Funding and Expertise for Your Smart City Solution: Apply Now

Lea Hemetsberger

Aug 6, 2018


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The Smart City Innovation Framework Implementation project (SCIFI), supported by Interreg 2 Seas, has launched its first funding call. SCIFI is funding interoperable smart city solutions based on open data with up to € 10,000. European startups, SMEs and companies can apply by 2 October 2018.

Following rounds of consultation with their citizens, the SCIFI partner cities have defined 7 challenges for this open call in the environment, energy and mobility sectors. A second call, which will feature a different set of challenges, is expected to open in summer 2019.

Seven challenges

Apart from funding to support pilots, the selected startups, SMEs and companies will receive extensive support during the pilot phase of six months. Successful pilots also get the opportunity to be implemented fully by SCIFI cities and its ecosystem. More than 40 cities are part of this ecosystem.

The 7 challenges:

  1. How can we use data to encourage cycling for journeys around the city
  2. How can we improve the usage and optimisation of public objects?
  3. How can we use data to improve the city’s approach to treating slippery roads in winter?
  4. How can we optimise interventions to maintain cleanliness of facilities?
  5. How can we use data to improve air quality in our cities?
  6. How can we use data to optimize and automate the watering of (public) green spaces in order to realise water and labour savings?
  7. How can we use data to help cities accelerate retrofitting and stimulate renovations to make older residential buildings more energy efficient?

More detailed information regarding the challenges can be found on the SCIFI project website.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs

Successful applicants will have the ​opportunity to work closely and directly with cities and city clusters to develop open data based solutions (pilots) to tackle key smart city issues. They​ receive funding and support for their data-centric smart city solution, including:

  • Funding of up to €10,000 to support pilot, proof of concept, minimum viable product or other solution development goal;
  • Full solution implementation opportunity for successful pilots;
  • Co-creation of the solution and full access to and support from the relevant cities and stakeholders;
  • Six-month business accelerator powered by Faubourg Numerique, Agoria and Cambridge CleanTech;
  • Introduction to cities, investors and mentors;
  • Access to hardware and equipment such as sensors;
  • A range of data science, open data and business skills trainings;
  • Dissemination opportunities of your solution amongst peers and cities via SCIFI communication channels and events in Belgium, The Netherlands and France;
  • Access to technology and datasets, as well as training and advice by SCIFI experts.

Open Data & Interoperability

SCIFI is looking for smart city solutions that are robust, interoperable and sustainable: a solution that works for one city must be technically easily replicable in other cities.

Replicability is key within SCIFI. The challenges must be addressed by using open data sets (existing or to be generated by design). The consortium will publish available and relevant data (open or that can be opened) based upon an open data guidance package for cities and on the SCIFI Data Portal to provide organisations with a federated entry point to SCIFI open data and Internet of Things ressources.


The SCIFI Data Portal, based on FIWARE, was created to facilitate the implementation of solutions and to speed up the prototyping and experimentation process.

FIWARE, a public-private partnership, was created by the European Commission with major ICT players in 2011 to stimulate the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystem. It was an ambitious project: the realisation of innovative open source technologies made in Europe, created with the aim of enabling the creation and the development of new internet-based products and services.

FIWARE is an open alternative to existing proprietary Internet platforms and SCIFI is offering solution providers the opportunity to use it and get technical support when needed in the pilot phase of their solution.


SCIFI is funded by Interreg 2 Seas 2014-2020, a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders). The project is being delivered by the cities of ​Mechelen​ (BE), ​Delft​ (NL), ​Bruges​ (BE), ​Saint-Quentin​ (FR) and the supporting partners ​Agoria​ (BE), ​Faubourg Numérique​ (FR), ​Cambridge Cleantech​ (UK) and ​University of Southampton​ (UK).