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Helsinki and Tallinn progress cross-border smart city solutions

A Teaming Grant of €32 million will enable TalTech and Aalto Universities to build a global centre of excellence to advance a joint smart city environment.

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Tallinn and Helsinki want to build a smart and sustainable prototype
Tallinn and Helsinki want to build a smart and sustainable prototype

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in Estonia and Aalto University in Greater Helsinki, Finland, have received a €32 million grant to build a global centre of excellence to develop solutions for cross-border smart cities.

 

The Teaming Grant is co-financed by the EU and the Estonian government. Solutions will be tested and implemented first in Tallinn and Helsinki and then scaled globally with the universities hoping the Talsinki project will become a "smart and sustainable" prototype for Europe and the world.

 

Finest Twins project

 

The two cities are the subject of a Horizon 2020 Finest Twins project, which aims to create a new model for close cooperation on smart city strategies. The universities are partnered by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the innovation unit, Forum Virum Helsinki.

 

The initiator of the project, Dr Ralf-Martin Soe from the Nurkse Department of TalTech, said Finest Twins carries the idea that to create the next generation digital solutions, "the two cultural Twins, Finland and Estonia, will work more closely together and treat the Talsinki region as something more synergistic that just two regions in two different countries".

 

The two universities will undertake research and develop cross-border innovation networks and capabilities in five domains – data, governance, mobility, energy, built environment – as well as advance the joint smart city environment and services between the two cities.

“The two cultural Twins, Finland and Estonia, will work more closely together and treat the Talsinki region as something more synergistic that just two regions in two different countries”

“This is the largest ever competitive R&D grant in Estonia,” said Jaak Aaviksoo, the rector of TalTech. “The Estonian Research Council has compared the Teaming Grant to receiving a R&D Oscar Award. This is a significant recognition of the belief that TalTech and Aalto researchers can innovate modern cities towards more citizen-oriented and sustainable futures.”

The Centre will further the European Digital Single market as well as the integration of Estonian and Finnish e-government, while also boosting university-industry collaboration and private-sector innovation and export capacities in the Talsinki area.

 

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