Category: Cities

+CityxChange project solutions and frameworks in the EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Radars

The Innovation Radar is the European Commission’s data-driven method focused on the identification of high potential innovations and the key innovators behind them in EU-funded Research and Innovation projects. It is based on a methodology developed by the Joint Research Centre. The data gathered by this method is used to categorise EU-funded innovations in terms of market maturity and disruptive potential, based on indicator systems developed by the Joint Research Centre. It supports innovators by suggesting a range of targeted actions to assist them in fulfilling their potential in the market. Based on their maturity level there are four different classifications of Innovation Radar:

(1) Exploring – Innovations actively exploring value creation opportunities;

(2) Tech Ready – Progressing on technology development process (e.g. pilots, prototypes, demonstration)

(3) Business Ready – Putting concrete market-oriented ideas together (e.g. market studies, business plans, end-user engagement)

(4) Market Ready – Outperforming in innovation management and innovation readiness. Considered “Ready for market”

IOTA has been recognised as key innovator in the +CityxChange project to bring Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) innovation in the Energy Trading Marketplace. This innovative solution is being developed within the project’s framework by our consortium partners, IOTA, Powel AS and ABB AS. It has been assessed by the JRC’s Market Creation Potential indicator framework as having a “Noteworthy” level of Market Creation Potential. Only innovations that are showing multiple signals of market creation potential are assigned a value under this indicator system.

Furthermore, our Bold City Vision Framework, developed by Trondheim Commune, has also been recognised as an important innovation across EU programmes in 2019.

Both solutions are in a Business Ready stage. 

Re-Imagine Limerick’s Georgian Laneways: Green Museum II

As part of +CityxChange project, Limerick city is hoping to create a new community to drive innovation and fight climate change by working towards a positive energy city!

Limerick Mental Health Association is one of five community groups selected for this pilot programme and have partnered with the Hunt Museum and GBM to work on the ‘’Green Museum II’’ collaborative project to re-design and upgrade Jesuit Lane in Limerick City. Limerick’s Community Led Open Innovation Project will focus on the Georgian Neighbourhood and develop solutions for Laneways and Citizen Sensing supports. The Green Museum II project aims at bringing the Museum to the laneway, with CO2 absorbing plants -as a service to the environment.

Using images from the Hunt Museum Collection and the Limerick City Museum, makers from LMHA Women’s and Community Groups will hold workshops with a professional designer to create a recycled metal repoussé trellises to hang in Jesuit Lane. These trellises, interwoven with plants that diminish C02, are aesthetically pleasing and of benefit to the environment. The lane will be maintained by the community, which should reduce anti-social behaviour while encouraging locals and tourists to make use of  the lane.

The Mural Competition Design Brief

‘To create a destination mural as part of the Green Urban Museum (GUM II) laneways project on Jesuit Lane in the heart of Georgian Limerick in the heart of Limerick City.

The mural which will be chosen through an open submission competition process. Artists will be asked to reflect on the significance of Georgian Architecture when designing a mural for a building on Jesuit Lane. Jesuit Lane lies within the heart of Georgian Limerick once a thriving part of the city this mural will be an important element of the overall design for greening & reimagining this urban laneway.

Taking the theme of Evolving Limerick as inspiration, the mural should illustrate the Georgian heritage of the building and complement the overall laneway design. The final mural will be integral to the overall design and act as a welcoming and intriguing focal point to encourage the public to use the laneway and reconnect the people of Limerick to these shared spaces by creating an enjoyable and safe shortcut through the city.

The winning artist will receive a bursary of €500, (to include a contract for mural and one maintenance visit of the mural for a period within 6 months). The chosen artist must be available to complete the mural before Culture Night 18th September 2020.’

Key dates for mural competition:

Submissions open: July 17th, 2020

Deadline for submissions: August 18th

Wall preparations & installation to begin: September 1st, 2020

Launch of mural & GUM II project: Culture Night: Friday, September 18th, 2020

EUSEW 2020 Webinar: Creating a joint vision for Positive Energy Districts

+CityxChange and other H2020 Smart City projects related to the Positive Energy District (PED) concept, were part of the EUSEW webinar ‘Creating a Joint Vision for PEDs’. PEDs (Positive Energy Districts) are an important concept in both the EC’s Smart Cities & Communities (SCC) programmes and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan). In the EC’s SCC Lighthouse programme, which has set PEDs as a formal standard in its recent calls, over 420 Million Euro are invested in 47 Lighthouse Cities and 67 Fellow Cities.

Two main lines of action are currently ongoing in this context: the refinement of the PED definition in order to arrive at a commonly accepted standard for PED implementation and the building of PEDs in on-the-ground projects such as under the EC SCC Lighthouse scheme. Given the current developments, a third factor is brought into the discussion: How can PEDs contribute to increased robustness against shocks and at the same time present specific opportunities for post-COVID recovery (Green Deal)?

