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1 December 2014

European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities

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This European partnership unites a number of actors from the areas of Information Technology, Communication and Electronics, energy management, mobility and sustainable construction, who together seek to develop innovative solutions in the field of the environment and sustainability, society’s challenges, climate change, demography and health for European towns and cities.

This partnership intends to identify and potentiate scalable and transferable solutions that contribute decisively to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, particularly concerning reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission, improved air quality and reduced traffic congestion.

In the scope of this partnership, solutions will be identified to overcome existing restrictions, and co-financing mechanisms for pilot-actions, namely through creating permanent links with industry and towns to allow development of urban systems and infrastructure for the future.

In the same partnership, policy recommendations and practical guides for project assessment will also be developed, such as the case of the lighthouse-projects under Horizon 2020.

The platform created between towns, companies, universities and research centres, knowledge-transfer institutions, NGOs and other civic associations appears as a network of collaboration and knowledge-sharing with the main aims being to:

  • Provide recommendations for the partnership’s strategic implementation plan;

  • Provide information and recommendations to the different actors wanting to carry out activities and projects in the partnership’s fields of action;

  • Create consortiums to allow implementation and a greater scale to be given to the different actors’ projects.

The financing of lighthouse-projects will come from policy recommendations contained in the partnership’s strategic implementation plan and may originate in various sources, namely Horizon 2020 and structural funds. These projects must be developed in a way that increases the visibility and public awareness of the Platform and must give priority to impact and the capacity for replication.

Participation in this partnership depends on being committed to its objectives and forming specific goals.

Águeda Local Authority is preparing to participate in a lighthouse-project (from the end of 2013) having gathered as partners, among others, the Centre for Competitiveness, the centroHabitat Platform (Cluster of Sustainable Habitat), the University of Aveiro and a number of SMEs in the region. Its commitment to a Smart City strategy (as well as the alliance with these actors) was recognized on 9 October at the start-up of the sector group work (particularly Focus on the Citizen) of the partnership and will allow development, accompaniment and identification of (and application to) all available sources of finance, particularly Horizon 2020.

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