Speaking to 500 representatives of cities, business, the financial sector and research institutions EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger launched on June 21st the EU’s new Smart Cities and Communities Initiative, the EU’s programme for the energy efficient cities of tomorrow.”The time is right for smart cities and communities: Cities and industry partners are eager to develop integrated sustainable solutions that offer clean, secure and affordable energy to citizens, reduce consumption and create new markets – in Europe and beyond. With the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative, the EU is kick-starting these new markets with an initial funding of EUR 80 million to support innovative model projects in selected European cities.” Commissioner Oettinger explained at the launch. He added that “Cities are key to the EU’s objectives of 20%energy saving by 2020 and to developing a low carbon economy by 2050, because 70% of the EU’s energy is consumed in cities. They have a huge potential for energy saving through smarter use of resources and intelligent technology integration.”In an FP7 call to be opened on 19 July this year, teams of cities and industry partners can apply for EU-funding in the fields of integrative management of urban energy flows that also include transport, water and waste solutions. Further calls under the initiative address buildings, heating & cooling systems.

Next milestones:

FP7 Call Information Day including Smart Cities topics on 7 July 2011 in Brussels

Call for proposals open from 19 July until 1 December 2011.

SET Plan conference in Warsaw on 28-29 November 2011.

Evaluation of call proposals: January/February 2011.

Start of Projects: probably Summer 2012

For more information see: Smart Cities