Welcome to SELECT for Cities
Benefit from experience and lessons learned from the ongoing SELECT for Cities Pre-Commercial Procurement Project to develop a data-driven, Internet-of-Everything (IoE) platform for large-scale urban co-creation
NEW: Quick Guide to PCP
Thinking about adopting Pre-Commercial Procurement for your Smart City projects? Check out our experiences in this simple, easy-to-digest, guide. From PCP basics to handy hints and tips, this ebooklet contains all your need to get started.
A Happy Finale for Select for Cities
February 05, 2020
Its official, the SELECT for Cities project to stimulate the research and development of city-wide Internet-of-Everything platforms has officially ended, marked by successfully passing the final project review at the European Commission in Brussels. Project partners from Digipolis Antwerpen, Forum Virium Helsiniki, iMec and 21c met with the Project Officer and three independent reviewers to showcase the final innovation results, share challenges encountered and overcome, and discuss a longer lasting legacy.
Despite coming to a close the benefits delivered by the project will continue in the month and years ahead. The SELECT for City Contractors have advanced smart city solutions to sell across Europe and beyond. Cities have three new open source city innovation platforms with advanced predictive data analytics to potentially procure from. The Pre-Commercial-Procurement (PCP) tool itself is bolstered through lessons learned from the SELECT experience, which are already being adopted by new PCP projects such as FABULOS and OpenAI. New research and innovation have been stimulated, and spin-off companies created bolstering European competitiveness.
It wasn’t an easy project with a range of technical, legal and procedural challenges, however, through collaboration, hard work and open communication between the project partners and platform contractors the project met its ambitious aims. If you are thinking of starting a PCP, or indeed entering one as a supplier, the SELECT for Cities team would be happy to discuss their experiences with you. The SELECT knowledge portal is still live so don’t hesitate to contact the team through the web form on this site.
All good things come to an end...
November 29, 2019
Today the SELECT for Cities journey comes to an end but we are all confident that new opportunities will come and we want to ensure all our audience that SELECT for Cities Hub will be continued for a minimum period of 2 years.
"Four years later, the SELECT for Cities consortium is much wiser in the art of using pre-commercial procurement (PCP) to stimulate city innovation. SELECT for Cities may be coming to an end, but its impact on the Smart Cities market is just beginning" said Susie McAleer of 21c Consultancy (dissemination leader).
SELECT for Cities would like to thank all the Contractors that participated in the SELECT for Cities project!
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SELECT for Cities Team:
Forum Virium Helsinki | Digipolis Antwerpen | City of Antwerpen | City of Copenhagen | imec | 21c Consultancy
Smart Cities Need Innovative Procurement Practices: Select Shares Final Results at SCEWC19
November 25, 2019
Select for Cities is nearing the end of it's four-year innovation journey to create the Internet of Everything (IoE) Platforms for the collaborative design and development of smarter city services. The use of Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) to stimulate innovation and R&D proved to be a success and we proudly presented the final results across the three days of the Smart City Expo World Congress ( #SCEWC19) in Barcelona.
From a consistent presence on the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) booth, including the hosting of a innovation procurement Q&A surgery, to a series of demos and presentations on Contractor stands, SELECT for Cities was omnipresent throughout the prestigious event.
A dedicated networking reception on the first evening of the conference marked a big occasion for the SELECT for Cities Contractors as they were awarded the results of the PCP competition. Over 50 smart city influencer's and practitioner's attended, and heard from DG CNECT's Svetoslav Mihaylov who outlined the importance of PCP and co-creation before the PCP Contractors received their winners certificate.
University of Florence - Snap4City Platform
Indra Soluciones Tecnologias de la Informacion S.L.U. - Onesait Platform
Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.P.A. - DigitalEnabler Platform
The networking event also provided an opportunity for the launch of the SELECT for Cities Guide to Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) booklet, designed to share the lessons learned from the project with other cities interested in using PCP to procure Smart City innovation. Purposefully provided in an easily digestible form, the booklet provides a simple overview of what is involved in using PCP and offers tips and advice for new adopters. 200 copies of the booklet were shared at conference and can also be downloaded from the SELECT website.
Finally, SELECT ended a successful conference on the last day of the event with a presentation by chief DigiPolis procurer, Ann Fournier, on the main Congress stage. As Ann shared with the SCEWC19 audience, SELECT for Cities may be coming to a close, but the impact of its results are only just beginning!
Honourable mention for the SELECT for Cities project at the Procurator+ Awards
October 10, 2019
It is with great pleasure to update you all that SELECT for Cities project won an Honorable mention at the Procura+ Awards in the ‘Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT’ category for the potential scale and impact of its smart city platform.
