The smart city concept is based on the idea that information and communication technologies improve the functioning of cities by enhancing efficiency, quality of life and improving competitiveness.
However, there is no leading definition of Smart City, and the current trends of any individual Smart City depend to a great extent on the local contextual factors.
The FINEST Twins Center of Excellence will contribute to the emergence of European Digital Single Market in the urban context. By fact, most current digital public services are local and by large, most of them are developed in isolation from neighbouring governments, either local, national or international.
In the digital area, this is a huge challenge, as independently developed digital services tend to be locked into specific standards making future cross-border services improbable. Clearly, frequently commuting citizens and travellers of the EU prefer cross-border smart city services, but public authorities fail to provide such systems. The FINEST Twins guarantees to change this by effectively designing truly ubiquitous urban services and effectively testing them on cities all around Europe and also globally. The ubiquitous solutions not only contribute to strengthening the EU Digital Single Market by increasing the aggregate supply, but also mitigate digital divide and empower local communities.
The focus areas are Smart Environment, Smart Mobility and Smart Living, to be defined more precisely during the preparation phase. The results will be scientific, innovation and business related co-operation between Helsinki region and Estonia in the Smart City thematics, promoting efficient exchange of knowledge, building a joint research portfolio, support faster cross-border testing and take-up of Smart City innovations.
The roots of this project lay in Finland and Estonia. In e-Estonia, the societal use of ICT is the most developed globally exemplified by widespread take-up of innovative mobile and e-applications. The strong scientific and technological capacities of Finland match well with the Estonian entrepreneurship dynamics, especially in ICT.
The FINEST Twins model will capitalize on these initiatives aggregating current research, innovative services and solutions into integrated service solutions capable of creating additional added value to its users all around Europe. The FINEST Twins attracts international expertise and investment, as well as, act as a springboard for the exportation of Finnish-Estonian knowledge and service solutions on a global scale.
Partners: Tallinn University of Technology, Forum Virium Helsinki, Aalto University and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia.
Network Partners: EIT Digital, Infotechnological Mobility Observatory and Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
Timing: 2015-2016 preparatory phase
The FINEST Twins Center of Excellence will be the first EU cross-border Smart City center of excellence and demo lab.