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European cities embrace AI to fight climate change

Six cities will be using Artificial Intelligence on their path towards carbon neutrality

  • January 23, 2020 14:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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AI4Cities, an EU-funded project, brings together cities that want to take advantage of the untapped potential of Artificial Intelligence in order reach their ambitious climate targets. The cities that are taking part in the project are Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris Region, Copenhagen, Stavanger and Tallinn.

Through the AI4Cities project, they will challenge businesses, start-ups and other relevant stakeholders to find solutions to climate challenges by using Artificial Intelligence in order to achieve carbon neutrality. First, local authorities will define the requirements for projects and then they will look forward to the innovative proposals of private enterprises in two main areas – energy and mobility. The proposals will be financed through a total of 4.6 million euros, provided by the AI4Cities project.

“Cities and regions have a lot to say and do when it comes to climate action. We are very well placed to support our national governments in achieving their climate goals. AI4Cities shows our leadership and our willingness to use the power of pre-commercial procurement to boost innovation, artificial intelligence and sustainability in Europe,” stated Kaisa Sibelius, coordinator of the AI4Cities project and project manager at Forum Virium Helsinki according to a press release provided by ICLEI.

Multi-phased project

AI4Cities is divided into a total of five phases. Phase 0 is the preparatory step, during which the six participating cities will be hosting workshops and events. Phases 1 through 3 are the standard Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) steps – they are split into a solution design phase, prototype phase and a prototype testing phase. The last phase – phase 4 is aimed at final impact assessment and follow up.

AI4Cities will choose and fund 40 contractors who will present their concepts and designs in Phase 1. 20 of them will be chosen to keep working and develop a prototype for Phase 2 and finally 6 will remain who will be tasked with carrying out larger-scale pilot projects in Phase 3.

In order for the project to reach its full potential, a group of cities will be observing the PCP process in order to potentially employ these smart solutions themselves in the future.

The six cities taking part in the project are trailblazers in Smart City Solutions and using new technologies to solve modern problems.

“AI4Cities is a living example how sustainability and innovation go hand in hand, providing practical answers to the challenges ahead. Open-source solutions to drive climate change mitigation using the tangible tool of public procurement is timely and ICLEI welcomes the leadership taken by European cities.”, stated Philipp Tepper, Coordinator, Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

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