Session Agenda:

  • Pitch 1: Definitions and approaches: an overview – Han Vandevyvere, SCIS consortium (Vito)
  • Pitch 2: The PED Framework – a joint PED vision – Christoph Gollner, FFG (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH)
  • Pitch 3: Challenges of the local context – Rudy Rooth, Atelier Local Coordinator Amsterdam (DNVGL)
  • Pitch 4: Reality check in current EIP SCC Lighthouse Cities – 2 field cases +CityxChange, Powel  and  MAKING-CITY, Oulu (Marit Teigen Myrstad +CityxChange, Samuli Rinne MAKING-CITY)
  • Discussion 1: Elaborating on the PED definition and certification work, feedback to the SET plan
  • Discussion 2: Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Wrap up: Reporting from the discussion groups

During their presentation, Marit Teigen Myrstad (Trondheim Municipality) and Klaus Livik (Powel) provided territorial-grounded insights from our project. They focused on regulations of the energy market and how these barriers could be overcome in order to become PED enablers. Interesting conclusion were drawn from the second discussion round , ‘Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks’, where +CityxChange representatives were moderators in. ‘The discussion group addressed among others:

  • The importance of experimenting regulations in current EU projects, the circumstance that the economic incentive is not in place for building owners – who expect a much more simplified regulation which they could understand and make use of – as the most urgent regulatory bottlenecks that need to be overcome to speed up the development of PEDs.
  • The need for PED supporting regulation and policy is clear, but current ongoing regulation work would need more coordination and time. However, it is challenging to address all the policy making processes in an integrated and holistic manner.
  • Some investors don’t see the long-term benefits of investing in PEDs. Therefore, regulation plays a very important role and could help to overcome this. Based on the feedback from the EIP-SCC matchmaking event, quite some investors are interested in making long term investments on infrastructures, PEDs included. In addition, both regulation and new innovative financing mechanisms and procurement are considered important in facilitating the breakthrough of PEDs.’

All in all, the sessions were designed to give an in-depth understanding of what the current challenges to build PEDs are, and brainstorm on possible actions and recommendations on future developments. The main target stakeholders were those involved in PED development, but also representatives from local authorities which could get more insights on their future policy developments.


Read the full recap of the Webinar here. 

Find the recording of the Webinar here.

+CityxChange Projects unveiled to re-imagine Limerick’s Georgian Laneways

Read the original press release on

Five projects led by community leaders have been selected by Limerick City and County Council as part of a programme to re-imagine Limerick’s Georgian Laneways. As part of Limerick City and County Council’s EU project +CityxChange (Positive City Exchange) we are hoping to create a new community to drive innovation and fight climate change by working towards a positive energy city! 

This is a community of individuals, groups, businesses and agencies who are looking at ways to develop smarter cities that are open and accessible for all. 

We are all about the positives working together to solve problems or to create a new vision, all through citizen engagement. 

The overarching aim is to develop a series of demonstration projects on how to become a smart positive energy city for everyone. 

Following a series of workshops, five groups have now been selected to develop their projects based around different themes for Limerick’s Georgian Laneway, seeing how they can be best utilised for the benefit of the city and those who live and work here. 

Welcoming the selection Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Collins said: “It is great to see such interest in revitalising our Georgian Laneways. They can be used for so many things, as highlighted by the range of projects selected. It is so important that we all work together on projects like these and that they are community/ group driven. It gives people ownership. Georgian Limerick is one of our great assets and we need to develop and enhance them in a sympathetic yet innovative way, and the +CityxChange project is helping to do that.” 

Dr Mihai Bilauca, Head of Digital Services and Leader of the +CityxChange project in Limerick City and County Council said: “+CityxChange is about finding innovative solutions to how we meet our energy consumption. Sometimes it isn’t just about new technology but we need to think about how we use energy and work to change our behaviour. Working closely with communities and fostering the resulting innovation is at the heart of this project. Having an open invitation for groups to collaborate and innovate we can co-create a place we can all share and enjoy. Often described as placemaking – we want to work together to define the place we want to live, work and play.” 

“Limerick’s Georgian quarter with its network of laneways creates an ideal opportunity to reimagine this extraordinary city asset into a collection of wonderful spaces. We want to capture the imagination of local community groups to start the transformation of Georgian Laneways and use physical interventions such as new planting, improved streetscape and decoration supported by advanced technologies such as air quality and noise sensors.” 

Claire Flynn from Limerick Mental Health Association said: “We are always looking for projects that bring people together and give us an opportunity to break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Bringing people from different communities together to work on a project really helps to foster cultural and community relationships. For the community that lives and works around Jesuit Lane it gives an opportunity to get to know each other, to create a safe and welcoming space close to home and work. For everyone else, it will draw people to walk the laneway, enjoy the art and flora.” 

