With matchmaking being the theme of this year’s assembly, the events revolved on three thematic areas: Explore, Shape and Deal. In this way, various smart city actors were given the chance to jumpstart their respective projects and accelerate their investment deals.
The parallel sessions covered different Smart City themes such as mobility, energy, ICT and buildings. Others focused on the unconventional financial issues everyone has to look into for smart city solutions to work. MAtchUP partners who attended the event were representatives from Ostend, Skopje and VTT.
Representatives from Ostend, one of MAtchUP’s follower cities, took great interest with the growing attempt on an EU level in combining different fields, such as energy, social and real estate, in order to develop new and more fitting business models that will be used in smart cities. They were also interested in looking at the possibilities of replicating smart cities solutions across cities as presented by the Small Giants initiative and the project “Happen”.
As for the representatives from Skopje, another follower city of MAtchUP’s, they were delighted to use this opportunity in exchanging best practices with stakeholders investing smart city projects. They noted the Digital Agenda for Western Balkans, the Smart Cities Information System’s database and the Free Wi-Fi for Europeans as possible initiatives that can be implemented in their city and in MAtchUP’s future actions.
Lastly, a representative of VTT, the technical partner of MAtchUP, paid close attention to the mismatch of solutions provided by different initiatives that barely connect with one another. “Many of the presented interventions are just starting. There is knowledge in Europe that could be better exploited in presented interventions, for example in relation to connecting buildings to district heating or cooling systems. If a project have partners only from one part of Europe (same challenge), some of the potential solutions can be left unnoticed (different challenges, but same solution).”
With the positive turnout of the general assembly, the representatives of MAtchUP would also like to share their experiences to the rest of the consortium with the hope of maximising urban transformation across cities.