The preparatory actions for the data space for smart communities topic 184.108.40.206.1 of the Work Programme will result in the creation of a multi-stakeholder data governance scheme, a blueprint based on common principles and the identification of a set of priority datasets. In order to operationalise and start deploying this data space, the blueprint needs to be validated with real-life pilots, in particular through an integrated cross-sector approach that will exploit the strengths of advanced digital technologies such as local data platforms, AI, advanced data analytics, digital twins, high performance computing and cloud computing. Such technologies and their combined use can help cities to increase their resource efficiency and climate change mitigation action and provide further services that can significantly improve the quality of life of their citizens.
In order to validate the principles of the data space for smart communities defined in the blueprint topic 220.127.116.11.1 of the Work Programme and demonstrate the use of the selected cross-sectoral datasets, a number of pilots will be launched in focus areas relevant to the European Green Deal, and in line with the New European Bauhaus philosophy. The pilots should be on large scale and with good EU-wide geographical coverage and allow the federation of these datasets and related services through the SIMPL smart middleware platform11, also verifying the requirements on the study case on the Data Space for Smart Communities.
Activities in this topic will therefore build on those developed in topic 18.104.22.168.1 of the Work Programme, on a large scale and with good geographical coverage, to build EU capacity for connecting data from all relevant domains, following specific sectorial legislation. They will also contribute to the fine-tuning and improving of the blueprint via continuous feedback. This Data Space should include both public and private data holders, using open standards-based tools and supported by the common middleware platform (see section 2.1.1). It should also create synergies with the project resulting from topics 22.214.171.124.3, topic 5.1.2 on Living-in.EU, topic 5.2 on the New European Bauhaus, and relevant Missions, in particular the EU Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities
and EU Climate Adaptation Missions.
The data space for smart communities will consist of existing local data ecosystems and relevant stakeholders, as well as a list of priority datasets (static, real-time and historic datasets with cross-domain significance and usage), linked to environmental and climate-related challenges. The pilots will use these datasets for cross-domain services (from simple information services to most complex AI-enabled ones) in cities and communities running on top of an open standards-based (and ultimately MIMplus12-compliant) local data infrastructure. The pilots will need to demonstrate the benefits of a cross-sectoral approach to smart city data management.
The action will fund a consortium that will select participants and administer the funding for the 10-12 pilots. The consortium and participants will represent relevant supply and demand-side stakeholders to foster innovation among a large number of EU cities and communities. The pilots will comply with the data space for smart communities blueprint principles and when appropriate use existing standards and follow sectorial legislation. Pilots should cooperate in their impact assessment and generate a common understanding of progress towards the Green transition.
Following the pilots and building on the blueprint, the consortium should publish a ‘Data and Knowledge Pack' and any other useful knowledge material to promote and facilitate a city or community’s participation in the dataspace and should ensure that its content is made available to a wide range of stakeholders (including, but not limited to the relevant Horizon Missions, the Intelligent Cities Challenge, the Livingin.eu signatories, the Digital Public Buyers’ community, the network of EDIH, the Common Services Platform participants and others). In addition, the pilots should ensure compatibility with the principles of the New European Bauhaus and liaise with the project implementing Digital Solutions in support of the New European Bauhaus (see topic 5.1.4) when relevant.
The action will support between 10-12 cross-sector pilots through cascading grants to third party consortia, each managed by a small consortium from more than one Member State and involving at least 1 city in each Member State. Pilots should exploit data available from the data space for smart communities and propose new ones. It should increase the value of the data space by creating new data services from the combination of at least two heterogeneous areas specified below (but can also include other European Green Deal domains):
- predictive traffic management/sustainable mobility planning, establishing also synergies with the mobility data space (see topic 126.96.36.199) and making use of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Indicators, where appropriate.
- data-services related to weather, climate and extreme weather events to facilitate risk prevention, disaster resilience as well as climate change adaptation;
- management of energy flows in a city/community specific context and in conjunction with other sectors;
- zero pollution actions (e.g., air, water, soil pollution or waste);
- and any other domain falling under the New European Bauhaus initiative (urban design, building management, public services, nature-based solutions, amongst others).
In order to increase the impact and exploit synergies with the Testing and Experimentation Facilities (TEFs), these pilots would be required to minimise investment in infrastructure by executing their activities as much as possible on the available TEFs infrastructure15 and make any newly created AI service available via trusted application catalogues and marketplace(s)16. The action should also address rules for ethical AI-enabled solutions at the local level, create AI algorithm registries and define sets of rules that the services should comply with. Relevant European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) may also be used for the validation pilots.
The action should also establish links to those Horizon Europe missions that work with communities and cities as key implementing partners (e.g. Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities and Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change), which would provide significant opportunities to test, experiment and up-scale the input to, and use of, the data space with local partners.
The awarded consortium will work in partnership with the Data Spaces Support Centre (see topic 188.8.131.52) in order to ensure alignment with Smart Middleware Platform developed under topic 2.1.1 and the rest of the ecosystem of data spaces in section 2.2.1 thereof:
- The data space reference architecture, building blocks and common toolboxes to be used;
- The common standards, including semantic standards and interoperability protocols, both domain-specific and crosscutting;
- The data governance models, business models and strategies for running data spaces.
All pilots should include sufficient budget for data sharing in the dataspace for smart communities. The pilots should, from the start, plan on replication and scaling, as well as include generic features and re-usable (open) technologies. They should involve industry players with business curiosity to create new citizen-centric service offerings and revenue models.
The (AI-enabled) local data services should be piloted in a minimum of 2 cities or communities from at least 2 different Member States (minimum one city per Member State) within each pilot and be easily portable.
The pilots will strengthen data interoperability across different application sectors of relevance to cities and promote adoption of existing results and TEFs by cities and communities at EU level. Where relevant, they should also link with existing EU-wide smart cities marketplaces to make AI-based applications developed in the pilots make them widely accessible.
OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES
- An innovative and federated smart communities’ dataspace, including a large number of EU communities, supported by middleware service solutions.
- 10 to 12 cross-sector operational data pilots with long-term sustainability prospects covering the whole EU.
- An updated version of the “data space for smart communities blueprint” created under topic 184.108.40.206.1 of the Work Programme taking into account the lessons learned by the pilots projects.
- A refined long-term (economic) sustainability plan for the data space for smart communities.
- ‘Data and Knowledge Pack' and relevant knowledge resources to promote and enable widespread participation in the smart communities data space.
KPIs TO MEASURE OUTCOMES AND DELIVERABLES
- Number of cities or communities (geographical coverage) involved in the pilots.
- Number of priority data sets validated as part of the cross-sectoral pilots
- Number of re-usable services made available to wide range of cities and communities in the EU
The consortium should include signatories of the Living-in.eu declaration. It may also link with beneficiaries of the Intelligent Cities Challenge and relevant Horizon missions.
The pilots should comprise representatives from the public sector at different levels (local, regional, national), industry (mix of global IT service providers and innovative SMEs), academia, civil society and citizens (for example through Citizen Science).
TYPE OF ACTION AND FUNDING RATE
Grants for Financial Support. 100% funding rate.
SPECIFIC TOPIC CONDITIONS
- For this topic, security restrictions under Article 12(6) of the Digital Europe Regulation apply (see sections 6 and 10 and Annex 2)
- For this topic, multi-beneficiary applications are mandatory and specific conditions for the consortium composition apply (see section 6)
- For this topic following reimbursement option for equipment costs apply: depreciation only (see section 10)
- For this topic, financial support to third parties is allowed (see section 10)
- For this topic, first exploitation obligations apply (see section 10)