On Wednesday 18 December, the EIF hosted a breakfast debate in the European Parliament on the European Innovation Partnership 'Smart Cities and Communities'.
The Smart Cities and Communities EIP is a partnership across the areas of energy, transport, information and communication with the objective of catalysing progress in areas where energy production, distribution and use; mobility and transport; and ICTs are intimately linked and offer new interdisciplinary opportunities to improve services while reducing energy and resource consumption, greenhouse gases and other polluting emissions. It is an integrated approach to connect policies and resources at EU, national, regional and local levels to speed up wide-scale deployment of smart cities solutions and address the major societal challenges around the Union's so-called '20/20/20' energy and climate targets.
The EIP follows the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative which was launched in 2011. This initiative initially only covered energy and had a budget of € 81 Million, which grew to € 365 Million and extended to include the transport and ICT sector with the launch of the Partnership in July 2012. On 14 October 2013, the High Level Group of the EIP for Smart Cities and Communities adopted a Strategic Implementation Plan for speeding up the transformation of European cities into Smart Cities. The European Commission will launch an open invitation for 'Smart City and Community Commitments' in spring 2014. Our distinguished speakers addressed the way forward.
Paul Timmers, Director, Sustainable and Secure Society, DG CONNECT, European Commission, was the first speaker that morning.