Major New ‘Smart Cities’ Initiative launched with the support of the European Commission

Major New ‘Smart Cities’ Initiative launched with the support of the European Commission

Leading Cities and Innovators from Across Europe Gather in Ghent to Begin Working Together Smartly

Ghent,  14 December 2010 -  The ‘Smart Cities Portfolio Working Group’ today announced the launch of a new European wide initiative on ‘Smart Cities’ at the Future Internet Week being held under the Belgian EU Presidency on December 13th-17th 2010 in the City of Ghent.

The European Commission has recently approved funding for seven new ‘Smart Cities’ projects under the 2010 Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) Objective:  ’Open innovation for future Internet-enabled services in 'smart' cities’.  Winning projects are all designed to help cities deploy ICT in new and innovative ways that enable them to become ‘smarter’ by developing the smarter, digital, greener and more inclusive economies that need to emerge after the recession.    In particular, the projects are structured  to enhance the role that the 'networked Living Labs approach'– which involves citizens and business alike in service design and creation - can play in supporting innovation in ICT and Internet-based services - especially for SMEs.

The Smart City projects were convened first on November 18th 2010 during the City of Helsinki’s “Connected Smart Cities Conference – towards digital, sustainable and open communities”:    

Under the chairmanship of Manchester City Council in the UK, all seven projects will collaborate to maximise the synergies of their work through a new ‘Smart Cities Portfolio Working Group’.  Projects in the Working Group range from the European Platform for Intelligent Cities (EPIC), a cloud-based web service delivery platform that aims to deliver innovative smart city services across Europe through to Smart Innovation and People (SMART-IP), a project to test out new Internet devices that can monitor the environment and feedback real-time information and Peripheria, an initiative that will showcase the benefits of Internet‐of‐Things type of technologies in services of high societal value.

The new ‘Smart Cities Portfolio Working Group’ will bring together leading smart cities across Europe, including Issy-les-Moulineaux, Brussels, Cologne, Bologna, Oulu Bremen and Malmo. Together, these cities hope to bring the benefits of new ‘Future Internet’ services to all of their residents and businesses. They also hope that working ‘smarter’ will enable them to become ‘Living Lab’ test-beds for new Future Internet services that will benefit citizens and businesses alike.

Dave Carter from the Manchester Digital Development Agency said:   “I really welcome this exciting new Smart City initiative with the European Commission.  By joining forces, our new ‘Smart Cities Portfolio Working Group’ will create new partnerships working on the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ and dynamic new ‘test beds’ in cities for ‘Future Internet’ technologies and applications.’


The seven projects and their coordinators are:


‘FIREBALL’ (Future Internet Research and Experimentation By Adopting Living Labs) .

More info:

Dave Carter, Head, Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA), Manchester City Council. .  Email:

Julia Glidden, Managing Director, 21c Consultancy. Email: