Smart City Expo World Congress – Day 2

Again some quotes (as I understood them)…
Plenary session “Governance Challenges for Smart Cities”
Antoni Vives I Tomas, Barcelona, Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat:
Segmented structures: ‘We have a lot of smart industry, but we lack smart politicians – and I am a politician. We have authorities and experts but industry doesn’t have a real client – and that’s the problem. Therefore industry can continue selling us products, but that doesn’t solve our problems. {…} We need to restructure our organisations.’
Pilot projects: ‘I hate pilots – I am fed up with small solutions for parts of the city – it doesn’t help, it is a waste of money, it is just for the press. {…} You as industry should ask for visions.’
‘Pilots encourage the eagerness for quick solutions. And when you have a stupid mayor and a company selling products you have stupid solutions, short sighted, but no smart city. {…} We need a city protocol that demands a vision and long term solution.’

Business models: ‘If you (industry) expect payback over 6 years, don’t come to us – if you are willing to build up an industry structure over 30 years we are partners.’

Charbel Aoun, Schneider Electric, Senior Vice President, Smart Cities:
The following barriers make it difficult to deal with cities:
a) Structures: ‘We don’t understand cities – municipalities are a blackhole for industry.‘ {…}
‘Don’t break the silos – I cannot talk about breaking silos, we as industry are structured as silos ourselves. But we need a change of paradigm and find a way to work across silos. We need to implement hybrid structures.’
‘If you want to create a collaboration mode we have to erase the term competition.’
b) Requirements: ‘Cities tell industry we need xyz. Then you have a lot of power point presentations and use cases and then you don’t know which one to take. If I decide for one, would I be stuck with this supplier? What exactly do I get? Industry is a blackbox for cities.’ {…}
c) Regulations and procurement: ‘If we have identified a solution, we can not implement it because of restrictions, regulations, procurement processes.’ {…}
d) Financial models: Smart city requirements are something new for the financial sector. Currently cities thrive for the wellbeing of their citizens but … ‘Would you find a bank to finance “better live”?’ {…}
e) Business model: ‘If you bring in 10-15-20 players to a project, how do you handle this? Who should handle this? What is the business model behind it?’

Pilots: ‘If a solution has already been showcased another pilot is waste of time. Therefore no more pilots, pleeeaaase.’ {…}

Laura K. Ipsen, Microsoft, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector:
Pilots: ‘We start projects with a workshop to identify what a city needs. Instead of going for a pilot we ask to build a sustainable ecosystem, that can be transferred to other cities with similar challenges, e.g. Olympic games.’
Collaboration: ‘What private sector can do better is collaborate with each other.’
{…}

GE2 Parallel Session “EU Smart Cities and Communities”
Colette Maloney, DG CONNECT European Commission – Smart Cities and Sustainability, Head of Unit (Belgium):
Smart Cities and Communities EIP (European Innovation Partnership)
• aim to have transformed a number of cities into smart cities by 2020 (how many was not said)
• aim to fund large scale projects, light house projects, this is the focus of Horizon2020 (successor of FP7) and difference to previous funding policy. These large scale projects shall demonstrate the use of technology, not necessarily technology innovation.
• has no focus on pilots but on scale up projects – which so far is not seen in Europe, and the reasons seem unclear. This is the reason why EIP looks into the questions:
o What are the barriers?
o What standards are needed?
o What can be learnt from city projects so far? Knowledge sharing amongst cities what has worked, but also what didn’t work?
• seek to break down “silos” between energy, transport, ICT and consolidate European Commission’s initiatives under “one roof” – this affects cities amongst themselves and with industry.
• want to encourage interaction and technological integration rather than technological innovation in order to overcome the lack of sustainable business models.

Magdalena Andreea Strachinescu, DG ENER European Commission – New energy technologies, innovation and clean coal, Head of Unit (Belgium):
• Horizon 2020 Budget 2014-2015: 1.254 mio EUR → 2/3 of budget will go to Smart City
• In the calls to come, the EU would like to see more cooperation across Europe: North-South-East-West, different climate zones, structures…. ‘Identify common challenges and address them with scalable solutions.’

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