News and Press Release

City Vision 2050 – Limerick and Trondheim Light House Cities Coordinators Mihai Bilauca (left) and Silja Rønningsen (right)

+CityxChange – Presenting our ideas of the cities we want to live in

On Wednesday 7th November 2018, the kick-off and first consortium meeting was held for the +CityxChange initiative.

Today we kicked off our +CityxChange project in Trondheim, with nearly 90 participants from 32 partners. One of the main targets for the kick-off was to determine how to create open, collaborative and engaging partnerships.

After welcome words by Annemie Wyckmans (+CxC Project Coordinator), Gunnar Bovim (Rector of NTNU), and Morten Wolden (CEO of Trondheim municipality), EU project officer Francesco Liberati and +CxC Project Manager Dirk Ahlers (NTNU) discussed the expectations and ambitions towards the partners, on behalf of the EU Commission and the +CityxChange project.

Lighthouse Cities Trondheim and Limerick, led by coordinators Silja Rønningsen and Mihai Bilauca (pictured above), shared their vision for 2050 and discussed with the partners how to make these a reality using the +CxC project – and, how to actually deliver viable Positive Energy Blocks in the next years. Follower Cities Alba Iulia, Písek, Sestao, Smolyan and Võru (add names), together with WP6 Lead representative Liyana Adjarova of EAP, presented their plans for how to engage with the lighthouse cities and learn as much and as fast as possible, while setting up their own demonstrations. All seven cities and 32 partners are ready to experiment, share, and learn, and co-create the future together.

Follower Cities coordinators Christiana Fica (Alba Iulia), Miloš Prokýšek (Písek), Luiskar Delgado Ortiz (Sestao), Eftima Petkova (Smolyan), and Diana Vene (Voru), together with Work Package Lead EAP, presented how the Follower Cities are ready to engage with the lighthouse cities to learn as much and as fast as possible, while setting up their own demonstrations.

All seven cities and 32 partners are ready to experiment, share, and learn, and co-create the future together.

An excellent first day of the kick-off meeting!



+CityxChange – Co-creating the future we want to live in

On 6 July, the +CityxChange proposal was formally invited by the European Commission to become a new smart city lighthouse project, under the “Smart Cities and Communities” call of the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

The proposal was given excellent comments and scores by the experts, and rated among the very best among the eleven competing proposals.

“This is amazing news. We have great expectations for what we can achieve in this collaboration”, says Annemie Wyckmans, project coordinator for +CityxChange and Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

For the next five years, the cities of Trondheim, Limerick, Alba Iulia, Písek, Sestao, Smolyan and Võru will experiment on how to become smart positive energy cities, that use digital services to improve quality of life for and together with all of their citizens, generate more energy than they consume, and exchange experiences with cities across Europe to learn faster, together.

Under the leadership of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, these seven cities will develop and test new solutions together with an impressive list of 11 large enterprises, 9 SMEs, 3 non-for-profit organisations and 2 universities, covering the entire value chain: IES R&D, Powel AS, University of Limerick, Energy Agency of Plovdiv, Future Analytics Consulting, Research2Market Solutions, ISOCARP, TrønderEnergi AS, ABB Norway, AtB, AVIS Budget Group, Statkraft Varme AS, ESB Innovation RoI Ltd, ESB Networks, Ove Arup & Partners SAU, FourC AS, R.Kjeldsberg, Smart MPower, Space Engagers, Colaborativa, Officinae Verdi, IOTA Foundation, NHP Eiendom, and GKinetic Energy Ltd.

The independent experts evaluating the proposal commend +CityxChange for demonstrating and substantiating actions that will contribute to the wide-scale roll-out of Positive Energy Districts across Europe, with a convincing approach to make local governments an active and integral part of the energy solution, engaging citizens in the city transformation, and involving the entire district energy value chain, extending to high level policy makers and cities, universities, large enterprises, distributed network operators, SMEs, and non-profit organisations.

The project will receive 20 million Euros in funding by the European Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020. In addition, the project partners add 10 million Euros of in-kind efforts to ensure the local implementation of the demonstration projects in Trondheim and Limerick. Expected project start is 1 January 2019.

Throughout the process, the consortium has received valuable insight and support from the national contact points (NCPs), notably the NCPs in the two lighthouse city countries Ireland and Norway, as well as our Brussels offices.

For more information, please check our website: or contact project coordinator Annemie Wyckmans,, Trondheim’s lighthouse city coordinator Silja Rønningsen, and Limerick’s lighthouse city coordinator Rosie Webb,