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Six European cities tap AI to cut carbon emissions

The EU AI4Cities  project is using a challenge-based procurement approach to find solutions to reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions.


Helsinki, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris Region, Stavanger and Tallinn will challenge companies to develop energy and mobility solutions using artificial intelligence (AI) as well as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and other related technologies.

The initiative is part of AI4Cities, a three-year EU-funded project bringing together European cities looking for AI solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate commitments.

The cities and regions will go through a pre-commercial procurement (PCP) process, which allows them to steer the development of new solutions directly towards their needs. Once they have defined their requirements, the cities will challenge start-ups, SMEs and larger companies to design solutions applying the use of AI and other technologies.




Total funding of €4.6 million will be divided among the selected suppliers throughout the whole PCP process.

Kaisa Sibelius, coordinator of the AI4Cities project and project manager at Forum Virium Helsinki, commented, “Cities and regions have a lot to say and do when it comes to climate action. We are very well placed to support our national governments in achieving climate goals.


"AI4Cities shows our leadership and our willingness to use the power of pre-commercial procurement to boost innovation, artificial intelligence and sustainability in Europe."


Total funding of €4.6 million will be divided among the selected suppliers throughout the whole PCP process.


A minimum of 40 contractors (20 each for the mobility and energy challenges) will present initial designs and feasibility studies. Of these, half will be invited to develop their prototypes. Finally, a minimum of six contractors will be chosen to proceed to larger-scale pilots.


Sharing best practice


A further group of cities, recruited by the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability network, will follow the PCP process and adopt the outcomes of the project.

“AI4Cities is a living example how sustainability and innovation go hand in hand, providing practical answers to the challenges ahead," said Philipp Tepper, Coordinator, Sustainable Economy and Procurement, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. "Open-source solutions to drive climate change mitigation using the tangible tool of public procurement is timely and ICLEI welcomes the leadership taken by European cities."

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