Team

Our +CityxChange project consortium consists of 32 partners who are working together with their teams on achieving the project’s objectives. The team consists out of the municipalities of the two Lighthouse Cities and five Follower Cities, two universities, and a variety of our partners from the fields of research, technology, community engagement, energy production/distribution and much more. On this page, you can find out more about the individual partners as well as ways of contacting them. The cities are listed in the end – if you want to find out more about them, also check out the individual pages of Our Cities.

+CityxChange Group

Lighthouse Cities

Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) is a municipality governed by the 40 Councillors and the Mayor of Limerick. LCCC has the responsibility to provide various municipal services to support social, physical and economic development (in a geographical area of 2755 km2) to more than 195,175 people (Census 2016). Limerick is the third largest City in Ireland and as such has a crucial role in the development of national competitiveness and the general economic performance of the country as a whole. The quality and sustainability of Limerick’s continuing development is now vital in achieving our vision to become a major economic force in the Irish and European economy, a leading centre for commercial investment – both foreign direct investment and endogenous business growth, capitalising on the strength of its higher education institutions, the skills of its workforce and its environmental and heritage attributes. The City Centre (Limerick’s Georgian Innovation District) will be at the heart of this economic force – an attractive magnet for sustainable growth.

Trondheim Kommune (TK) is a municipality governed by the City Council and the Mayor in accordance with the Municipality Act. Norwegian municipalities are local authorities run under the Planning and Building Act, the Pollution Act, and other relevant thematic laws and regulations. TK has 14 000 employees divided into six main sectors; Healthcare, Education and child care, Urban development, Finance, HR and Culture, Sport and Business development. The municipality is responsible for providing various municipal services such as education, health care, urban infrastructure as well as for supporting cultural and business development. Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway, with a population of about 190,500 people. Hosting the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the research foundation SINTEF, Trondheim is known as the technological capital of Norway. One of the main goals is to develop Trondheim into a smart and sustainable city where it is easy for the inhabitants to live environmentally friendly.

Follower Cities

Alba Iulia Municipality (MAI), situated in the Centre Region of Romania, in the centre of Transylvania, population, 74.000 inhabitants, size 104 sq. km, is a local public authority that provides a democratic local government of the city of Alba Iulia. Among its activities and objective we mention:

  • to ensure the provision of public services for the inhabitants of Alba Iulia Municipality in a sustainable manner respecting the equality of chances;
  • to promote social and economic development;
  • to promote a safe and healthy environment;
  • to encourage the involvement of citizens and of nongovernmental organisations in the matters of local government;
  • to make sure the citizens of Alba Iulia Municipality benefit from a healthy living environment and from good living conditions.

The City Hall of Alba Iulia is in direct relation with the citizens and tries to improve the quality of the services offered by reducing the bureaucracy and improving its e-administration services. During the last years, Alba Iulia Municipality is paying more attention on the situation of public, private and residential buildings in the city, how efficient they are in terms of energy waste and how to encourage a more responsible attitude of stakeholders with regard to the environmental challenges. In this respect, the Municipality of Alba Iulia managed to completely thermic rehabilitate 3 residential blocks with a total of 264 apartments, using European funding under the Regional Operational Program. The value of the project was of 2, 77 million LEI (approx. 615 000 euros) and the costs were also partially supported by the apartments’ owners together with a co-financing from Alba Iulia Municipality.

The Royal Town of Písek (MP) is mid-size city with 30 000 inhabitants, situated in South-Bohemian region. From Prague to Písek it takes approximately southwards. As for innovations and general economic situation in the city, there has been a significant influence of FDI in the industrial zone north of the city. The strongest influence has automotive industry and electrotechnics. Major innovations take place at the area of old barracks, where in recent years two innovation centres has been built as a brownfield investments (around 40 mil. EUR investment). Písek is the flagship city in the Czech Republic when it comes to “Smart Cities”. Písek was the first city in the Czech Republic to officially adopt comprehensive Smart City strategy, so called “Blue-Yellow Book” (named after official colours of the city; Czech only), by the City Assembly as its highest elected body. The strategy is in line with the Smart Cities and Communities activities, establishing priorities in areas of mobility / energy efficiency / ICT and integrated infrastructures. Písek has established official cooperation with the central government by signing memorandum with Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic and is in preparation to sign similar memorandum with the Ministry of Spatial Development of the Czech Republic. At least these two ministries consider Písek to be pilot “Smart City” in the Czech Republic to test innovative solutions. Smart Písek has also received nationwide massive attention both by Czech media and academics, Písek is often visited by other Czech city representatives and is present at any conference focused on this topic.

