Be an Angel (City Investor)

Lea Hemetsberger

Mar 16, 2016


Belgium | Blog | Finland | France

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Support the OASC initiative and become an Angel City Investor: Tampere, Faubourg Numerique and iMinds are already contributing to the initiative with (wo)man-power and office space.

In light of the rapid growth of OASC, cities and partner organisations are supporting the build-up of a robust organisation throughout 2016 in what has become known as an “angel city investor” approach. In practice, this means that the organisational support for the network comes from member cities and organisations deciding to lead. They can contribute to OASC by providing organisational, operational and technical support.

For similiar reasons, a number of cities are already contributing to the success of OASC, for example Tampere, Finland, iMinds, the ICT innovation organisation of Flanders, Belgium, and Faubourg Numerique, incubator of innovating projects in the sector of Internet of Things and Services, France.

Experience from the field

The most recent contribution came from OASC France coordinator Faubourg Numerique, a  living lab based in Saint-Quentin in the northern region Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. This contribution consists of lots of work hours and expertise for the OASC office in Brussels: Fauborg Numerique offers their support by having their Marketing and Business Development Manager, Judith Stiekema. For Vincent Demortier, President of Faubourg Numerique and Coordinator of OASC France, it is crucial to support OASC now. He sees the benefits for French cities:

“We want to offer experience and a point of view from the field, for exampling regarding technology. But also to better integrate the ecosystem of French cities and entrepreneurs in the European and global ecosystem.”

OASC as opportunity to link national efforts to the international level

Seppo Haataja, a senior official and Head of Economic Development in Tampere, is sent by the City of Tampere to lead the OASC secretariat in Brussels. He steers and coordinates the OASC activities and represents the initiative in meetings with official partner organisations, such as the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission or EUROCITIES. Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor of Tampere, explains why the city has become an angel city investor in OASC:

“Openness, open data, new digital services are a crucial part of the future smart city. The Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative is a great opportunity for us to link our national efforts to the international and EU level and locally.

In a similar way as Tampere, iMinds has committed office space and operational support for the OASC secretariat. Pieter Ballon, director of Living Labs at iMinds, explains why:

“It’s a great pleasure for iMinds to host the OASC secretariat. We think it is very fitting for OASC to have its secretariat in Brussels, the heart of Europe and a truly international city. As OASC contact point for Belgium, and an internationally active organisation, iMinds aims to be a hub for innovation and is, therefore, delighted that several international innovation networks, namely OASC, ENoLL, and JIIP, are now operating from the same location.”

Look ahead – become an angel

More cities are becoming angel investors, providing considerable resources. According to the OASC action plan put forward by the OASC Task Force, 2015 and 2016 is a ramp-up period, leading towards an independent NGO status by 2017. In this ramp-up period, until independent funding and operations can be organised, angel city investors are crucial.

Therefore, the OASC Task Force has issued an open call among all the OASC cities to join the angel city investors, by seconding staff to the secretariat, and/or by providing substantial support. The concrete efforts will fall into three areas: technical support and development (in the OASC Technical Working Group), organisational development (partnerships and funding) and secretariat operations (communication, events, community engagement).


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