Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Commission launches the Digital Cities Challenge to help cities succeed in digital transformation

European Commission launches the Digital Cities Challenge to help cities succeed in digital transformation
Published on: 10/10/2017
Today, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, the Commission is throwing down the gauntlet to city leaders and key stakeholders to make their cities more productive, innovative, better places to live in the 'Digital Cities Challenge'.


The Challenge enables them to put advanced technologies at the service of their citizens.

“The question is how quickly the cities will change and embrace digital technologies... is not anymore whether they will. With the Digital Cities Challenge, the European Commission is challenging city leaders to make their cities better places to live, more productive, and more innovative" said Markku Markkula, First Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions at the Plenary held during European Week of Regions and Cities.

The Challenge aims to select 15 cities with the will to change and unlock unreleased potential, to receive free high quality policy advice, coaching and facilitation, from high-level experts with local and international experience. This tailored support will help them to develop and implement strategic plans addressing economic growth and social welfare, all in their local language.

Participating cities will also have access to intuitive assessment tools for digitalisation, innovative training, and a vast networking pool, including fellow cities, strategic stakeholders and Commission networks and platforms. This will help cities to stimulate investments through joint cross-regional actions for digital transformation.

In addition to the selected 15 cities, the Challenge will support a broader community of cities who wish to participate using their own resources and benefit from the knowledge and networking opportunities provided.

The result will be to give cities a well-developed strategy and action plan to move towards digital transformation, and put them on the map as a beacon for future economic growth and improved quality of life.

The call is now open for applications - find out more about the Digital Cities Challenge and the call.

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