The FinEst Twins project will build a world-class Smart City Centre of Excellence and strengthen twin city cooperation between Helsinki and Tallinn.
The project’s five domains are:
- Built environment
- Urban Analytics & Data
The FINEST Twins project will build a multidisciplinary Smart City Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Tallinn. The CoE will mobilise all leading Smart City actors and stakeholders in Estonia and establish solid long-term high-level research, knowledge-transfer and innovation partnerships with counterparts from the Helsinki region. This joined-up approach will allow the region to capitalise on its scientific research, innovation and entrepreneurship potential.
The establishment of the Centre of Excellence is part of the ‘Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation’ Horizon 2020 Work Programme. The new centre in Tallinn will be created as a joint effort between Aalto University and Forum Virium Helsinki, two leading scientific and innovation institutions.
The CoE will match existing leading Smart City research centres around the world by focusing on five key domains for clean and sustainable Smart City development: mobility, energy, the built environment, governance, and urban analytics and data management.
The objective of the FinEst Twins project is to deepen cooperation between Helsinki and Tallinn and utilise the synergies between the two cities to facilitate research and product development, attract international know-how and investments to the innovation platform formed by the twin cities and act as a springboard for the exportation of Finnish-Estonian knowledge and combined technological solutions on a global scale.
The project will create a notable cross-border Smart City innovation platform. The aim is to provide direct international competitive advantages to the region’s companies, research institutes, public sector and residents, providing them with a framework for developing, testing, marketing and demonstrating the performance of cross-border Smart City products and services. The cross-border innovation platform will serve to attract new R&D&I operators to the region.
Besides the world class Smart Cities research programme, the CoE will also work with companies to develop user-driven Smart City solutions that are cross-border-by-default in the context of emerging Twin City model between Tallinn and Helsinki. This will be done via an Urban Open Platform and Lab (UOP.Lab), which will build on the Centre’s research outputs to design and trial joint cross-border pilot-projects for the two smart cities.
Duration, partners and funding
The project will run from 1 December 2019 to 30 November 2026 and is funded by the Horizon2020 programme (Teaming instrument). The project has a total budget of EUR 6.3 million, of which Forum Virium Helsinki’s share is EUR 1.67 million.
- Aalto University
- Forum Virium Helsinki
- Tallinn University of Technology (Taltech)
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications of Estonia
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki
Forum Virium is responsible for two subprojects, the first of which focuses on the building of an Urban Open Platform while the second involves building a Living Lab for smart city development in Tallinn.
Benefits for Helsinki
The FinEst Twins project will deepen cooperation between Helsinki and Tallinn and create synergies between the cities by developing twin city-based smart city solutions and common future projects to promote sustainable solutions that facilitate urban living and associated business activities.
The UOP.Lab to be created in the project will serve as a cross-border platform for innovation collaborations with Estonian and Finnish of companies interested in Smart City development and innovation projects. The main goals are to ensure the CoE research directly impacts the economy and public sector services across the macro-region, to attract international expertise and investment, and to act as a springboard for exporting Finnish-Estonian knowledge and high-tech solutions globally.
The aim of the twin cities’ Smart City innovation platform is to provide direct international competitive advantages to the region’s companies, research institutes, public sector and residents, providing them with a framework for developing, testing, marketing and demonstrating the performance of cross-border Smart City products and services.
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Photo: Mikko Raskinen