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EU launches challenge to help 15 cities succeed in digital transformation

Matteo Natalucci Published 20 October 2017

Digital Cities Challenge participating cities will have access to policy advisory and resources to transform their cities through digitalisation and industrial modernisation


The European Commission is launching a call for applications to select 15 European cities to receive policy advice, coaching and support to transform their cities through digitalisation and industrial modernisation.

The Digital Cities Challenge is a tailored programme of facilitation and coaching launched by the European Commission to help cities develop and implement digital policies that can transform day to day life for residents, businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs. The challenge is not affected by Brexit and UK cities can apply.

The challenge will give city’s administrations access to high-level experts with local and international experience in designing and implementing digital transformation strategies, free of charge and in their local language for 14-18 months, to achieve their goals for improving their city and stimulating investments through joint cross-regional actions for digital transformation.

Participating cities will have access to intuitive assessment tools for digitalisation, innovative training, and a vast networking pool, including fellow cities, strategic stakeholders and Commission networks and platforms.

The programme will also help cities to equip their local talent with the digital skills needed to prosper in a changing workplace, developing a collaborative economy to springboard social cohesion and innovation, or implementing a smart parking policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic.

The challenge is aimed at local public organisations that are either responsible for or involved in the funding and/or implementation of a policy or programme of a city related to digital transformation and industrial modernisation. This refers to local authorities or their representative public agency.

The result will be to give cities a well-developed strategy and action plan to move towards digital transformation, and put them on the map as a beacon for future economic growth and improved quality of life. Also, the challenge aims to build a community of local stakeholders willing to engage in the digital transformation process.

In addition to the selected 15 cities, the Challenge will support a broader community of cities who wish to participate using their own resources and benefit from the knowledge and networking opportunities provided.

Only one application per city may be submitted

First cut-off applications close on November 24 with a  second cut-off on January 25.


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