The Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership (EIP) consists of two governance bodies, a High Level Group advising the European Commission (EC) made up of senior representatives from industry, cities and civil society, as well as the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform.
While the High Level Group focuses on bottlenecks in the development of smart cities and societal needs, the Stakeholder Platform focuses on identifying the solutions and needs of practitioners, i.e. developers of technologies and specialists in the implementation of technical solutions. It is a bottom-up platform designed to develop integrated technology approaches and to develop a technology roadmap for the EC based on identified needs on the ground.
The Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform is essentially about promoting innovation. It aims to accelerate the development and market deployment of energy efficiency and low-carbon technology applications in the urban environment. The Platform supports the EU towards its goal of an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the Europe’s primary energy technology strategy, the SET-Plan.
Emphasis will be on technology integration in the areas of energy, transport and ICT, which is a key challenge for all SET-Plan technologies, and particularly for smart city technologies.
To achieve its goal, the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform will set up five groups. Three thematic expert (technical) working groups (WG):
- Energy supply and networks
The energy supply and networks WG aims at helping to identify promising solutions for supplying energy to cities, and supports their application in cities across Europe. This involves analysing suitable technologies as well as showing stakeholders how these can be designed, organised and applied successfully. The specific focus WG will be:
1) Integrated urban energy conversion solutions
2) Integrated urban network technologies
3) End-user / grid interface
Members of this WG include: city authorities, energy suppliers, energy network operators (including EDSO representatives), technology providers, major energy users, community groups involved in innovative energy projects, research organisations and housing associations.
- Energy efficiency in buildings
- Mobility and transport
The main stakeholders are technical experts, allowing the platform to draw on expertise from those directly involved in developing, testing and demonstrating new technologies. The WGs operate using a bottom-up approach and the overall themes are fine-tuned by participants based on guidance and the framework provided by the Chairs.
In 2014, EDSO re-committeed to playing a role in the new activities of the EIP.