Ciarán O’Mara from Deepseek AI is involved in the Streetseek project: “Streetseek is a pilot programme by Deepseek AI and the University of Limerick, to measure the heartbeat of Limerick City. Innovative technology has been developed to gather deeper insights into how people engage with public spaces in our city. This is achieved with personal privacy as a priority. We use thermal cameras which are based on temperature readings, in contrast to conventional visual cameras. The goal of Streetseek, is to provide in depth detail into how our city is used, to facilitate smart planning and decision making into the future.” 


The five projects are: 

Business Address Phone Email


Green Museum 2Limerick Mental Health Association Collaborators: Hunt Museum, Women’s Group and Men’s ShedJesuit LaneThis project will bring the Museum to the laneway, with CO2 absorbing plants -as a service to the environment.
StreetSeekDeepSeek AILittle Catherine Street initially with others to be addedThis will focus on drone technology and machine vision; they envisage that their un-intrusive thermal cameras can derive insights about city life and behaviour.
Green Museum 1Hunt Museum Collaborators: Enable Ireland, Urban Designer Harris, LITGriffith Row or Theatre LaneTransforming the laneway with 3D printed examples of Hunt Museum Art pieces (using recycled ink) in a permaculture garden, with CO2 absorbing plants
Wall of BelongingLiveable Limerick Collaborators: Peoples Museum, Limerick Civic Trust, European Expo 2020Mews, Upper Hartstonge StreetTransforming the Mews laneway into an Art Gallery. with an InstaWall similar to that in Paris, a Wings of Europe Mural.
Incredible EdiblesLimerick City Tidy Towns Collaborators: Bedford Row, Limerick Mental HealthDaly’s LaneThis project envisages transforming a Georgian laneway into a hanging garden, where the public can pick and enjoy fruits and vegetables.

All groups will be able to proceed with their pilot projects despite the Covid-19 restrictions and while adhering to the latest public health advice and guidelines. 

They will work collaboratively with the support of Limerick City and County Council and use the services of Citizen Observatory and FabLab to realise their visions for the laneways. 

For more information please check

+CityxChange Newsletter – July 2020

+CityxChanges forth newsletter has been distributed in July 2020. Please feel welcome to read the newsletter online here and distribute it to your network. This month’s newsletter contains the most important news and updates of the last three months from our project. During the last months it has been necessary – not only for us, but all over the world – to reshape our activities and how we are delivering our project results and solutions. The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way how we have interacted within our consortium and not only. You can read more about how us and other SCC01 projects have been tackling the challenge. 

Further, we want to invite you to subscribe to the newsletters to not miss any project updates:

Celebrating Solidarity across EU Cities with #CityFromMyWindow

Since March, lockdowns have been reinforced by numerous states in Europe. The SCC01 projects launched a social media campaign on April called #CityFromMyWindow to promote solidarity among citizens

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, citizens have been advised by their national governments to stay at home as much as possible. Given the constrained freedom, many have found it hard to cope with the lockdown. All 17 SCC01 projects joined forces and introduced a month-long social campaign entitled #CityFromMyWindow. Everyone in social media was requested to mention the hashtag and upload a photo of their city from their window.

What was once Milan’s busiest street has become an avenue for chirping birds to nest. Ludwigsburg’s fascinating secret gardens have been revealed. Meanwhile, rainbows in Granada has warmed the hearts of its inhabitants. The ancient city of Evora revealed its magical narrow streets. One may also see the backyards covered by snow in the Finnish city of Espoo. A 100 year old Dutch-style monumental house has been spotted in Alkmaar. Healthcare workers clapping hands were spotted from an attic in Brussels while countless cats have been sighted walking on the ledges of windows all over Europe.

These are just some of the beautiful images taken from the windows of European Smart Cities that may have populated everyone’s Twitter feed in the last month and that gave us some relief to the forced social distance due to the lockdown.

More than 50 cities were involved in this initiative. In the process, 511 mentions of the hashtag were gathered, with a potential audience of more than 87,000 Twitter users. Other influential social media accounts like EU_ENV, EUClimateAction and SmartCityexpo joined the SCC01 community in this solidarity wave.


SCIS Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet

Cities around the world are looking for ways to address the true needs of their citizens, with a deep level of engagement and co-agency. At the same time, citizens themselves are eager to have more impact on their living environment. Citizen engagement, a way of actively involving citizens in the city’s decision making processes, can help to address these needs. Citizen engagement exists in many different forms, ranging from merely influencing and informing people, to real participation and actual decision making. The set-up of such an engagement process could be initiated by the city or its citizens, and in its most thorough form is organised by collective effort. Citizen engagement, a way of actively involving citizens in the city’s decision making processes, can help to address these needs. Citizen engagement exists in many different forms, ranging from merely influencing and informing people, to real participation and actual decision making.  

