Cross discipline collaboration and innovation was the heartbeat of this annual Utrecht University conference 8-10 July - now in its 17th year – and naturally, IRIS partners and endeavors felt right at home, submitting three papers. The event gathered around 200 researchers from various disciplines such as innovation or strategic management, organization design, marketing, intellectual property rights management, entrepreneurship, and public policy, all exchanging on the latest research findings and plans in the field.
Smart grids and their large-scale deployment are essential to meeting these challenges; and IRIS Smart Cities exploring ways to meet needs at reasonable costs with smart energy management systems, new storage techniques and connecting renewables.
IRIS in Metropole Nice Cote d’Azur, France recently welcomed a fresh injection of expertise and enthusiasm with new partner Engie Cofely. The company will focus their energy efficiency talents and smart city innovations on the western district of Les Moulins.
Creating impact is all about “scale” - isolated solutions and best practices will not manage to achieve the environmental, economic and social benefits we need to make. That’s why IRIS Smart Cities has not only identified innovative solutions to urban challenges; but works to achieve a citywide scale-up supported by sustainable demand and market dynamics.
IRIS Smart Cities spoke to Utrecht project manager Mirjam Harmelink about the creation of a €20,000 prize for energy use solutions in primarily low-income housing.
Social housing corporation Bo-Ex invited its residents to take a peak into the near future and visit a decorated model home of their soon-to-be renovated apartments. Residents of an apartment building in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland-Zuid were able to feel what it’s like to live in an energy neutral building and be part of the process. With a high turnout, it proved a great opportunity for everyone to think about creating a smart and sustainable city district, together.
Working to co-create smart and sustainable cities means lots of knowledge transfer and exchange between IRIS partners. And while hungry for knowledge, they are not too greedy to share!
Regional transport provider Qbuzz replaces 125 busses by the end of this year, 55 of them electric. The electric busses will function as both inter-city busses and on three busy city transport routes, for example to the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland.
Students from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht have been working to find out – using design thinking to engage residents and attempt to develop collective solutions. In addition to hosting three workshops on urban design in Utrecht, students spoke to local authorities, companies and more at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona to shape their views before producing a publication Citizen Engagement in Public Spaces – Designing with Co-Creation.
On Monday evening the 11th of March IRIS partner We Drive Solar organized an information session on electric car sharing in the Utrecht district Kanaleneiland. A representative group of citizens gathered to learn all about the benefits of solar powered, shared cars. Soon they can start their own subscriptions to this smart, sustainable mobility system, as part of project IRIS.