December 2015: A new week, a new Project. Susie Ruston McAleer, Managing Partner of 21c was delighted to join iMinds and the cities of Antwerpen, Copenhagen and Helsinki in Sweden today to launch a new European project for Smart Cities – SELECT for Cities.
This new initiative is built around the idea that many cities across the world are seeking new ways (methods, technology and tools) to foster open innovation in order to solve challenges, create value for their citizens and business, and to become ‘smart cities’ in the process. Internet of Everything (IoE) is recognised to be one of the dominant ways transforming the way people manage and live in urban environments both now and for the future. This new connected approach involves physical spaces as well as objects and provides a massive opportunity for new services and businesses especially in the areas of logistics, transport, environment, security and wellbeing. However, IoE progress to date has been slow due to key showstoppers such as the lack of common standards, a fragmented marketplace, and lack of ways to systematically test and introduce new solutions in the cities.
To combat this challenge, and accelerate innovation, the SELECT project lays forth an challenge/competition open to all European companies to 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.
Part funded by the participant cities themselves as well as the European Commission, SELECT for Cities has a 5.6 million euro budget dedicated to the innovation challenge, which will be divided into 3 competition stages, between December 2015 and November 2018. This pre-commercial procurement (PCP) will procure the research and development of new innovative solutions capable of realising the goal having of the city as a large Internet of Everything Lab and putting it into practice. Project partners (Forum Virium Helsinki (the project coordinator), Digipolis, iMinds, Københavns Kommune, Stad Antwerpen, and 21C) will develop and run the innovation challenge, selecting a number of different potential solutions suppliers, which will compete through different phases of development. The most promising innovative solutions will be tested within the participant cities in real-life scenarios.