SESTAO BERRI (SB) 2010, S.A. is an organization created in May 2005 with participation of the Department of Housing of the Basque Government (50%) and the city of Sestao (50%). From 2008 on, Sestao Berri takes charge of the management of the urban development and integrated regeneration process of Txabarri – El Sol, on downtown Sestao, driving the retrofitting actions on the area. The main objective of Sestao Berri is to promote regeneration and rehabilitation of buildings within the City of Sestao and its neighbouring communities to a social and convivial standard. Sestao Berri 2010, S.A., as an expert public body on urban development, will stand on behalf of the City of Sestao for this project.

Smolyan Municipality, 854 sq. km, population of 37 607 is situated in the most southern parts of the country, in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains. It occupies a peripheral geographical position with respect to the borders of the country and has the potential to develop and deepen cross-border relations with the Hellenic Republic. The city of Smolyan (SMO) is 250 km away from the capital Sofia and 100 km from the second largest city in the country – Plovdiv. The cross-border check point with Greece (Zlatograd-Thermes) is situated only 55 km from Smolyan.

Võru was founded on 21 August 1784 and is situated in the South-Eastern part of Estonia and isthe capital of Võru county. The total area of Võru is 14 square km2. The total population of Võru is 12,367 (in Estonia 1,315,635) – constituting 0.94% of the total population in Estonia. Võru is the 11th largest city by its population in Estonia. Võru is the capital of Võru region with 12,367 inhabitants (2017). Võru region has 33,505 inhabitants.

Partners

NTNU is the largest university in Norway, with 14 faculties and 70 departments and divisions. NTNU has more than 39 000 students and more than 4 600 person-years in academic or scientific positions (41% women). The university uses its main scientific profile in technology and the natural sciences and its cross-disciplinary competency to meet global challenges, summarized by its vision: Knowledge for a better world. Three out of four Strategic Research Areas at NTNU – Sustainability, Energy and Health – contribute directly to sustainable urbanisation, delivering creative innovations with a far-reaching social and economic impact in close collaboration with cities, industries, authorities and civil society.

NTNU has a strong focus on international mobility and research training, mainly concentrating on Europe and China. 11% of its students and 41% of PhD graduates are foreign nationals, as well as about 1/3 of the academic staff. NTNU currently participates in 92 signed EU projects of which 26 (28%) are coordinated.

The University of Limerick (UL), with over 13,000 students and 1,300 staff, is an energetic and enterprising institution with a proud record of innovation and excellence in education, research and scholarship. The dynamic, entrepreneurial values which drive UL’s mission and strategy ensure that we capitalise on local, national and international engagement and connectivity. Research at UL is renowned for its close alignment to real-world problems and the university has an enviable reputation in fundamental research, which can have a real impact on society and the economy alike. This strong focus allowed UL to gain a five-star rating for innovation and excellence from QS, the international ranking body. This close alignment has also allowed UL to successfully compete for and win the right to host 5 national centres of excellence, all of whom have significant industry involvement, and aim to tackle real-world issues. UL has a strong international reach and Involvement in the European Framework actions from FP2 to FP7, and current involvement in Horizon 2020 has grown UL’s international network of collaborators through the University’s School of Architecture, Kemmy

Business School, Interaction Design Centre and Lero – the Irish Software Research Centre, a collaboration between researchers and practitioners locally, nationally and internationally is a strategic feature of the research activity. The University of Limerick has extensive experience in supporting large national and international research projects and will supply a dedicated office and research space.

ABB AS is organised in four divisions, whereas Industrial Automation (IA) is the largest division. The work will be performed by a team consisting of both resources from IA and Electrification Products (EP) division. AtB is the public transport authority (PTA) for Trøndelag county in Norway. AtB plans, coordinates, orders and markets public transportation in Trøndelag county. AtB has extensive experience with electronic/digital ticketing both app and card based. About 50 % of the tickets are on the mobile phone and about 40 % are on electronic cards. The available products on mobile have increased over time. Data on public transport usage over time (year, month, week, day and hour) by means of ticket and age group can be made available.

