From the beginning of 2017, Helsinki kicked off the Synchronicity project together with other leading Smart Cities. The project aims to advance the digital single market for Internet of Things enabled services.

For city dwellers SynchroniCity offers real-life pilots, where IoT enables new solutions e.g. improved route planning that takes into account air quality, noise level and even vacancy of pram or wheel chair spots on trams. For businesses, the project offers the opportunity to take part in the open calls for either service or device level innovations.

Continuing the work of Forum Virium’s previous harmonization projects like CitySDK and Six City Strategy’s Open Data and APIs spearhead project, EU funded SynchroniCity project brings cities together to share best practices on IoT API definitions, strategy papers, guidelines and successful use cases. Forum Virium’s IoT Program Director Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts sees SynchroniCity as a great addition to Forum Virium’s project portfolio:

”We have already had quite a few successful IoT projects on domains such as Mobility and Wellbeing, so the moment is right for such a silo-crossing, market-shaping collaboration. For Helsinki it is a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of other cities and put forth the expertise the city and the business-ecosystem around it already has on APIs and data-driven business. Not to mention all the knowhow Helsinki region has on the device and hardware side.”

Two phases towards SynchroniCity

Fostering a thriving market for IoT-enabled urban services for Europe and beyond; based on the need of cities and communities: that is the ambitious target of a European initiative called “SynchroniCity”.

The project, which was launched recently as part of the European Internet of Things Large-Scale Pilot programme, will build on existing efforts and infrastructure, locally in the cities as well as globally. Concretely, the SynchroniCity project will deploy IoT-enabled urban services in two phases: initially within the areas of mobility and near-real-time policy support, and later in the form of an open call where new services can be proposed and developed. The aim is to build an environment of evidence-based solutions that have proven their worth locally, and which can then more easily be implemented in other cities and countries. In this way, SynchroniCity supports on a very large scale the fruitful cross-pollination between the frontrunner cities in the world.

Photo credit: Kristian Granquist

“We have a window of opportunity to shape fundamental elements of our shared, connected lives. The last decade has shown that technology, including IoT, is a big influencer, but technology doesn’t provide the solutions in itself. Cities are catalysts in this transition, and the SynchroniCity project has the ambition to help find good solutions for people, based on a well-functioning market,” says Martin Brynskov, lead and coordinator of the SynchroniCity project.

Broad European & international cooperation

Antwerp, Carouge, Eindhoven, Helsinki, Manchester, Milan, Porto and Santander – these are the 8 cities in Europe that serve as so-called reference zones for the first piloting. In addition, cities from Mexico, South Korea, Brazil and the USA join the efforts, to reach a global scale. A pivotal element in finding a common ground between the cities is the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative, which is backed by more than 100 cities globally.

SynchroniCity consists of 34 organizations – public, private, NGOs and academic institutions – who have joined forces to realize this goal, with a budget of 20m€, including 15m€ contribution from the European Commission. Starting in 2017 and continuing until 2019, SynchroniCity aims to harness existing frontrunner city capacities, and to provide opportunities for industry, SMEs and other cities to pilot IoT-enabled urban services in a concerted fashion on a massive, global scale.Project is co-funded through Horizon 2020, PCP- ICT-36-2015.



  • SynchroniCity: Internet of Things Large-Scale Pilot project (Horizon 2020, LEIT-ICT-IoT)
  • Project budget: 20M euros (15M euros from EU, 5M Euros co-funding from industry, cities and partnering countries)
  • SynchroniCity is part of a bigger IoT initiative, called European Large-Scale Pilots Programme with budget of around 100M euros
  • 34 project partners
  • Piloting cities: Eindhoven, Helsinki, Antwerp, Manchester, Porto, Santander, Milan and Carouge (Geneve), together with Léon (Mexico), Seongnam (South Korea), Portland (US) and a number of Brazilian cities
  • Follow the project on Twitter @SyncCityIoT

Further information:

Hanna Niemi-Hugaerts

#IoT #opendata #databusiness #API
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