Smart cities and communities: over €100 million of funding available

EU funding opportunities

ec.europa.euA new Horizon 2020 call (SCC-01-2015) is dedicated to projects for smart cities and communities, and is open to proposals on energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, integration of new ICT and smart tech solutions with the aim of supporting infrastructural innovation.

The European Union, also for 2015, has mobilized significant resources for the development of solutions in sensitive environments such as the urban one: a total funding of 107 million euro is available under this call.

The scope consists in identifying, developing and deploying replicable, balanced and integrated solutions in energy, transport, and ICT through partnerships between municipalities and industries.
This H2020 invitation is about the funding of lighthouse projects. Learning, exchange and synergy creation between new partners is hence sought through the launching of so-called large scale demonstration- first of the kind projects.

All industries, startups, public bodies and associations who want to participate must apply by 5 May 2015, for projects related to:

• (Nearly zero) or low energy districts;
• Integrated infrastructure (public, private, industrial to reduce consumption and increase efficiency);
• Sustainable urban mobility (e.g.: electric, biking, pedestrian areas).

In relation to smart cities and communities, the EU has identified the following common challenges to be addressed under the H2020 framework: increasing energy efficiency in cities; rational and optimum use of local resources; increasing use of renewable energy; sustainable private and public transport; drastic reduction of CO2, greenhouse gases and all contaminants; effective treatment of waste; environmental sustainability of human and industrial activity; involvement of citizens in the governance of processes mentioned above; overall capacity of the system to face and withstand the large climate changes (resilience).

Among the specifications required, the project should:

• be implemented on a large scale, involving up to 2-3 cities;
• must provide an important impact on local communities, citizens and SMEs ;
• must be able to be replicated in other cities in order to spread the know-how: a number of 2-3 “follower cities” should be involved;
• must lead to the development of integrated urban plans;
• projects must contain business plans that allow replication on a large scale, so to aid economic recovery and new jobs in cities of varying degrees of economic conditions.

The appropriate size of a project addressing this specific challenge could vary between € 18-25 million.
Proponents will see a funding contribution up to a maximum of 70% of total eligible costs, except for non-profit legal entities, where a rate of 100% applies.

Further information and all official documents of this Call for proposals can be found in the Participant Portal:


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