The budget earmarked for 2013 is £289 million (€365 million), compared to £64 million (€81 million) for the previous year. The funding will be awarded through yearly calls for proposals open to industry-led consortia operating in the three sectors: energy, ICT and transport. The consortia will need to include partners coming from three member states and/or associated countries teaming up with at least two cities. These criteria should ensure that the demonstration projects presented and selected are market-oriented and that they can be replicated in different cities.
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger stated: "Innovation drives Europe's competitiveness and is the best means of addressing energy efficiency. Thanks to this partnership, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, smart metering, real-time energy management, or zero-energy buildings neighbourhoods solutions will spread among more and more European cities."
Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: ''Transport is the lifeblood of every city for people and business. But Europe's cities suffer most from road accidents, congestion, poor air quality and noise. We need to drive forwards the research and innovation that can bring us to our goals of CO2 free cities, phasing out conventionally fuelled cars from city centres, to smart charging of electric vehicles and smokeless silent buses."
Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "ICTs put the 'smart' in 'smart cities'. It challenges legacy industries to rethink how to reduce congestion and increase energy efficiency in the urban environment; enabling new business models and empowering people."
A high level group consisting of CEOs from R&D-intensive industries, city mayors, regulatory authorities and public financing institutions will be set up to support the successful implementation of this innovation partnership.