Project budget3 165 503 €
ERDF amount1 899 302 €
The market for public sector open data in Europe is €22,1B (EC 2015). Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3) encourage smart innovation. Eg the private sector has data-based technologies available that can reduce traffic by directing cars to available parking. 2Seas cities are looking for solutions like these for their congested centres. However, the 2Seas innovation sector faces shared public sector challenges in unlocking this value for businesses, triggering region-wide brain drain.
The market failure is mainly within 2Seas cities in opening up datasets and using innovative procurement. SCIFI partners (4 cities, 2 international open data experts, and 2 business networks) identify the need for transnational framework conditions that 1) create a cross-border market that gathers the fragmented resources of cities and smart innovation potential of businesses and 2) increase the capacity of cities to activate the dormant demand for smart public services.
To capture 2Seas open data potential and advance RIS3, SCIFI develops a transregional smart innovation framework:
- Activate demand: Mechelen, Delft, Bruges, Saint-Quentin and associated cities (eg Suffolk, Cambridge) increase their technical capacity in open data and innovative market engagement.
- Connect supply and expertise: Innovators are connected through business associations (Cambridge Cleantech, Agoria and transregional sister organisations). Faubourg Numérique (FN) and Southampton University (UoS) leverage their expert role in transnational open data initiatives (ODINE, OASC, ENoLL, FIWARE).
- Demonstrate value: SCIFI uses an accelerator programme to test the framework conditions for innovation in mobility, energy, and clean environment. FN (Living Lab expert) and UoS (accelerator expert) coach cities and businesses in challenge identification, procurement, solution co-creation & implementation. These will be success stories which demonstrate the value from open data.
SCIFI creates transnational outputs that launch the framework conditions for innovation in smart public services in the 2Seas:
- A 4-Helix network of 2000 members (eg Agoria alone has 1700 members). AG and CCT enable businesses to scale their services to multiple clients. FN represents local high-tech businesses; Delft connects to its innovation community (TNO). Partner cities involve regional peers.
- An Accelerator where experts (FN, UoS) provide coaching addressing technical and practical hurdles of public-private innovation in public services (mobility, energy, clean environment): IPR, new business models, value of data, etc. The 4 Cities will develop 8-12 cases, of which 4-6 solutions will be implemented and used as success stories.
- Guidance on existing open data tools and methods (ODI 5-Star model, European Open Data Portal, FIWARE, Smart Flanders) and innovative public procurement.
Cross border approach
- 2 Seas network: Partner cities (NL, BE, FR) and observer partner (UK) draw from regional support groups (eg Hauts-de-France Region, see LoS) and transnaional city clusters (see image 2) that collaborate on specific shared challenges. Business associations (AG, CCT) involve sister organisations from other countries. Renowned open data experts (FN, UoS) link to transnational smart city initiatives (OASC, ENoLL, ODINE).
- Cross-border procurement: Clusters of cities co-define shared public service needs and develop Terms of Reference for procurement. A harvesting platform for smart service calls in the public sector is created to broadcast opportunities to businesses across the region. Cities also cross-publish calls for tenders.
- Top-level harmonisation: SCIFI will facilitate members in the uptake of internationally developed open data standards driven by technology providers (Fiware, Smart-FI, Open Data Portal Europe, ODI). These will enable future cross-border compatibility.
From January-May 2019, SCIFI cities Saint-Quentin, Mechelen, Delft, and Bruges selected and defined urban challenges within the sectors of mobility, energy, and environment for the first SCIFI accelerator cycle. The desirability, applicability, and feasibility of the challenge selection criteria were agreed upon. Cities looked at their available datasets and internal (political) support to see whether the challenges could be solved (feasibility).
Cities also engaged citizens (desirability). Lastly, SCIFI organised a transnational public consultation survey (73 responses) to see what challenges are shared in the 2Seas region (applicability). In total, 7 challenges were selected for open call 1 e.g. “How can we use data to encourage cycling for journeys around the city?” Cities were meanwhile also mapping the datasets that can be used to develop smart solutions.
SCIFI knowledge partners The University of Southampton, Faubourg Numérique, Cambridge Cleantech and Agoria prepared the accelerator programme to pilot solutions, the application and selection procedure for solution providers, and guidance documents for cities to help them in opening up datasets and engaging the market.
From 02 June-October, the SCIFI cities opened up the 7 urban challenges (with available datasets) to the international market. The open call was promoted on the SCIFI website, F6S platform and through webinars. 11 Webinars were organised to interact directly with the market on the challenges and the general application procedure (378 views).
The consortium used the F6S platform for the application procedure. In total, there were 22 closed and eligible applications from 8 different countries. After an application review and interviews by the consortium, with selection criteria agreed upon priory, 6 applicants were selected to join the first SCIFI accelerator programme. 5 challenges out of 7 have a match. 2 solutions will be implemented in 2 cities and 1 challenge has 2 different solutions. The acceleration programme was officially launched on January 17th.
The programme will coach both solution providers and SCIFI cities on various topics like interoperability (EU standards), GDPR, and multi-stakeholder engagement for the pilots. The consortium has mapped and activated an ecosystem of 400-500 local authorities, knowledge and research institutions and business associations. The consortium started documenting the SCIFI framework for open data innovation by collecting best practices.