In connection with the world’s largest conference for urban innovation, Smart City Expo in Barcelona, 7-9th of November, the Urban Twin Transition Center will be launched. The initiative will work closely with the Viable Cities innovation programme to help Swedish cities become climate-neutral.

Vinnova, the Swedish agency for innovation systems, will finance the strategic initiative Urban Twin Transition Center (UTTC) with SEK 20 million over three years. The Swedish Internet Foundation, together with the University of Gothenburg and RISE, is responsible for the initiative, providing cities with a solid, current decision-making basis in their journey towards climate neutrality.

– The World Economic Forum points out that up to 20 per cent of the reduction in carbon dioxide by 2050 will be driven by the opportunities offered by digitalisation. This initiative aims to help Swedish cities achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, which also goes hand in hand with The Swedish Internet Foundation’s goal linked to the socially beneficial digitalisation for a sustainable Sweden, says Carl Piva, CEO of The Swedish Internet Foundation.

Along with continuous research, UTTC will support the practical implementation of the best current methods, and will openly share its knowledge base with everyone. The 23 Swedish cities are a priority target group – with 40% of Sweden’s population – mobilising for climate neutrality by 2030 through the Viable Cities innovation programme.

– Each year, the cities involved in the Viable Cities programme sign climate contracts with several authorities representing the Swedish state. These contracts define their climate targets. The initiative aims to identify and scale up practical solutions for implementing the 2030 Agenda in these cities. Our ambition is to accumulate and structure the most important knowledge in digital green transition to help Swedish cities make the right choices based on validated solutions, says Carl Piva.

– I am pleased with the positive response we have received for UTTC. It promotes a significant positive effect in the initiative and is a way for us to contribute to the existential challenge. We see it as extremely valuable to implement research-validated initiatives in Swedish cities to push towards climate neutrality, says Professor Johan Magnusson, who leads the work with UTTC for the University of Gothenburg.

Solutions for a green transition

The Swedish Internet Foundation, together with RISE, is leading the implementation part of the centre, which will primarily link the needs of the cities with current solutions for green transition.

– One of RISE’s most important strategies is to contribute to sustainable growth in Sweden, where we can offer scientifically validated solutions that strengthen industry, business and the public sector while contributing to a sustainable transition. Here we see that we can be a strong and important partner for climate-neutral cities through UTTC, says Ann-Sofie Mårtensson, responsible for connected society at RISE.

– We are extremely pleased with this initiative and see that UTTC will be an important component in how Swedish cities achieve the ambitious goals defined in the Viable Cities climate contract, concludes Olga Kordas, programme manager at Viable Cities, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas.

In addition to The Swedish Internet Foundation, the University of Gothenburg and RISE, the following partners are currently involved: Vinnova, Viable Cities, TechSverige, Region Västra Götaland, Region Skåne, Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, Smart City Sweden/IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket), Sundsvall, Nacka, Linköping, Huddinge, Datastory and ElectriCITY.

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