The Procura+ Awards are running each year and reward successful, already running, sustainable and innovative public procurements. These procurements lead to significant improvements of public goods, services, processes and infrastructure.
This achievement was possible thanks to Digipolis, City of Antwerpen, Forum Virium, Imec, Copenhagen Solutions Lab and 21c Consultancy and of course to all the Contractors who participated in the SELECT for Cities Pre-Commercial Procurement competition.
This year’s entries for the 2019 Procura+ Awards were assessed by a jury of procurement experts and policy makers:
Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö, Procura+ Network Chair
Paulo Magina, Head of Public Procurement Unit, OECD
Marzena Rogalska, Director, DG Grow
Mark Hidson, Global Director ICLEI's Sustainable Procurement Centre
Developers be @ware: The SELECT for Cities Living Labs are Open
March 04, 2019
Our Contractors have just entered the most exciting part of the PCP project: the Living lab developers stage! In this part of the PCP, Engineering, Indra and the University of Florence are giving developer's the opportunity to work with their state-of-the-art worldwide, Internet-of-everything (IoE) platforms!
Team Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A., Italy with CityEnabler
Team Minsait by Indra, Spain with Onesite
Team University of Florence – Dept. of Information Engineering, Italy with Snap4Cities
Thanks to developer's contribution to the open calls, hackathons and numerous events, Select's Contractors will be able to demonstrate their platforms’ ability to involve a range of city users in using innovative apps and platform features.
To date, the three platforms have been successfully integrated within the Antwerp and Helsinki cities and are ready for action within the open communities. The participating developers are invited to create exciting new apps, dashboards or features to enhance the end-user experience. Interested?!? Choose a platform, sign up for an event and have a look at the prizes! And, do not underestimate the eternal gratitude of the Antwerp and Helsinki users who will get the opportunity to test and use your app in avant-première!
The Convergence of Select for Cities Vision and Reality at SCEWC18
November 26, 2018
At Select we have a vision of connected cities, where people, processes, data and things are all linked, actionable intelligence is easily extracted, and personalised services are available on demand. In our future cities are the frontier of open innovation. Thanks to the Internet-of-Everything people can share ideas, rapidly create and test new urban services and in effect, anyone can be an innovator.
It’s a vision shared by many in the Smart Cities world, and recently, Select joined Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) at their stand at the Smart Cities Expo and World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona to see how much closer we are to achieving this future. Here are the three things we learned.
1. 5G is almost here!
It was impossible to take a turn anywhere in the expo without hearing the buzz of ‘5G’ on someone’s fast moving lips. For those not in the know, 5G is the innovative next (fifth) generation of mobile connectivity which will offer ten times faster speeds than today’s networks and will carry vast amounts of data to make IoT and the Internet-of-Everything a reality. Whilst today’s network architectures are insufficient to cope with Select for Cities Internet-of-Everything goal, 5G with its new spectrum and lower latency will make it much easier to handle hundreds of thousands of devices simultaneously. To date 5G has almost been grouped in a category of mythical powers, widely talked about but rarely seen in practice. SCEWC however has changed that with companies including Cisco, Ericsson and Samsung all announcing trials in 2019.
2. Cities are embracing the Platform economy
Digital platforms in recent years have been proven to drive innovation and change the way services are created, delivered and consumed, putting people at the centre of their own worlds. Private companies such as Airbnb and Uber have led the way with new platform-based business models, and now Cities are keen to embrace the opportunities platform thinking provides to deliver better city experiences for their residents and visitors. However, unlike the private sector, the public sector has no room for failure, so a range of potential issues must be thought through first including data ownership, privacy, labour laws and trust. In the spirit of ‘practicing what you preach’ 42 cities leading the sharing economy including Barcelona, Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Singapore converged at SCEWC and agreed 10 principles to help the public sector leverage the power of the platform economy.
3. R&D procurement is becoming more agile
The days of 150-page bids and loooong delivery times are gradually falling behind us. Bureaucratic processes benefit no one, not the city needing help, or the supplier with a potential solution. Today thanks to new procurement practices such as PCP, PPI and other open accelerator calls there is a wealth of small to medium funding opportunities that Contractors can apply for to help fund and quickly advance their innovations. On the OASC booth alone these included SELECT for Cities itself, SCIFI which uses an accelerator programme to test the framework conditions for innovation in mobility, energy, and clean environment and SynchroniCity who recently closed its call for next-generation Internet-of-Things solutions.
