Smart Cities Innovation Framework Implementation | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Smart Cities Innovation Framework Implementation

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Framework Conditions for Innovation

Lead partner

Stad Mechelen





Project budget

3 165 503

ERDF amount

1 899 302

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    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.

    Main Achievements

    The first cycle of the accelerator programme that started in 2018. Mechelen (BE), Bruges (BE), Delft (NL) and Saint-Quentin (FR) defined their urban challenges and in 2019 selected solution providers to drive the 8 pilots. Cities were supported by knowledge partners Agoria in one of the most difficult steps: signing a contract that fits the ambition for replicable, cross-border documents and tools and by the University of Southampton for open data innovation.

    For 6 months, prototypes were developed and the solution providers were delivered training and modules, supervised by experienced partner Faubourg Numérique. In the meantime, additional urban challenges for the second accelerator programme were defined. In Summer 2019 most pilots were finalised and presented at local support groups and smart city events throughout Europe, coordinated by Cambridge CleanTech.

    A similar process took place for the second accelerator programme, and in January 2020, 7 pilots were launched. Unfortunately, the pilots faced delays and difficulties with the COVID outbreak and the wave of lockdowns in Europe. Nonetheless, SCIFI partners managed to continue the project successfully by 1) extending the pilots, 2) increasing the visibility of the project by presenting and representing SCIFI at events and conferences and 3) documenting learnings (e.g. update of guidance documents).

    More importantly, they have actively started transnational deployment and scale up activities with the writing of the project's legacy: the SCIFI cookbook. A short book giving the main success ingredients for making small and mid sized cities into smart cities. Eventually, the learnings will also be sustained through the involvement of SCIFI partners in European Digital Innovation Hubs.

    Finally, the SCIFI cross border cooperation is showing its fruits with the procurement of 4 solutions from SCIFI pilots and implementation in SCIFI cities and beyond (e.g. watering solution in St-Quentin, FR; smart waste solution Delft, NL; smart cycling in Antwerp, BE and bike dashboard in Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Area, NL).



    Cambridge Cleantech

    Gemeente Delft

    Stad Brugge


    Faubourg Numérique

    Ville de Saint-Quentin

    University of Southampton


    URL / Download

    1 cross-border Public Sector Information Innovation Accelerator

    Thema: Cluster development - Innovation
    Type: Service
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities - SMEs /enterprises