CommuniCity Tech Pilots Transforming European Cities
The CommuniCity Project awarded 18 teams after the closing of its second Open Call on the
31st of October 2023. These teams are currently implementing their solutions, aiming for up
to 25 pilots in the partnering cities of Amsterdam, Helsinki, and Porto, as well as in the
replicator cities of Aarhus, Breda, Prague and Tallinn. The pilots are expected to be concluded
by May 2024
CommuniCity is a three-year project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme launching three rounds of Open Calls for Applications during the years 2023–2025. The main goal is to empower marginalised communities in European cities with innovative, digitally inclusive, and sustainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Extended Reality (XR) solutions.
During this second round of the CommuniCity Open Calls, all 48 submitted applications were carefully assessed by expert jury members selected by the partnering cities and replicator cities. The winning teams were granted 12,500 Euros each. Cross-border piloting teams could apply for additional funding of 5,000 or 10,000 Euros.
Throughout the Open Call process, all seven cities have identified several social challenges that will be analysed and hopefully solved by the technological solutions developed by the winning teams. These pilots will take advantage of the lessons learnt during the first round of CommuniCity Open Calls run in Amsterdam, Helsinki and Porto. In this first round, 13 pilots were conducted from May 2023 until January 2024.
The City of Amsterdam awarded five pilots to CoTownBV, T-APPS BV, One2One.run and Highberg. One2One.run seeks to increase girls’ participation in sports and exercise in Amsterdam Zuidoost. CoTownBV will run a pilot to facilitate the creation of a community savings and credit cooperative to fund social initiatives. Highberg will develop a tech solution to transform broadcast information in public transport to text messages on phones in order to include the hearing impaired. T-APPS BV will add a chatbot to their existing ‘AI document assistant’ app in co-creation with immigrants in both Amsterdam and Prague. Additionally, Amsterdam will run a pilot with the winning applicant of Prague’s cross-border challenge on participatory planning.
The City of Helsinki awarded six applications. The winners include Ai2Ai Oy, Superflash Technology Oy, Riesa Consultative Oy, Suomen Digitaalinen Tehdas Oy, Stereoscape Oy, and Kwizie. The pilots intend to tackle Helsinki’s challenges of how to enhance the quality of life for citizens with disabilities through digital innovation. They also focus on adressing pedestrian route information with participative data collection. Another challenge is to reliably measure the digital skills of long-term unemployed citizens, and a separate one is to prevent pressure ulcers in wheelchair patients. Riesa Consultative Oy is running a cross-border pilot with Tallinn on generating pedestrian route information with participative data collection. Kwizie is also implementing a cross-border pilot with the city of Tallinn to support the recognition of competences with the help of a digital tool. Stereoscape Oy is also expected to run a cross-border pilot along with Tallin and Porto on assessing the digital skills of long-term unemployed citizens.
Four pilots were selected in the City of Porto. Associação Fraunhofer Portugal Research, GTC (Gymuri Technology Center), KU Leuven, and Stereoscape Oy. These solutions intend to address challenges such as improving thermal comfort and overall health in residential buildings and reducing school absenteeism through an innovative and inclusive educational solution. Two cross-border pilots are running in Porto, one along with Prague and Amsterdam (participatory planning) and another with Helsinki and Tallinn (measuring accurately the digital skills of long-term unemployed citizens).
The Replicator City of Aarhus awarded one pilot to Duckwise Aps which is using technology to ease the process of setting up a bank account for foreigners.
In the Replicator City of Breda, four pilots were awarded to Surplus, AR-GO-lab, XS2Content and Brainstorm en concept. All the pilots seek to address issues caused by intergenerational transmission, in other words, the way behaviours or problems are passed from one generation to the next in families. The pilots will deal with topics such as fostering healthy family relationships and enhancing youth health, making use of immersive Virtual Reality and a gamified metaverse.
Seeking to engage citizens from socially and economically disconnected places in participatory planning, the Replicator City of Prague awarded KU Leuven one pilot. This pilot will run along with Amsterdam and Porto.
The Replicator City of Tallinn shared challenges along with Helsinki and is running cross-border pilots with this city. One focuses on gathering pedestrian route information through participative data collection and another on facilitating competence recognition through the use of a digital tool. An additional cross-border pilot is expected to run along with Helsinki and Porto on evaluating the skills of long-term unemployed individuals.
The winning pilot teams of the second CommuniCity Open Calls represent a robust collaboration with city officials and residents. The core principle of CommuniCity revolves around co-creation – engaging citizens who belong to the targeted groups, alongside piloting teams, will certainly help to find the most suitable solutions to meet their needs.
The third and final CommuniCity Open Call will kick off in September 2024. Cities from all over Europe will be invited to join the project. Over 50 tech pilots are expected to be run in several European cities during the first half of 2025. For additional information please check the Pilots section of the CommuniCity website and follow our social media channels and stay updated on all the piloting news.