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Challenge – let’s make smart cities!

The FinEst Smart City Centre of Excellence is announcing an international challenge to find great science intensive ideas.
Smart city
Great ideas make cities smart! Propose your idea by November 6th taltech.ee/en/smartcity

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Aalto University are looking for ideas to make the following domains in the cities smarter: transport, energy, built environment, governance and data. There has to be at least two cities involved into each pilot project. One of these has to be from Estonia and the second could be from Finland. The organisers expect that world level research and scalable prototypes would be the results of the projects.

'We are looking for researchers that want to develop pilot projects to make our future cities more user friendly, energy efficient and nicer in every way. One pilot project can get up to 1.5 million euros grant', says Ralf-Martin Soe, director of the FinEst Twins Smart City of Excellence.

The deadline to propose the ideas is November 6, 2020.

FinEst Twins Smart City of Excellence has been given the mandate by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Research and Education to carry out 10 research intensive pilot projects targeting real life challenges and have remarkable impact for the cities. 15 million euros has been granted to make it happen during 2021–2027.

‘We have been wishing long time that the Estonian cities could be test beds for new and smart research-intensive ideas. Now we intend to make that dream come true. We will develop future solutions where the researchers and development managers will go out from their labs into real city settings. By our knowledge this is the 1st such huge program in to world that unites real needs of the cities and top level science’, continues  Soe.

‘It is very enticing to see how differences in agility and administrative levels and regulations among Estonian and Finnish cities will effect on their mutual learning. Even more interesting is to see, how the wicked problems of cities will be handled in the deep collaboration of academics and urban developers’, states Kalle Toiskallio, Research Coordinator of FinEst Twins project in Aalto University.

From October 8 until November 6, 2020 you can send your ideas through the website: https://taltech.ee/en/smartcity.

'Researchers from Aalto University are warmly welcome to take part together with one Estonian town and one Finnish town. You can also nicely join your forces with TalTech researchers and present joint ideas', says Toiskallio.

The best proposal will be chosen by the international jury at the beginning of December, and 1-4 first pilot projects will start their journey in January 2021. Similar challenges will take place also in the following 3-4 years.

Challenges

Together with 29 Estonian towns we have found out their top priority challenges that could benefit largely from smart solutions. The ten priority needs for what we are looking the ideas for are the following:

  • Urban mobility does not combine the full potential of different modes of transport  
  • Insufficient and/ or uncomfortable public transport  
  • Lack of fast and economical connections to other key cities 
  • Urban planning is not comprehensive, optimal and sustainable 
  • The energy consumption of (depreciated) buildings is too high 
  • The energy supply and transport infrastructure for industrial development is low 
  • The energy production is too carbon-intensive 
  • Capabilities to collect and use urban data are low 
  • The urban data collected is not available to different user groups 
  • Public services are not available to all target groups in a user-friendly way 

These pilot projects are 100% financed by the European Regional Fund and the Estonian Ministry of Research and Education.

Please find more information about the evaluation criteria, grant terms and needs of the cities on the page https://taltech.eeen/smartcity.

For more information, please contact:

Ralf-Martin Soe ([email protected], + 37252 39 520) from TalTech
or Kalle Toiskallio  ([email protected], +35850 406 64 69) from Aalto University

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