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SmartCityTech Going Beyond Europe

SmartCityTech Going Beyond Europe

This article is a summary of the context and overall objectives of the project European Technology for Sustainability (eT4S), finalized by CSKC and partners.

The project finished end of 2022 and now is time for reporting and evaluating the work done. European Technology for Sustainability supported the development of collaboration and business agreements between the EU and North America (North East Coast of the USA and between the EU and Asia/Asean.

It was focused on technology enabled solutions addressing sustainability challenges in urban areas (water, air, energy, waste). The project  was embedded within the SmartCityTech partnership and could leverage on the expertise and network build by this partnership since 2013.

What goals did this project achieve?:

  • Developed viable cooperation and business agreements in the eT4S domain. eT4S explored concrete opportunities in target regions by leveraging on existing beachhead network already developed through the SmartCityTech partnership;
  • Increased likelihood of impactful internationalization by developing online assessment strategy and grant access to support by internationalization experts either in EU and in target countries;
  • Events organised in EU to prepare the companies for internationalization. ET4S organized webinars to get acquainted with target market, organized matchmaking missions and provided follow up toward business agreements;
  • Undertaken supporting activities with a sound communication strategy, involving the eT4S partners’ network, the SmartCityTech ecosystem, ECCP and the ecosystem of the beachhead partners.

ET4S was implemented by a new and dedicated consortium consisting out of core SmartCityTech partners. It elaborated on lessons learned from previous projects. The ET4S project has implemented the SmartCityTech internationalization strategy. The consortium elaborated on previously existing contacts from SmartCityTech. In the ET4S project the partners also worked into new contacts towards Canada, Taiwan and Singapore. Starting from those ‘bridgehead’ contacts new regions in North America (focus on Canada) and ASEAN/Asia (focus on Taiwan and Hong Kong) were aimed to be explored. ET4S was implemented by a new and dedicated consortium consisting out of core SmartCityTech partners. It elaborated on lessons learned from previous projects. The ET4S project has implemented the SmartCityTech internationalization strategy.

The actions implemented during this project has aimed to reach the next 4 objectives:

  1. Likelihood of impactful internationalization: From previous internationalization actions the SmartCityTech partnership learned that ‘readiness for internationalization is key success factor to build international collaboration. At the beginning of the project, ET4S developed an online assessment tool to screen the preparedness of the SmartCityTech partnership cluster member companies. We organized first aid support through ET4S consortium and in-depth support through experts from EU and the target regions. We also organized a train the trainers for the stakeholders interested.
  1. Development of viable cooperation and business agreements: The major objective of the ET4S project was to establish cooperation between EU stakeholders and stakeholders of the target regions. ET4S sought for the collaboration between stakeholders in a broad sense, eg. business to business, business to academia, academia to academia, cluster to cluster, etc. ET4S distinguished between: Cooperation Agreements which have been set-up between ET4S and cluster like organisations in target regions. Cooperation agreements are key to implement beachhead internationalization strategy developed by SmartCityTech and implemented through ET4S project; Business Agreements which are set up between EU and target region stakeholders. Business agreements have the ultimate goal of the activities of the ET4S and the challenge of the overall programme due to circumstances that have occurred during implementation.
  1. Obtain international visibility and recognition: A coordinated pan-European initiative supported by the EC creates more trust amongst stakeholders; Sharing experiences and stakeholders contacts increases efficiency and effectiveness of internationalization actions. It consisted on organization of actions to obtain international visibility and recognition amongst EU stakeholders and target regions. Consortium worked to create a necessary cross fertilization and international impact by developing a strong communication strategy. Concrete opportunities and actions towards target regions were communicated and shared with stakeholders as well as internationalization services. It served as the basis for initiating communication with EU peers and stakeholders in target regions. Communication strategy supported efficiency and effectiveness of internationalization actions.
  1. Sustainability: ET4S project run within the context of SmartCityTech. It offers a sustainable framework as it is an alive partnership, since the CLINES project in 2013. Successful services have continued in this project and have been supported by the full partnership and will continue in the future. Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential impacts (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The results!

They are embedded in the operational activities of the SmartCityTech partnership. So, all information and results obtained by the ET4S partners have been shared with SmartCityTech to be aligned and involve stakeholders from other regions. These will be key assets to elaborate on next projects. For example: the partnership with ITRI and MTI will continue after the ET4S project ends to organize new activities and have further relationship with new markets. The aim is to organize a new mission in 2023 to Taiwan to explore this market. One of the action lines of SmartCityTech remains: “Going beyond Europe” which ensures the Internationalization activities of the project and the follow-up of actions.

SmartCityTech is securing new funding for continuation of the partnership activities as another action line. This additional funding can be sources from:

  1. Public funded projects: the SmartCityTech partnership is involved in several EU funded projects and each of the partners is actively acquiring regional public funding.
  2. New open calls: new will be identified and the partnership will elaborate on to keep with international actions. For instance, a call like Euroclusters would be a good option to submit a proposal.
  3. Services toward ecosystem stakeholders – as part of the sustainability plan several services and products are defined. The partnership will elaborate on the results of the sustainability plan and will implement some or all of the services over the next years.

The SmartCityTech partnership keeps growing and will be further developed by attracting new partners from complementary regions. There are some new clusters which have submitted their interest which may become new members. Activities such as attending the Smart City World Expo in Barcelona and organizing workshops and matchmaking events will be continued yearly as one of the key activities of the partnership as it has been made the last years.

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