Six European cities investigate AI to move towards carbon neutrality

Helsinki, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris Region, Stavanger and Tallinn will challenge companies to develop innovative solutions in the fields of energy and mobility. Their first step is a modest ‘pre-commerial procurement process’.

With over 70% of EU citizens now living in urban areas, traffic congestion and inefficient transport systems still persist across the continent and account for 24% of GHG emissions in European cities. AI technologies have already proven they can help optimise traditional transport systems and processes to have a more positive (potential) impact on the environment.

Energy – crucial for cities’ infrastructure, heating, cooling, security and light – is the biggest polluting source, accounting for 58% of GHG emissions. In this context, AI technologies can be issued for storage needs, more efficient energy uses and the integration of renewable sources. Furthermore AI can help citizens to better understand how their energy consumption impacts their carbon footprint and give them tools that can facilitate the change.

AI4Cities

AI4Cities is a three-year EU-funded project bringing together leading European cities looking for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and meet their climate commitments. Helsinki (Finland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Paris Region (France), Stavanger (Norway) and Tallinn (Estonia) are the six European cities and regions involved in this project that has just kicked off. The participants have experience in using smart city solutions, IoT and open data to address citizens’ needs. They are accompanied by ICLEI, a global network of local governments pushing sustainable urban development forward.

Representatives of the participating cities. (Photo: AI4Cities)

Planning

Through AI4Cities, these cities and regions will go through a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process, an innovation procurement tool that enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs. First, the buying authorities will define the needs and requirements for solutions in the energy and the mobility fields that they would like to see developed in order to move towards carbon neutrality. Then, they will challenge startups, SMEs, bigger companies and other relevant stakeholders to design innovative solutions applying the use of AI and related enabling technologies, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data applications. The total funding amount to be divided among the selected suppliers throughout the whole PCP process is 4.6 million euros.

Website (under construction): www.ai4cities.eu


By Arnoud van Gemeren, Smart City Hub.
Header image: fuyu liu.

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