IRIS Smart Cities: Creating smart and sustainable cities

IMCG, now part of Spinverse, was a key partner in the HORIZON 2020 EU funded project, IRIS (Integrated and Replicable solutions for co-creation in Sustainable cities), which received 18 million euros in funding and aimed to accelerate the adoption of smart sustainable city solutions across Europe. Over the course of the five and a half years until March 2023, the project brought together more than 50 partners and seven European cities with a mission to build a more sustainable future for our cities and the people who call them home.

The involvement of IMCG (now part of Spinverse) in the project was pivotal, as the company led the development of bankable business models and exploitation activities, securing society to make use of project results after finalization of the project. Our Senior Consultant, Ulrika Wahlström, led this work as both exploitation manager and innovation manager. She focused on the collaborative engagement of all partners (cities, institutes, universities, utility companies, real estate companies and innovative companies) for the exploitation of project results and the enhancement of cities' innovation management performance. Our Principal Consultant, Jonas Norrman acted as the business model manager and led the work on the development of bankable business models to enable scale-up and replication. This work involved collaboration with over 100 smart cities in Europe.

IRIS focused on harnessing user-demand driven energy and mobility services, encouraging more collaborative and effective urban planning and governance, and validating business models and technical innovations. With their expertise, IMCG significantly contributed to the creation of innovative and sustainable solutions for urban development. 

Cities occupy a relatively small amount of space on Earth - less than 2% - but they consume a vast majority of its resources and generate up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. As the world's population becomes increasingly urbanized, the need for sustainable solutions to urban development becomes ever more pressing. This is where the IRIS Smart Cities project plays a critical role. quote roel

IRIS involved the implementation of smart solutions in three lighthouse cities that acted as testbeds - Utrecht (the Netherlands), Nice (France), and Gothenburg (Sweden) - with the aim of creating a model for sustainable urban development that can be replicated in other cities across Europe and beyond. The project focused on five areas: 1) renewable and energy positive districts, 2) flexible energy management and storage, 3) intelligent mobility solutions, 4) digital transformation and services, and 5) citizen engagement and co-creation.IRIS pic 

Within these areas, IRIS demonstrated a set of integrated solutions built on top of both mature and innovative technologies. The integrated solutions are defined based on a common know-how interchange among the lighthouse and follower cities, and planning of replication from the early beginning of the project. 

The project presented some of the highlights of the initiative, including descriptions and testimonials from project participants (read more about the highlights in the IRIS Magazine). The project highlighted the development of key technologies such as vehicle-to-grid charging, second life batteries, building retrofitting, and innovative mobility services. It also showcased examples of young citizens taking the lead in making their neighbourhoods safer and cleaner, as well as the challenges and lessons learned from European collaboration to make managing city innovation in the future easier for everyone.

Overall, IRIS has paved the way for sustainable urban development that can be replicated across the world. By demonstrating the potential of integrated solutions and the importance of citizen and stakeholders engagement, the project has inspired cities to think differently about urban development. 

Let's take inspiration from the IRIS Smart Cities project and work towards a greener future for generations to come. Together, we can create impact by solving global challenges.

Got interested? Do not hesitate to contact us for more information and find out how we can help your company grow with public funding. 

Jonas Norrman
Principal Consultant, Digital Industries