So, what does this all mean for SELECT for Cities and all the Contractors who have taken part in our pre-commercial procurement competition to build large-scale Internet-of-Everything platforms? Well in a nutshell the convergence between the city platform vision and reality is almost upon us, and the Contractors are well placed to lead and take this new market forward in a manner that works for them. By the end of SELECT in 2019 they will not only have viable working solutions but also credentials and case studies from real-life deployments in the SELECT procuring cities of Helsinki and Antwerp. By investing in the future through R&D they are positioned both as the go-to experts for open innovation platforms, but also as pioneers of the procurement revolution.
For more information on Select for Cities ambitions and to find out more about the three Contractors (Team Engineering, Team Indra and Team University of Florence) who will be testing their prototype platforms in the Living Labs of Helsinki and Antwerp, sign up to our newsletter.
Contracts Awarded for the Third and Final Phase of SELECT for Cities Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP)
November 07, 2018
SELECT for Cities is pleased to announce that three contractors have been awarded contracts to start the third and final phase of its Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP).
SELECT for Cities started its pre-commercial procurement (PCP) to obtain R&D services to develop and build large-scale, city-wide, Internet-of-everything platforms to facilitate collaboration and open innovation. The process is highly competitive, and during the previous Phase II five companies produced platform prototypes which used open standards to visualise and analyse city data to generate actionable intelligence. All of the five were invited to bid for Phase III during which the innovative platforms will be tested in real-life settings in Helsinki, Finland and Antwerp, Belgium.
The awarded bidders are:
Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A., Italy with CityEnabler
Indra Soluciones Tecnologías de la Informacion S.L.U., Spain with Minsait
University of Florence – Department of Information Engineering, Italy with Snap4Cities
The third phase of the execution stage is expected to end in December 2019.
“The three Contractors entering phase III all have very strong solutions” said Hugo Goncalves, of Forum Virium Helsinki, the project lead for SELECT for Cities. “SELECT for Cities is very proud to play a significant role in accelerating their development and is looking forward to seeing their impact in the city test beds over the next year”.
This Pre-Commercial Procurement, the first one in the world to focus on the Internet-of-Everything is a multi-country and multi-partner joint effort, implemented by a consortium composed of several partners of Forum Virium Helsinki (Finland) as project lead, Digipolis (Belgium) as partner and lead procurer, Antwerp (Belgium) as procuring entity with Copenhagen (Denmark), imec (Belgium) and 21c (UK). The project is supported by the European Commission through its H2020 programme.
Sharing Selects Internet-of-Everything Achievements at Global Forum 2018
November 03, 2019
This month Susie Ruston McAleer from 21c presented SELECT for Cities to delegates at the annual Global Forum taking place this year in the city of Copenhagen. As part of the Smart and Intelligent Cities panel, Susie joined speakers including Sylvie Albert, Professor of Economics from the University of Winnipeg, Hanne Melin, Policy Strategy Counsel and Head, eBay and Alan Shark, Executive Director & CEO, Public Technology Institute, amongst others.
Speaking about the challenges Cities faced in harnessing their data and transforming it into actionable intelligence, Susie showcased how SELECT for Cities is turning cities into smart service innovation labs through advance data platforms and city dashboards. She shared how the ground-breaking dashboards have been designed to be created and personalised by city workers, decision makers the public and the private sector and are fully open source, using open standards to facilitate open innovation and reduce vendor lock-in. Dynamic visualisations (including 3D) help users to combine and drill down into data, even to sensor level, to find correlations and generate actionable insights, and use of predictive analytics enable situations to be mitigated before they arise. Susie explained how the project is being run as an R&D competition to help accelerate innovation and that to date five platform prototypes have been built by different contractors and three platforms are about to enter Living Lab testing in Helsinki and Antwerp early next year.
The Global Forum/Shaping the Future is an internationally recognized think-tank for exchange and networking among governments at national, regional & local levels, private & public organizations, research & development experts. The independent, high profile, international, non-for-profit event is dedicated to business and policy issues affecting the successful evolution of the Digital Society. The Global Forum brings each year in a different city around the world more than 300 key policy-makers and public/private stakeholders from more than 30 countries from all continents, it is often considered as the Davos for ICT.
Revolutionizing Cities Through the Internet-of-Everything
July 11, 2018
As Phase II (prototyping) for SELECT for Cities draws closer to a conclusion, its time to revisit the original vision for the competition:
The SELECT for Cities challenge is the design, research and development of “cities as linked and large-scale Internet-of-Everything labs”. The challenge lies in developing an open, standardized, data-driven, service-oriented and user-centric platform for European cities that enables large-scale co-creation, testing and validation of urban IoE applications and services. This approach fosters the longer-term goal of evidence-based innovation in cities.
