ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures
The ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF) was established by the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe in order to initiate a transnational joint call for RDI proposals developing our knowledge of the urban condition and sustainable development through creation and testing of new methods, tools, and technologies required to overcome current economic, social, and environmental challenges. ENSUF is supported by the European Commission and funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Cofund scheme. This ENSUF call is issued by JPI Urban Europe. ENSUF aims to answer some of the challenges as presented in the JPI Urban Europe Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). This Agenda was designed to help address the implementation gap in sustainable urban development. To this end, ENSUF asks to operationalise the following elements in projects:
- Transdisciplinary co-creation in research and innovation. Transdisciplinarity is a collaboration spanning multiple partners, both academic and non-academic, to solve a common problem. Non-academic partners may include city officials, NGO’s, companies, civil society, grassroots movements etc. In co-creation projects all these different partners bring in specific know-how and together create new knowledge, instruments, products or policies. In transdisciplinary co-creation it is thus important to recognize value and combine not just academic knowledge, but also practical and local knowledge. This is required to reduce the implementation gap and increase the integration of urban research and innovation.
- Smart integrated urban development. Smart urban development is understood in the ENSUF call to be about the connectivity, accessibility and integration of various systems, sectors, services, infrastructures and public institutions to increase urban liveability. The projects should consider possible pathways to achieve smart sustainable cities, focusing on integration of various urban sectors. In smart sustainable cities, ICT and data help to ‘smartly’ organise flows in peoples’ everyday life practices concerning e.g. energy, water, materials, food, goods, ideas, and politics. By bringing these things together, a smart approach is also an enabler for co-creation and social and open innovation.
- Utilising the spatial and institutional perspective of urban areas. Urban challenges cannot be separated from the regional and local setting in both the actual spaces and the institutions (the processes, practices and formal and informal rules). However, wider perspectives can also feed into these local scales. The projects in the ENSUF should therefore connect these different scales. This can for example mean connecting more general scientific knowledge with the specific spatial and institutional needs and requirements. This can be called an urban innovation ecosystem: a set of relations between stakeholders, researchers and initiatives which together make up an integrated effort for implementation and validation of approaches and solutions.
The call asks researchers, practitioners, innovators, municipalities, urban utilities, businesses and other stakeholders dedicated to the development of European urban areas, to join forces and create transnational projects for research and innovation. The call for pre-proposals is open until 15 March 2016 (12:00 noon CET). In May 2016 applicants will be invited to enter the second stage of the procedure: the call for full proposals will close on 20 September 2016 (12:00 noon CET).
Each project proposal must be submitted by a project consortium consisting of at least three eligible applicants from at least three participating countries. Each project consortium must have the interest and competence to undertake research, development and/or innovation within the specified themes. An organisation/institution or a natural person of the lead organisation is the Main Applicant, depending on the specific eligibility rules of the different agencies. In addition, a proposal must have at least two Co-applicants. The proposal may also include Co-operation Partners, whose role is described further on. If the funding is granted to a natural person, each natural person may only participate in a maximum of two proposals, and only once as Main Applicant. In the proposal theparticipation of all partners involved must be convincingly justified. Only applicants located in the following ENSUF countries are eligible to apply as Main Applicant or Co-Applicant, irrespective of their nationality: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Applicants from other countries may participate as a Co-operationPartner. Applicants can come from organisations such as:
- Companies (from industry/large companies to SMEs)
- Cities, municipalities, regions
- Consumers (e.g. business enterprises, test households, etc.)
- Citizens’ representatives, NGOs
- Research organisations (universities, university colleges, research institutes or other authorities with research undertakings)