Arup is a global firm of consultants, engineers and designers that offers a wide range of professional services to clients around the world. Arup is the creative and inspiring force behind many of the most innovative buildings, civil engineering projects, urban planning and transportation consulting. Founded in 1946 by Sir Ove Arup, the company has grown into an international group with more than 13,000 professionals operating from 90 offices in 35 countries on five continents. Under a concept of integrated and multidisciplinary work, Arup provides its clients with business advice and efficient solutions for the built environment. Our experience is nourished by the contribution of each of the Arup teams around the world, through an international network of professionals coordinated to operate and participate in plans on a global scale but adapted to local needs. Arup is owned by its employees. The company is foreign to the management of shareholders or the interests of external agents, with a free spirit to make the most convenient decisions for each project.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. is a leading global provider of mobility solutions, both through its Avis and Budget brands, which have more than 11,000 rental locations in approximately 180 countries around the world, and through its Zipcar brand, which is the world’s leading car sharing network, with more than one million members. Avis Budget Group operates most of its car rental offices in North America, Europe and Australia directly, and operates primarily through licensees in other parts of the world. Avis Budget Group has approximately 30,000 employees and is headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. Content provider of self-service Avis cars both EV and commercial one. We also have partners who will deliver EL bikes and LEV if needed. We have single booking solutions for cars and E Bikes.

Colaborativa.eu is an SME based in Spain and Ireland specialised in crafting online and physical experiences for citizen engagement and participation. We use data to explore urban environments and tell stories about cities. Our portfolio ranges from beautiful data visualizations and software tools to citizen engagement events. Our main specialty is crowdsourcing platforms, data visualization and online mapping. We work across the entire web stack, native mobile applications, Arduino and Rasberry Pi. Colaborativa.eu builds open tools based on open source technologies building communities around open data.

Founded in 2000 under the Save II program of the European Commission, the Energy Agency of Plovdiv (EAP), Bulgaria, is devoted to promoting the efficient and sustainable use of energy and to expanding the use of renewable energy. In pursuing its agenda, EAP carries out feasibility studies, energy analyses, and energy project identification, development and management. Its priorities include: energy efficiency in buildings, EE and RES in SMEs, the development of sustainable energy communities and SEAPs within the EC’s Covenant of Mayors initiative, and energy/environmental education. Its services are utilised by governmental entities, the business community and consumers.

ESB (the Electricity Supply Board) is 95% state owned electricity company. While historically a monopoly, the ESB now operates as a commercial semi-state concern in a liberalised and competitive market. As a strong, diversified, vertically integrated utility it operates right across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to supply. ESB Innovation is an entity within ESB group and operates as ESB Innovation RoI Ltd, under the umbrella of ESB. ESB Innovation consists of a number of departments including ESB ecars, ESB eHeat, ESB Smart Energy Technologies, ESB Smart Energy Services and the Technology Innovation Unit, all of whom work towards providing low carbon energy for our customers, both domestic and industrial and commercial.

ESB Networks DAC, a ring-fenced subsidiary within ESB Group, is the licensed operator of the electricity distribution system (DSO) in the Republic of Ireland. ESB Networks DAC is responsible for building, operating, maintaining and developing the electricity network and serving all electricity customers in the Republic of Ireland.

FourC AS is providing an infrastructure platform for management of distributed systems with focus on the Internet of Things, M2M, transport, healthcare, smart homes and automation. All these systems, regardless of actual vertical market, need such management services. Since many of the owners, board members and employees have been working in the transport industry, quite some focus has been put on providing the platform and its services for transport and smart home solutions. Today, nearly all activities are focused on providing state-of-the-art technology solutions relating to transport and smart home/energy as the employees have a total of approx. 50 years of experience in these field. FourC is a high-tech company. Of the 11 current employees, 10 of them have M.Sc. or B.Sc. in computing and related subjects.

