized, data-driven, service-oriented and user centric platform that enables large-scale co-creation, testing and validation of urban IoE applications and services. By working together, cities will receive the benefits of innovative research and development, and potential contractors can rapidly develop and test a new product that can be taken to market.

Full details of the tendering and selection process can be found online ( Proposals must be received by the SELECT for Cities team before 10am CET on the 14th April 2017.

“Connecting urban data will open up unlimited opportunities for cities, citizens and commerce” said Goncalves, “We can’t wait to collaborate with the best talent from across Europe to turn our vision into reality”.

SELECT for Cities is a 4-year project co-funded by the participant cities themselves (Helsinki, Antwerp and Copenhagen) as well as the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The Internet-of-Everything is born from the more widely known Internet of Things (IoT) movement which connects devices over the internet so they can speak to each other and to us. IoE however now adds people, process and data into to the network to generate millions more connections than ever before. The ability to harness and utilise data from across a whole city unleashes the potential to transform urban life forever, connecting and impacting areas such as smart mobility, city planning and healthcare.

Consortium members are Forum Virium Helsinki (project coordinator and contracting authority), Digipolis (main contracting authority), imec, City of Copenhagen (contracting authority), Stad Antwerpen, and 21C Consultancy Limited (partners presented in alphabetical order).

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