On 10 October 2017, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, the European Commission (DG GROW and DG REGIO) and the Committee of the Regions launched the Digital Cities Challenge. The Challenge invites cities in Europe to improve the life of their citizens through the development and implementation of digital policies.

Graphic of a cityscape with text The European Commission's Digital Cities Challenge Make your city more liveable, productive and innovative

The official launch of the Digital Cities Challenge took place during the workshop “Supporting cities and regions to become successful digital ecosystems".

The call aims to select 15 cities with strong will to change and unreleased potential which will receive support from high-level experts with local and international experience in designing and implementing digital transformation strategies, free of charge and in their local language for 14-18 months to achieve their goals for improving citizens’ lives.

Whether equipping local talent with the digital skills needed to prosper in a changing workplace, developing a collaborative economy to springboard social cohesion and innovation, or implementing a smart parking policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic, the challenge will cover it all!

The Digital Cities Challenge is funded by the EU's COSME programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

The call is now open for applications.

The Challenge will run into two phases. Cut-off dates:

  • 24 November 2017 (for a first set of 7-9 cities)
  • 25 January 2018 (for a second group of 7-9 cities)

Find out more about the Digital Cities Challenge and the call.

In addition to the 15 winning cities, a broader community of cities that wish to participate in the Digital Cities Challenge on their own resources will be supported and profit from the knowledge and networking opportunities. The Digital Cities Challenge is part of the COSME action "Transforming regions & cities into engines of digital transformation and industrial modernisation" which was kicked-off in mid-July 2017.

This initiative builds on the Strategic Policy Forum's  "Blueprint for cities and regions as launch pads for digital transformation", a guide for cities and regions to develop smart growth strategies and boost investments to resolve their critical challenges.