The city of Porto is currently developing a broad and ambitious digitization strategy for the city that is aligned with the EU’s SynchroniCity IoT project for developing smart cities.

Through Porto Digital Association and in partnership with seven other European cities, the city of Porto challenges European entrepreneurs to develop smart solutions and applications for the challenges faced in the city, providing more than €3 million to finance them.

porto synchronicity iot

Martin Brynskov

“The €3 million Open Call will put the hard work of all project members to a real-life test,” said SynchroniCity project lead and coordinator Martin Brynskov in a statement.

“We are excited to see the mature solutions the applicants will bring to the mainstream, large scale market to address the challenges we have defined with the eight core partner cities representing 11 million citizens,” he added.

SynchroniCity in Porto

The Open Call launching event in Porto takes place at 6PM on June 19 at the Gabinete do Municipe. Tickets are free and are available here.

The challenge aims to expand IoT services based on the existing technological infrastructure.

Th Open Call event in Porto will introduce the SynchroniCity project, the conditions for applying, and the implementation of the winning projects, as well as the challenges the city faces for which solutions should be presented.

For this, there will be guests from the municipal sphere, with whom the themes of the challenges can be discussed in order to find the best solutions for the city.

Porto Smart City Strategy

The smart and digital city strategy and policies date back to 2004, when the Municipality of Porto created the Porto Digital Association, a private non-profit association aimed at creating and promoting ICT projects within the context of the city.

In 2014, Porto proposed a broader and more ambitious strategy. This new strategy was aimed at developing citizen-driven services with high impact on increasing the city’s attractiveness for entrepreneurs while reducing social exclusion and increasing the city’s sustainability.

The municipality’s strong commitment in this new strategy and the results already achieved have been fundamental in attracting new players to the ecosystem.

Porto Challenges

Among others, the Municipality of Porto has the following short-term challenges in
the areas of technology, economy, and service provision:

  • The main technological priorities are related to data, communications, and sensing. In the data layer, the goal is to create the conditions for an informed decision making at several organizations linked to the city management and to provide open data to the community. In the communications layer, the goal is to update, upgrade and expand the existing infrastructures and to deploy a new infrastructure for IoT devices. In the sensing layer, the goal is to equip the city with a large set of sensors that provide valuable data, in particular in the areas of environment and mobility.
  • The economic priorities are related to the support to innovation and entrepreneurship (with the aim of boosting the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and promoting open innovation and the cross-fertilization of ideas between city stakeholders), attraction of foreign and domestic investment, retention and attraction of human resources, and job creation.
  • The city is also focused on providing new and value-added services to the citizens, visitors and tourists, where data and technology play an important role, as enablers of informed decision making and facilitators of the citizens’ and companies’ lives.

SynchroniCity Across Europe

Backed by the European Commission, the projects developed should take advantage of the SynchroniCity platform, which aims to develop a global IoT (Internet of Things) market, in which cities and companies develop digital services with a high focus on improving the lives of citizens and local economies.

The SynchroniCity project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732240.

Set up in 2016 the EU-funded IoT Large Scale Pilots Program comprises a total of seven innovation consortia, working hand-in-hand to foster the adoption of the IoT in various sectors in Europe and beyond.

With a total budget of €10 million for standards-based innovation and procurement, the IoT Large Scale Pilot Program represents an ambitious catalyst for mainstream adoption of IoT-enabled services for key sectors, while also addressing the emerging cross-application needs for security, privacy and interoperability.

The pilot cities for the SynchroniCity project include Antwerp, Carouge, Eindhoven, Helsinki, Manchester, Milano, Porto, and Santander.

The SynchroniCity general Open Call, which was officially launched in Europe on June 1, covers three specific themes: sustainable mobility, citizen engagement and environment, wellbeing as well as a an open theme.

The Open Call ends September 30.