This week Gothenburg in Sweden will host an international project meeting gathering the range of innovative startups, research organisations and local authorities that make up IRIS Smart Cities. The project, of which Gothenburg is one of three exemplary ‘Lighthouse’ cities, aims to develop and replicate smart solutions for cities to become increasingly energy efficient, sustainable and attractive for their inhabitants. The meeting will be held within walking distance of several of the testbed areas used in the project. Business Region Gothenburg participates in IRIS under the City of Gothenburg and, through Green Gothenburg, provides study visits to the meeting participants where the city’s climate-smart solutions are presented.

“Campus Johanneberg of Chalmers University of Technology is our demonstration district within IRIS. This is where concepts and solutions are tested in order to be scaled up and implemented in other European cities,” says Eva Pavic, project manager at Johanneberg Science Park who coordinates the project on behalf of the City of Gothenburg.

Amongst a number on hands on site visits, delegates of the IRIS meeting will get the opportunity to visit HSB Living Lab, where 30 residents will be given the opportunity to closely monitor their own and their neighbors’ energy consumption in order to reduce it. Right outside the conference center is a bus stop for the electrical bus line, part of the ElectriCity collaboration, that will take delegates on a quiet and emission-free ride through the city. Funding from IRIS will allow used batteries from these buses to get a new life storing energy at the Positive Footprint Housing project under construction a stone’s throw away.

At this consortium meeting, all project participants will be able to visit three different test beds. Developing and disseminating knowledge about climate-smart solutions that contribute to more energy-efficient cities is one of the IRIS project’s focus areas. The purpose is for other cities to take advantage of the knowledge and solutions one choose to test here in Gothenburg,says Anki Gustafsson, project manager at Green Gothenburg.

“One of the reasons that Gothenburg was chosen as a lighthouse city in IRIS Smart Cities is that we already have strong innovation environments where research and testing of new ideas is in our DNA. For Gothenburg, this type of project means more than direct financing for development – it also strengthens our position as an innovation city and opens up for more future investments that will enable our city to stay at the forefront and offer its inhabitants an even better quality of life,” says Gunilla Åkerström, Head of the Innovation Program of the City of Gothenburg.

The IRIS project is a fine acknowledgment that Gothenburg is one of Europe’s leading cities in innovation development and the development of sustainable cities. Together with other players, such as academia, research institutes, innovation agencies and private actors, we want to help boost the level of innovation even more,says Anki Gustafsson, project manager at Green Gothenburg

IRIS Smart Cities started in October 2017 and currently working to analyse end-user, business, citizen and technical requirements for smart city success in the three lighthouse cities Gothenburg (Sweden), Nice (France) and Utrecht (Netherlands). Solutions meeting future needs such as energy efficiency, open data and infrastructure will then be developed and implemented in four follower cities: Vaasa (Finland), Alexandroupolis (Greece), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain) and Foscani (Romania). In each city, several companies and organisations are participating in the project and their representatives will attend the meeting in Gothenburg on 27-29 March to share experiences and map out the road ahead.

"I look forward to a concrete exchange of knowledge with our European colleagues, where we can all learn from each other to make our cities smarter," says Eva Pavic.

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