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AI accelerating Cities transition to carbon neutrality

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AI4Cities (AI accelerating Cities transition to carbon neutrality)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2020-11-30

The cities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stavanger, Tallinn, and Île-de-France (Paris region) are like-minded cities committed to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. Their goal has been translated into exhaustive carbon neutrality strategies and plans with action points. AI4Cities was created to support the Cities Climate neutrality goals which are helping to turn their plans into action under two domains, mobility and energy, When combined, these domains account for approximately 82% of modern European Cities’ CO2 and other GHG emissions. AI4Cities is looking for a wide variety of solutions that lower CO2 emissions in these fields. These six Cities form the Buyers Group of AI4Cities.

The goals and ambitions of the AI4Cities PCP process and of the Buyers Group are aligned with a larger global and urgent need for effective solutions. In AI4Cities the target is to find new innovative solutions which reduce CO2 and other GHG emissions and utilize the artificial intelligence. If successful, the developed prototypes will be uniquely positioned for massive, rapid scale up.

While the cities have set more specific and measurable goals on carbon neutrality, there is clear evidence that the scale and volumes of the interventions have to be higher. The pilots and interventions are at least district-wide, if not city-wide. This has raised the demand on using data-driven methods to improve resource-efficiency and, while the amount of data increases, big data and AI are seen as playing a significant role in the cities’ data platforms.

The target is in Phase 1 to find 20 ideas per Lot and during the process end up with approximately three most promising solutions to pilot in a real environment with real end users. PCP offers for the selected suppliers better market understanding and possibility to invent new markets and business potential even in global level.
The main results of Period 1 were the preparation and the launch of the Request for Tenders on 1.12.2020.

One central part of the call are the challenge areas and sub-challenges for both Lots. All work related to the Lots and challenges have done parallel and together with the lot leaders and other project partners. Within these sub-challenges, Cities describe and give examples of their current needs. It is not expected that a solution would cover every issue mentioned under a sub-challenge. However, if a solution solves only one of the issues listed, it may not be enough to advance to the later phases of the PCP.

Thus, it is encouraged that a Tenderer tries to address several problem areas mentioned under one or multiple sub-challenges. If the solution can be used to solve problems in both challenges (Mobility and Energy) it can also be considered as an advantage. However a solution/Tender can only apply to one lot.
The coordinator has been responsible for tender documents.
The Open Market Consultation phase has been an active time for communication and because all events have been online we have been able to reach an audience from a wider geographical area than expected. On the other hand we have missed all real face-to-face meetings, discussion and instant feedback with companies, stakeholders and other networks.
PCP focuses on radical innovation and is meant for services, tools or products that are not yet on or close to market.
In this PCP, competing companies and developers will be given the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas for new digital-based solutions, built on AI and related key enabling technologies including 5G, IoT, Cloud computing and big data applications, with the goal of helping Cities become carbon-neutral.

PCP focuses on radical innovation and is meant for services, tools or products that are not yet on or close to the market.
In this PCP, competing companies and developers will be given the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas for new digital-based solutions, built on AI and related key enabling technologies including 5G, IoT, Cloud computing and big data applications, with the goal of helping Cities become carbon-neutral.

All the Buyers Group cities has set targets to become carbon neutral by 2050 at latest and the most ambitious is Copenhagen which wants to achieve it already by 2025. Average 82% of CO2 emissions in the western European cities comes from energy and transportation, but it varies and for example in Helsinki the rate is even 95%.

While the cities have set more specific and measurable goals on carbon neutrality, it has also become evident that the scale and volumes of the interventions has to be higher. Open source, distributed systems, re-usability and open data models are vital elements of creating future ecosystems that will benefit products based on AI technologies. The AI models themselves need to be explainable, transparent and reliable, and provided by trusted actors.
In addition to Supporting the climate goals of the cities, another strategic goal is to Support digitalisation and data strategies of the cities. Addition to lower the carbon footprint the project have other the objectives like to enhance better living and working conditions for the citizens and the reduction of energy consumption and cost.
project partners in a map and basic information
CO2 emissions in Helsinki and cities' targeted years to achieve the carbon neutrality