Pilot-based Innovation Ecosystems for Smart Cities (PilotInnCities)

Funding source

European Regional Development Fund Interreg Danube Region 2021-2027

Implementation period

January 2024 - June 2026

Project partners

  • Leading partner/ manager - Ministry of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic
  • Agency for business and investment support CzechInvest, Czech Republic
  • Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization, Slovakia
  • Association of Cities and Towns of Slovakia, Slovakia
  • Neumann János Nonprofit Közhasznú Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság, Hungary
  • HROD.net Nonprofit Kft., Hungary
  • Digital Srbija initiative, Serbia
  • Asociatia Danube Engineering Hub, Romania
  • Universitatea Tehnică de Construcții București, Romania
  • EurA AG, Germany
  • Zentrum für Digitale Entwicklung GmbH, Germany

Total value of the project

EUR 2,477,340 (80% co-financing)

Short description of the project

Cities and urban areas are home to 75 percent of EU citizens, a figure expected to rise to 84 percent by 2050. This gives cities a key role in addressing today's global challenges and in ensuring the well-being of individuals and communities. Innovative solutions and technologies are vital components of the necessary transition of European cities to livable, sustainable and efficiently organized places – in one term Smart Cities (SC). However, the implementation of innovations faces many obstacles, especially at the key municipal level. The main common problems in the Danube region are financing, public procurement and insufficient access to expertise. This results in a low willingness of municipalities to become early adopters of innovations, and thus a slow pace of adoption, expansion and internationalization of new solutions.

The goal of the project: to improve this situation by laying the foundations and creating guidelines for national ecosystems that will support the adoption of SC innovations and promote their local and international adoption. The core of such ecosystems is a support mechanism for agile piloting, which will motivate municipalities to become test facilities (living laboratories) for new technologies. The ultimate goal is to bridge the gap between SC solution providers (mostly SMEs) and municipalities as their natural market, minimizing the time span between a minimum viable product and an implemented, scalable solution.
Given the complexity of innovation processes, SC challenges and communal governance, the project responds through an unparalleled systemic coordination action that will bring together the forces of various stakeholders along a quadruple helix. As the challenges addressed have proven difficult to overcome at the national level, the transnational approach provides a shared framework of learning in the process that allows national groups to identify and propose a joint solution combining the best know-how of all the countries involved and harmonizing SC development in the Danube region.

Pilot Inn Cities first meeting

The first coordination meeting of partners from six countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia) took place on January 25 and 26, 2024 in Prague.

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  • Pilot-based Innovation Ecosystems for Smart Cities (PilotInnCities)