28 September 2020

Last week, we organised the first ICC City Lab. During this five-day online meeting, our ICC cities had the opportunity to meet and network. They were given a crash course in ICC objectives, methodology and working methods and tools as well as European policy initiatives and inspiring best practices for smart cities.

  • On day 1, cities and general public exchamged views and knowledge on the role of cities in the post-COVID recovery and the power of local ecosystems.
  • On day 2, they discovered the ICC's methodology and its thematic tracks.
  • Day 3 spotlighted interesting solutions by ICC mentor cities and showed how the ICC's transversal themes could leverage impact.
  • Day 4 offered best practices on different ways of mobilising local city ecosystems.


During the last day of the City Lab, the ICC cities used the training they received throughout the week to define their own city commitments. In discussion with their city lead experts, each city outlined tangible goals for the next three months, reflected on key learnings and defined which other ICC cities would be interesting collaborators.


Afterwards, expert speakers from the European Commission provided an overview of urban and technological initiatives that can support the ICC cities on their way to sustainable and socially-inclusive technological innovation and economic recovery: 

  • Pia Laurila from DG REGIO presented the European Urban Initiative (EUI), which aims to strengthen integrated and participatory approaches to sustainable urban development and provide a stronger link to relevant EU policies, and in particular, cohesion policy investments. It facilitates cooperation and capacity building in all EU Urban areas, with a focus on innovative actions, knowledge, policy development and communication in the area of sustainable urban development.
  • Ulla Engelmann from DG GROW presented the Pact for Skills Charter. Skills play a key part in fostering an economic recovery that is socially inclusive. The Pact aims to mobilise industry, public and private employers, social partners, education and training providers and employment agencies to take concrete actions for upskilling and reskilling people of working age. 
  • Philippe Froissard from DG RTD outlined the Horizon Europe Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 and the report presented during the European Research and Innovation Days. Mr Froissard also presented the H2020 Call for the European Green Deal. This €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis and help protect Europe's unique ecosystems and biodiversity will spur Europe's recovery from the coronavirus crisis by turning green challenges into innovation opportunities. Out if this call, €53 million are dedicated to an action for climate-neutral and socially innovative cities
  • Georg Houben from DG ENER outlined the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), which brings together cities, industry, SMEs, banks, research and other smart city actors and whose objectives align closely with that of the ICC.
  • Claudia Fusco from DG ENV took the participants on a tour of the Green City Accord, a movement of European cities committed to safeguarding the environment. In signing the Green City Accord, city leaders agree to take further action to make their cities greener, cleaner and healthier places.
  • Marta Batalla Masana from DG GROW provided an overview of Advanced Technologies for Industry, which analyses and systematically monitors the state of uptake of advanced technologies by EU industry.