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Vaasa is involved in a major EU funded energy and sustainability project
The City of Vaasa is participating for the first time in an EU project funded by the Horizon 2020* program. IRIS – Integrated and Replicable Solutions for Co-Creation in Sustainable Cities is the newest addition to the European Commission Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse projects.
The five-year funded IRIS project started on 1 October 2017 and tests new urban development solutions in the areas of energy, mobility and ICT. In total there are 43 operators from 7 countries and the kickoff event took place from 23 to 25 October in Utrecht.
The IRIS project focuses on five key challenges: energy positive districts, smart energy management and the smart e-mobility sector, a digital city innovation platform, citizen engagement and co-creation. It is important to develop business models and technical innovations in sustainable development as well as to implement and disseminate solutions developed within the project framework.
The IRIS project is led by the so-called Lighthouse Cities that have advanced in sustainable commercial solutions for energy, mobility and ICT. The Lighthouse Cities of the project are Utrecht (Netherlands, Project Coordinator), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Nice Côte d'Azur (France) as well as their follower cities Vaasa (Finland), Alexandroupolis (Greece), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain), and Focsani (Romania). Each city also has expert organizations such as universities, research institutes and companies as project partners. The Vaasa City Network includes Technology Centre Merinova and the University of Vaasa. The basic idea is that the cities can learn from each other and replicate their solutions.
Within the project, the City of Vaasa is placing emphasis on replicating and disseminating solutions, both for the participating cities and elsewhere in Europe.
– It is important for the Energy Capital of Vaasa to be involved at a European level in development work and to gain new knowledge and innovative solutions for Vaasa's needs, as well as to network and disseminate its expertise. At the same time, our expertise in major EU projects is strengthened, which in turn creates new funding opportunities, says Mayor Tomas Häyry.
For more information:
Development Manager Maria Backman, tel. +358 40 554 1900
Chief Real Estate Officer Pertti Onkalo (the details of the project and the priorities of Vaasa), tel. +358 40 637 4122
*Horizon 2020 is the EU's comprehensive framework program for funding research and innovation.