SCORE-meeting in Aarhus

The 10th and the 11th of April the City of Aarhus hosted one of SCORE’s two annual meetings. In general, the meeting was framed by workshops used for knowledge sharing. Interests, solutions, possibilities, problems, common features, and characteristics were all key words discussed in task groups. This groups were also key to arrange concrete initiatives for the next six months before the next meeting.

Most important, SCORE’s annual meetings are a unique opportunity to get in touch and establish relations across cities and nationalities.

”Personally, I think that it is immeasurable for a project of this type to meet regularly. The project’s framework is unstructured, and the complexity is high, and therefore it is necessarily to meet physically and discuss,” says Mikkel Folke Olsen, digitalization adviser at the City of Aarhus.

At this early stage SCORE has been in a commissioning period establishing relations between the collaborating cities and universities, creating the best conditions for collaboration and to present individual project ideas and wishes. The primary purpose has been to define projects, where two or more cities work towards a common solution. Now different projects are running across the participating cities. For example, Aarhus aims to adapt and introduce a register of IoT (Internet of Things) units: a project developed in Amsterdam, who brought an open IoT source into the SCORE network. Therefore, the April meeting was an opportunity for Aarhus to go into details with Amsterdam regarding the IoT registration. Then the software developers could also get in touch to progress the project.

Also, the City of Aarhus is in dialogue with e.g. Amsterdam, Gent and Hamburg about collaborating projects regarding measuring crowds and registration of road repairs real time data. Finally, SCORE is a possibility for cities to define projects on their own, and then bringing them into the meetings to start collaboration with other cities.

International perspective

Aarhus University (AU) is leading communications in SCORE, and they are also working on the sustainability of the project by scaling it up, which means they are helping it to align with other ecosystems and initiatives. This role is not unusual for Aarhus University. They are coordinating the European IoT Large Scale Pilot on Smart Cities (SynchroniCity) as well. Meanwhile, AU is also managing the Coordination and Support Action, Next Generation Internet of Things (NGIoT), shaping the roadmap for Internet of Things (IoT) research and innovation, as well as deployment over the period 2020-2027. Janne Rasmussen Communication Manager of the Centre for Digital Transformation of Cities and Communities at Aarhus University explains:

“Although a university might be an unusual entity for tasks and responsibilities the coordination action requires, as it usually tends to enforce the research activities in such projects, this setup is a unique way of engaging with a great variety of stakeholders, intertwining the different projects and testing the boundaries of the usually ‘rigid walls’ of the university.”

By working together on an international level, the cities have combined resources, IT competences, and policy expertise to achieve solutions for shared challenges that they cannot achieve on a national level. The international dimension of SCORE is very much in line with what they already do at Aarhus University. For example, Martin Brynskov is chair of Open and Agile Smart Cities, a network that has the goal of creating and shaping the nascent global smart city data and services market. At the City of Aarhus, the participation in SCORE generates awareness and knowledge on how other European cities are working digitally. Aarhus can learn from their organizations, their priorities, their public-private collaboration, law etc.

“The cities are different, but there are still possibilities for collaboration. The combination of ‘vision’ and conditions for collaboration are giving us the possibility to create new, exiting, common solutions and take on solutions we might not had known without the project. It is also an opportunity to scale up our own solutions abroad from the City of Aarhus,” says Mikkel Folke Olsen.