The aim is to help Europe overcome the barrier presented by the lack of ecosystem thinking across Europe. One-domain and one-city stand-alone and proprietary platforms and solutions are too small-scale, and therefore too expensive to develop and maintain. Therefore, to help themselves, cities must support the creation of a properly functioning smart city marketplace by supporting maximum interoperability of service interfaces and portability of services, solutions and apps internally (across city departments, across the boundaries of private and public urban services), regionally, nationally (in national city networks) and internationally (roaming of services across borders to create the critical mass).
By connecting top-down decision-making power with the innovative talent in active user and developer communities SELECT for Cities hopes to not only harness the might of sensors and the web, but also unlock co-creation and open innovation for fast prototyping and piloting, and service creation.
Our Contractors share here, in the last of Phase II’s 20 second video series, how their platforms will revolutionize cities.
Assessing Platform Prototype Progress in Helsinki
June 28, 2018
The Internet-of-Everything (IoE) platform prototype phase for Select for Cities is coming to a close after all participants gathered in Helsinki this week.
This year the five Contractors have been developing large-scale Internet-of-Everything platforms that bring together city data sources and provide services to extract actionable intelligence from the data and facilitate collaboration and open innovation.
Based upon an understanding of the market, and the needs of the R&D procuring cities of Antwerp and Helsinki, each Contractor developed their own approach to meeting the complex requirements for a city platform. From the need to be open-source to delivering high levels of usability, scalability and security, the platforms needed to go beyond the state-of-the-art of existing solutions on the market.
Five testing iterations during this period enabled the procuring cities to provide regular feedback directly to the Contractors who used the information to further improve their platforms. The Helsinki meeting was a final opportunity for the Contractors to showcase their solutions to the procuring Cities and discuss their innovative differentiators and commercialisation activities to date.
The procuring cities are now evaluating how well the different solutions have met the Select for Cities requirements. The Contractors who successfully pass the prototyping phase will be notified by the 1st August and will be invited to bid for the final R&D Phase, - Living Lab testing.
Pushing the Boundaries of Innovative City Platform Design
June 11, 2018
Innovation is vital for cities. Embracing it keeps them at the forefront of new developments, trends and technologies enabling them to engage citizens more successfully and deliver services more efficiently and effectively.
SELECT4cities is using a new procurement methodology called ‘Pre-Commercial Procurement’ (PCP) to source large-scale Internet-of-Everything platforms. This approach is run through a series of competitive phases – 1) feasibility, 2) prototyping and 3) real-world testing – where the number of competitors reduces at each stage, and available funding rises. The nature of PCP is to help cities to stimulate market choice by driving and sourcing research and development in an area of their need, and participating businesses/organisations benefit from the steerage of the city and the availability of R&D funds. The competitive nature of the methodology pushes each organisation on the innovation front to find clever ways to stand out from the other suppliers.
Coming towards the end of the prototyping phase, SELECT4Cities has stimulated the development of five platform prototypes, that use city data to deliver a variety of services. Here contractors from the organisations building the platforms explain what is unique/innovative about their solution.
Open Source: A New Way of Thinking
May 10, 2018
Open source in its simplest premise is software with source code that is accessible to anyone who wants to inspect, audit or modify it to create new benefits. An approach that often catalyses collaborative participation and community-based development to help solve common challenges. The principle of open source is important to SELECT for Cities as it aligns with its vision of creating city-wide, data-driven, Internet of Everything platforms that will facilitate open innovation to create new tools and services that improve the urban way of life. This goes beyond software alone, its not just technology, it’s a whole new mindset.
Paraphrasing from the opensource.com website… “Approaching all aspects of life "the open source way" means expressing a willingness to share, collaborating with others in ways that are transparent (so that others can watch and join too), embracing failure as a means of improving, and expecting—even encouraging—everyone else to do the same. It also means committing to playing an active role in improving the world, which is possible only when everyone has access to the way that world is designed.”
Click here to see how the Contractors are making the open source values a reality within their city platforms.
Growth Without Grumbles...
April 11, 2018
Scalability refers to the number of users, sessions, transactions, and operations which can be accommodated by a whole system. Simply put, scalability is growth to create either an application, service or platform that can serve thousands to millions of users with zero downtime and issues.
Developing a robust, resilient and scalable architecture whilst remaining flexible was core to SELECT for Cities challenge to create and develop large-scale City-wide, Internet-of-Everything platforms. The SELECT platforms will be solving a range of business challenges across various domains such as mobility, health and environment which requires the processing and linking of large data sets. Therefore, a strong and stable architecture is essential.