Future Analytics Consulting Ltd. (FAC) is an innovative, multidisciplinary SME that specialises in the areas of spatial planning, research, economic and socio-economic analysis. Founded in 2010, and benefitting from the extensive academic and commercial experience of its senior personnel, FAC has gone from strength to strength in the intervening period, expanding both its corporate expertise and its service offering.

Based in Limerick, GKinetic Energy Ltd is an Irish SME that is developing a range of hydro kinetic turbine for use in rivers and tidal zones. The core business of GKinetic is the research and development of its kinetic turbine technology. The company is technology focused and has created and owns the IP for its innovative kinetic turbine technology. The range of machines developed will cover units from 25 kW to 500 kW (kilowatt). The 25 kW and 60 kW machines have reached a TRL (technology readiness level) 6 and the 250-500 kW machines are currently at a TRL 4. Our mission is to develop turbines that can be built, deployed, and serviced cost-effectively and generate significant power in flow speeds of 1.2 – 2.5 m/s (meters per second).

The IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) is an innovative, award-winning and in-depth suite of integrated analysis tools. It allows the design and operation of comfortable buildings that consume significantly less energy. Whether working on a new build or renovation project, the VE allows designers to test different options, identify best passive solutions, compare low-carbon & renewable technologies, and draw conclusions on energy use, CO2 emissions, occupant comfort, light levels, airflow, UK Building Regulations Compliance, BREEAM, LEED, EPC ratings etc. The IESVE 3D performance analysis software has been used to design tens of thousands of energy efficient buildings across the globe.

The IOTA Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered in Germany. Co-led by its founders David Sønstebø from Norway and Dominik Schiener from Italy, the IOTA Foundation aims at developing open source Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) for real life applications and catalysing its wide adoption in both public and private sectors. Its main product to date is the IOTA Tangle, a DLT protocol originally designed to fit the requirements of the Internet of Things. The provides a revolutionary open source “blockless” distributed ledger which is scalable, lightweight and for the first time ever makes it possible to transfer value without any fees. Contrary to today’s Block chains, consensus is no-longer decoupled but instead an intrinsic part of the system, leading to a decentralized and self-regulating peer-to-peer network IOTA has its main offices in Berlin (HQ) and Oslo, and is setting up a number of satellite offices in association with Bosch and other industry partners. The Foundation gathers an international team of more than 100+ members including core block chain pioneers and core developers as well as senior industry experts and thought leaders from different industries including energy, health, mobility, IoT, management consulting and more.

ISOCARP Institute is the research branch of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. ISOCARP is a non-governmental global association of experienced professional planners. The Society has over 700 individual and institutional members from more than 85 countries and is recognised by the United Nations and the Council of Europe and has a formal consultative status with UNESCO.

The primary role of ISOCARP Institute is leading the Work Package “Dissemination and Communication”, which includes the management of communication and dissemination to reach a large audience; establish networks of stakeholders, create a platform and learning community; as well as involving citizens and local municipalities in innovative ways. Furthermore, ISOCARP Institute supports the Follower Cities in developing the Bold City Vision.

The project team of ISOCARP Institute consists of the work package lead Didier Vancutsem, who is supported by the Project Manager Tjark Gall and Sindi Haxhija from the Research & Design team.

MPOWER enables more electricity to be produced, or recycled, within communities from renewable energy sources, without disturbing the reliable and economic distribution of the electricity, making communities healthier and wealthier, and accelerating the Energy Transition. We, MPOWER, aim to be the first ever licensed CSO (Community System Operator), and to optimise the benefits of distributed production for the Community Grids that hosts it. Central to our mission is our enerXchange system, which consists of a cloud-based server and prosumer-based clients.

NHP is a leading actor in city transformation and supplier of retail and logistics real estate. NHP is a real estate company where the primary focus is on retail and logistics property, and on larger development in city transformation areas. NHP was established in 2006 by the Mid-Norwegian real estate actors Reitan Eiendom AS, Ursus Eiendom AS, Persson Norge AS, Heglund Holding AS and Bai AS. In 2011 an emission (share capital increase) was done in the company, after which H-park Invest AS and the foundation Fritt Ord joined as additional owners. Since then the company has grown considerably in size and from our main office in Trondheim we develop, hold and manage retail, industrial, and housing properties on a national scale.

