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EU member states of Middle and Eastern Europe keen to turn their urban areas into Smart Cities

Conference "Car of the Future" with Viktor Orbán and EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger, May 19, 2016 in Budapest

(PresseBox) (Budapest / Berlin, )
Internet based Mobility, Energy, Innovation: East Europe Regions to catch-up

Foundation of “Centre of Excellence for Smart Cities” in Budapest planned

A testbed assistant driving will be made available to the Centre of Excellence for establishing testbeds in Hungarian cities

At the conference „Car of the Future” with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and EU-Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Prof. Dr. Lutz Heuser, CEO of [ui!] the urban institute announced the collaboration on “Open urban platforms for autonomous driving in Smart Cities” as part of SMARTPOLIS, the “Centre of Excellence for Smart Cities” in Budapest. The Goal of the Centre is to support and speed-up the digital transformation of Eastern Europe to reach new mobility, reduction of energy consumption, emissions in the region, innovative startups and better living conditions. Founders of the Centre are the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, the University of Budapest, the Fraunhofer Institute Fokus from Berlin, the Germany based [ui!] the urban institute®.

Based on the successful implementation of real-time traffic information, the [ui!] TRAFFIC testbed for assistant driving in the City of Darmstadt went live last Friday and first tests were conducted by the Automotive Industry. This open urban platform infrastructure will be made available to the Centre of Excellence for establishing testbeds in Hungarian cities.

SMARTPOLIS Centre of Excellence

The SMARTPOLIS Centre of Excellence will support the lead initiatives of the European Innovation Partnership “Smart Cities and Communities” to be rolled out in Central and South East Europe. Currently, the consortium prepares the business plan and it has established a network of partners in seven countries of the region. In its role, the Centre of Excellence should serve as a catalyst for new mobility services, market take-up of electro mobility, roll-out of integrated multi-functional street lighting infrastructure (aka “Humble Lamppost”), and open urban platforms.

Hub for building up capacity and knowledge sharing

While Western European EU Member States have started the journey of modernizing their cities and built capacity and related knowledge centres, Hungary and others in Eastern Central Europe are lacking such a comprehensive initiative. The Budapest Centre of Excellence for Smart Cities will be the nucleus and hub for building up capacity and knowledge sharing within the larger European Initiative “Smart Cities and Communities”.

The consortium will submit its business plan to the European Commission in June, this year. It is envisioned to ramp-up the Centre of Excellence by a co-financing of enterprises, Hungarian Government and European Commission, a budget of EUR 30 million has been proposed. After the ram-up phase, the Centre of Excellence shall operate independently. The Centre of Excellence should impact a region of at least 50 Million citizens as the major Hub for the “Digitalization of the urban infrastructure” supporting the overall EU climate goals and the European innovation partnership Smart Cities and Communities.