Our contractors briefly share with you here how they are tackling the scalability requirement.
Managing Fault Tolerance
March 15, 2018
Every day people across the world put their lives in the hands of public services, therefore with the increasing move to digital delivery its important that the new delivery platforms are robust, secure and fault tolerant. This simply means that new smart city platforms need to be resilient enough to cope with issues whilst keeping services up and running.
As part of our SELECT for Cities short video series, Contractors share here their approach to fault tolerance and how they will eliminate unplanned downtime and prevent data loss with their Internet-of-Everything innovation platforms.
Complying with GDPR Regulations
February 14, 2018
If you work with software and data chances are, unless you have been cave bound for the past two years, you will be familiar with the news that the deadline for compliance with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is almost upon us. It’s the 25 May 2018 for those not in the know.
All organisation need to be ready as the effect of the new legislation will impact everyone. The overarching goal is to ensure all businesses work to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for all transactions that take place within the EU. It specifically replaces the outdated Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and in this age of cloud and personal data tsunami’s, it gives citizens their, to coin a popular media term, “right to be forgotten”. This means people will have the right to demand that businesses and organisations identify and erase any personal data about them.
As SELECT for Cities is creating a city-wide Internet-of-Everything platform that uses city data to provide dashboards and services for smart city innovation it’s important that all contractors abide by GDPR. As part of our short video series we asked contractors to share short 20 second videos on the steps they have taken to ensure their platform will be GDPR compliant?
Happy watching. See you in March for the next theme of fault tolerance.
What Makes a Good City Dashboard?
January 16, 2018
Find out the key elements that make up a good city dashboard directly from our Contractors who are building a SELECT for Cities prototype platform. They have provided their opinions via video, which you can watch here.
These short films form part of a monthly series of video updates, designed to share relevant knowledge and ideas with other cities looking to start their own journeys to creating city-wide innovation platforms.
Next month's topic: What steps have you taken to ensure that your application/platform will be General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant?
Internet-of-Everything Platform Developers Announced by SELECT for Cities PCP
December 19, 2017
The five contractors who will enter Phase II of the SELECT for Cities Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process have been announced today. The European project aims to deliver a city-wide open innovation platform for the public sector and beyond by supporting the effective use of Internet-of-Everything (IoE) data and technology. It is achieving its aims using a new type of procurement called Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP).
Launched by the cities of Antwerp, Copenhagen and Helsinki, the PCP process is different to traditional methods as it is run through a series of three competitive phases, with the number of participating organisations reducing, but funding levels increasing, as each phase is evaluated. The competitive nature challenges industry from the demand side to develop innovative solutions for public sector needs, whilst enabling procurers to compare alternative potential solution approaches to filter out the best possible solutions that the market can deliver.
During the first Phase ten companies/consortia produced solution scoping reports for their potential platform solutions. These were evaluated by the cities Buying Group and the contractors who successfully passed the Phase were invited to bid for Phase II during which they will build and test prototypes of their platform.
The awarded contractors are:
1. Team FIWOO
BOSONIT S.L., Spain (Lead Contractor);
EMERGYA INGENIERIA S.L., Spain;
J.I.G. INTERNET CONSULTING S.L., Spain;
SECMOTIC INNOVATION S.L., Spain.
2. Team ENGINEERING INGEGNERIA INFORMATICA
ENGINEERING INGEGNERIA INFORMATICA S.P.A., Italy (Lead Contractor);
ATC INTERNATIONAL SPRL, Belgium;
EIT DIGITAL IVZW, Belgium.
3. Team INDRA SISTEMAS S.A., Spain
4. Team City of Data
MARTEL GMBH, Switzerland (Lead Contractor);
UBIWHERE LDA, Portugal;
THERAPENIS P.C., Greece.
5. Team Snap4City
UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE – DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION ENGINEERING, Italy (Lead Contractor);
EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE SRL, Italy;
UNIVERSITY OF MILAN, Italy.
Hugo Goncalves, Project Manager, Forum Virium Helsinki, said: "We have seen outstanding solution development in this PCP. Entrance to Phase II was tough and the successful contractors all impressed the Buyers Group by going above and beyond expectations, showing that their solutions not only meet complex technical standards and requirements but also a variety of end-user needs. In this first year of the competition, the innovation levels are very strong, and all of our contractors should be immensely proud of what they have achieved so far."
Phase II which officially began on the 15 December 2017 is expected to end in June 2018, after which selected contractors will be asked to bid for Phase III Living Labs testing on the ground.
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