Officinæ Verdi Group, created by UniCredit in Joint Venture with WWF, in the last three years of activity has arranged energy efficiency operations with investments around 100 M€. The Group has consolidated a high level of competence and know-how in energy efficiency for key sectors of the economy, such as real estate, infrastructure, retailers, industrial and manufacturing, sport, smart cities, becoming the strategic partner of several organizations for energy investments. OV | Group® operates with the holding for technical and financial arrangements with the aim of developing and structuring “green economy” investment operations.

Powel (POW) is a privately owned Norwegian ICT company with 460 employees. Powel develops and delivers ICT software solutions and technology in an international market to companies in the power industry and municipalities. In the DSO (distribution system operation) industry the solutions from Powel are used for planning, operation, documentation, work process operation, and optimization regarding distribution system management (DMS). For municipalities Powel delivers solutions for documentation and management of technical infrastructure including water and sewage. Powel also delivers smart city services for use by managers and/or citizens. A significant part of Powel solutions and services is power generation planning and optimization in addition to market bidding, trade and settlement. Powel holds excellent industry domain knowhow and 50% of its revenue comes from consultancy services while the other part is from software products and solutions. Powel technology includes data management from smart meters and distribution management systems in smart electricity grids.

R2M Solution srl. Is an integrated and multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial innovation company that aggressively targets filling the gap between research activities and market implementation across the fields of Innovation, Engineering, Energy Services & Sustainability and ICT/Automation. R2M is a strategic innovator itself and as part of its business model helps organizations and projects plan and execute the strategic use research funding carried out over a comprehensive development strategy from idea to market. In doing so, R2M provides leadership, links high performance exploitation-oriented networks, and leverages public and private funding instruments.

Kjeldsberg AS is a family owned real estate company with 12 employees, established in 1856. Kjeldsberg owns a total of 110,000 m2 floor space. The Kjeldsberg Group has an equity of 571 million NOK. In addition to the company’s own property, Kjeldsberg is a large property manager through the wholly owned subsidiary Kjeldsberg Eiendomsforvaltning, which has 45 employees and manages a total of 450,000 m2 floor space. Kjeldsberg has in recent years focused on future technologies and smart building management systems in their buildings. As an example, Kjeldsberg’s building Stålgården was first in the Nordic countries to use TABS (thermic active building systems). Through operational responsibility for many of Trondheim’s most technically advanced buildings, both Kjeldsberg’s and other developers, the organization has gained very good expertise in advanced building management.

Space Engagers is a social enterprise that emerged from the EU FP7 TURAS project (2011-2016) (Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability). TURAS explored how cities can build adaptive capacity to change and concluded that in order to achieve the necessary transition we need the whole community to be involved, we need better data at the local scale, and we need new ways of doing things. Space Engagers develops interactive mapping technologies (web and smartphone apps and dashboards), complemented by offline workshops to address the digital divide, that respond to these 3 needs by: engaging citizens with their place and raising awareness of social and environmental issues; gathering and revealing essential data on these issues that is distributed throughout communities or large areas (and otherwise resource intensive to obtain); and with this engagement and data, co-creating positive change together. This approach recognizes that citizens know their place and local issues best; that they want to contribute to positive change; and that mapping is an effective mechanism for engagement.

Statkraft Varme is a district heating company with activities in Norway and Sweden. The plant portfolio includes 9 plants in Norway, including Trondheim, and four plants in Sweden. Total production is app 1,1 TWh/year heating and cooling. Statkraft Varme handles the whole value chain from business development to market operations.

TrønderEnergi is one of the main energy companies in Norway. Long-term planning and capital solidity have been important factors, following the corporate social responsibility of owning and operating critical infrastructure. At the same time, it has been crucial to develop innovative solutions within this long-term perspective. Trønderenergi has solved this puzzle by close cooperation with research institutions, local and national authorities as well as the broader network found in the value chain of a large energy company. TrønderEnergi constantly seeks to extend this cooperation locally, nationally and internationally and wants to be a resource and a collaboration partner within more traditional technologies as hydropower, wind power and grid operations but also within newer technological solutions as the development of solar power in Northern Europe, smart cities as well as digitalization of enterprises.