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On April 14, 2016 the second JPI Urban Europe Projects Meeting was held in Amsterdam. The meeting was arranged in order for all the JPI Urban Europe projects to meet and connect and to give the opportunity to learn more about the projects as well as giving feedback and inform about JPI Urban Europe.
In the heart of Amsterdam the JPI Urban Europe Projects Meeting took place at the De Bazel conference center with a full day programme. Over 100 project partners, European Commission representatives and JPI Urban Europe representatives took part in the event that combined presentations, workshops and networking. Through out the day the level of engament was high and discussions were intensive in workshops and during breaks. In order to support networking among projects partners all projects had prepared posters that were displayed in the Atrium.
Moderator Petra Wagner of Austrian AIT introduced the audience to the day followed by a welcoming by Ingolf Schädler, Chair of JPI Urban Europe Governing Board, empasizing the ambitions of JPI Urban Europe to create a longitudinal programme that delivers impact in cities. “Excellence is the prerogative but not enough – the projects need to go for the impact” said Ingolf Schädler. The ambitions within JPI Urban Europe was presented by Margit Noll, Chair of JPI Urban Europe Management Board with Jonas Bylund, JPI Urban Europe Management Board, giving an overview of all the projects funded in the three first calls and their distribution over the five priority themes of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). Margit empasized that the programme aims to establish a community and introduces new ways of cooperation and stakeholder involvement, the urban transition pathways programme being the centrepiece.
Three projects from the first JPI Urban Europe pilot call, B-part, CASUAL and SubUrbanLab, gave insights in the development of their projects and shared their results and experiences. In a following dicussion Lukas Smas CASUAL/Nordregio and Riikka Holopainen Suburbanlabs/VTT were asked to define their notion of urban living labs – is the main objective of an urban living lab to generate ideas or can the objective also be to generate new types of space, policy and material outputs? – and to describe possible impacts of their projects. Riita mentioned that the process is not linear, that communication with stakeholders take a lot of time. Early involvement and tapping into already existing stakeholder networks are factors for success. Lukas described how CASUAL has investigated new forms of inclusive urban governance and he raised the urgent issue of how informal self-organizing initiatives and temporary governance can be integrated in fomal governance structures. Lukas further suggested that we need to rethink what we consider as impact when running urban living labs – impact is ongoing change by the project rather than end-product. Peter Fröhlich B-part/AIT described how B-part had developed mobile applications that engaged citizens in Turkku to initiate actions and campaigns in their cities.
The projects meeting was the formal kick-off for the projects funded in the ERA-NET Cofund Smart Cities and Communities (ENSCC). All ENSCC projects were therefore invited to present themselves in speed presentations. Hans-Günther Schwarz, JPI Urban Europe Governing Board and Chair of the Smart Cities Communicty Steering committee, explained in his introduction of the ENSCC call JPI Urban Europe’s ambition to move towards implementation activities. Hans-Günter further described how JPI Urban Europe strives to involve small and medium size cities as a complement to the Horizon 2020 lighthouse projects mainly aiming for large cities.
The second half of the day was devoted to two rounds of workshop sessions. In the first session projects were clustered accordingly to the thematic priorities in the JPI Urban Europe SRIA and invited to discussions aimed at mapping research results, tools and methods and to identify common priorities among the projects and opportunities for future cooperation. The second session, that focused on support activities and SRIA implementation activities, generated a lot of useful and valuable input to the new website and the various activities related to communication, alignment and programme management that the JPI Urban Europe Management Board plans in the coming years.
The Projects Meeting was concluded by Pia Laurila, Policy Officer at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Eric Lecomte, Policy Officer at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy together with Hans-Günther Schwarz, JPI Urban Europe Governing Board and Darren Robinson of the JPI Urban Europe Scientific Advisory Board. The panel expressed their joy and excitement to meet all the projects included in the Urban Europe “family” and to see the results of years of policy and administrative efforts materialize in concrete research projects and the programme filled with life. Pia Laurila emphasised that the European Commission needs the knowledge that is produced by the projects in the JPI Urban Europe programme and appropriate channels for transfering the knowledge created for the use of the European Commission needs to be established.
The third JPI Urban Europe Projects Meeting will take place in Brussels in April 2017.
The JPI Urban Europe Projects Catalogue was launched at the Projects Meeting. The 40 pages catalogue presents all the 37 projects that have been funded in the first three JPI Urban Europe calls. The projects have been categorized into one of the five thematic priorities of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda that was launched in 2015. The catalogue offers an overview of the projects including facts and figures and contact details in a comprehensive A5 format. It is available as a PDF at JPI Urban Europe web-site.
One of the workshop sessions: Stefanie Peer and Emina Pasic.
The workshop session generated a lot of useful and valuable input.
Rafaela Matos of the JPI Urban Europe Scientific Advisory Board and Ingolf Schädler, Chair of JPI Urban Europe Governing Board.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857160.