In cooperation with EU Smart Cities and Information System and the IRIS project , +CityxChange team has co-authored in the final product of the ‘Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet’. 

The Citizen Engagement Solution Booklet provides a summary of the management framework, primarily written for cities. It seeks to reduce the effort, speed up the process, strengthen quality and confidence in outputs, align across disciplines, and generally prepare a city to engage the market to acquire a solution. 

Click below to download the booklet!

Workshop: Data Driven Energy Services. How to Engage Consumers?

On 21 of January 2020, our partners, IOTA, presented their solutions and references +CityxChange in the workshop organised by the European Commission, namely DG CNECT and DG ENER,  on Data Driven Energy Services – how to engage consumers. The aim of the workshop was to explore what is happening at household level in the field of energy services. More specifically, the workshop aimed at showcasing the experiences of H2020 projects and their approach to the GDPR requirements; understanding how to engage consumers in the new energy solutions, hearing the views of the Energy Communities on the possibilities opened by the Clean Energy Package, and the role played by IT companies compared to the energy companies in providing these services. 

With 120 people attending and a fully booked room, the event gathered an audience consisting of representatives of DSOs, Energy communities, consumers associations, EU funded projects trialling consumers engagement in energy services as well as commercial platforms providing digitalised energy services. In three sessions, experiences gained by these actors were discussed, identifying challenges and opportunities concerning consumers’ engagement in data driven energy services.
The workshop confirmed important trends such as digitalisation changing the way energy market players are interacting with consumers. In this context, novel business models should be developed to engage customers in the wide energy market promoting a consumer-oriented framework that provide monetary rewards (without excluding non-monetary such as green behavior) for value provided to the system, and help build an online community of like-minded actors in order to increase the use of renewable resources in the energy mix.

Despite all the efforts, it was recognised that for the time being we are not managing to engage consumers in a big enough scale and beyond the initial phase of interest. What was common to those who have succeeded at engaging consumers (be it R&I projects or commercially viable start-ups) was the fact of thinking, from the beginning, what does the consumer want. In this context, should we reformulate the question “which kind of data do we need?” to “which kind of data can we collect according to the GDPR”? In the context of the energy transition, the new role of a DSO as a system integrator was emphasized. In addition, a second level of the energy transition was strongly highlighted: the construction of a data layer or framework covering the handling, processing and governance of all energy-related data.Participants requested future programmes of the European Commission to support data platforms and recognized the need to support a cross-sector approach, especially mobility, energy and urban environments to reach the Green Deal objectives.

The European Commission has taken note of these messages. They will be considered as input in the preparation of the coming Horizon Europe calls, and they will feed in relevant policy discussions on both Green Deal and Europe Fit for the Digital Age.
Finally, linked to this workshop and within the series of Open Energy Marketplaces and services events that took place during the last year and a half AIOTI, ENTSO-E and EIT InnoEnergy are preparing a POV that addresses topics raised and discussed during the workshops such as the following:

  • What are the gaps, scale-up needs and the state of the play of the enabling technologies
  • What is an open energy market place and how regulation could support the development of such a concept into reality?


Download the report for a detailed account of the event. 

Download the presentation from IOTA to learn more on their solutions and +CityxChange. 

Struggling with the lockdown? A hashtag can help

With the outbreak of Coronavirus cities have to face a completely new situation. Even the simplest daily tasks have to be rethought to ensure social distancing and support to persons in need. To embrace this challenge, cities are developing and implementing new ideas which will make them more resilient, stronger and smarter and so improve everyone’s wellbeing.

But how can the brightest ideas from EU cities be collected and made easily available to citizens? The answer is #SmartCitiesHelp, the dedicated social media campaign launched by the cluster of the 17 H2020 European Smart Cities projects.

Solidarity actions, online museums and concerts, hubs to connect citizens, digital contests, new city transportation strategies, apps, data collection platforms and much more will be shared.

Follow #SmartCitiesHelp on Twitter and LinkedIn to discover how European Smart Cities are reacting to COVID-19 to help you face these challenging times!


Join our challenge! #CityFromMyWindow

We invite citizens to be part of our challenge. Take a picture – or many if you want – of your city from the windows of your own house and share it on social media together with by the hashtag #CityFromMyWindow

We are all ‘Bored in a house, in a house bored’, so lets try to entertain ourselves. EU Smart Cities projects have started the campaign #CityFromMyWindow. Only together we can make it fun!

The purpose of this challenge is to make us feel a little bit closer despite social distancing and to show cities from a different perspective. Here is what you have to do:

  1. Go to your window
  2. Take a picture
  3. Post it with the hashtag #CityFromMyWindow

This initiative has been launched in cooperation with the cluster of H2020 Smart Cities projects.
Spread the word and take care!