Eurbanlab now offering services

Written by Brian Kilkelly on 26 July 2015

The Climate-KIC Innovation project Eurbanlab is offering services to accelerate urban innovation.

They have developed a unique assessment-method for urban innovations, a European library and showcasing service for interesting innovations (see project website here).

"World Cities Network is delighted to be a partner and to support the use and spread of these services. we need more frameworks for sharing proven innovation and highlighting the best projects." Brian Kilkelly

Climate-KIC workshop on innovation hosted by Willis in London

The project partners include:

Accelerating Innovation in Urban Areas

Stakeholders such as housing corporations and municipalities are looking for successful solutions to increase the sustainability of the built environment. Innovators, construction companies and architects are developing new technologies, processes and systems to reduce energy consumption and increase the liveability of urban areas. There is no lack of initiatives, innovative solutions, or technologies to increase the sustainability of the built environment in Europe.

However, many effective solutions remain unknown to the market. Moreover, presumptions on their impact, complexity and payback period lead to uncertainty and reluctance to engage in innovative solutions. In order to make the required leap in sustainability, there is a need to accelerate mutual learning and to create insight into successful innovations in sustainable construction.

Tools & services

The tools & services developed within the project for this purpose, include:

1. Library and Showcasing service:
Increasing the exposure of Urban Innovations
At present there is little transparency in what type of innovations and expertise is already available on the market. There is no single place to find, learn and share insights with regards to sustainable construction and innovation. The Library of Urban Innovations currently provides in 250+ European examples of successful urban innovations in the development process, sustainable technologies and new financing methods. Successful urban innovations are also promoted by Eurbanlab through its website, newsletters and annual events with its Showcasing service.

2. Unique assessment method:
Quickly determine impact and factors of success

The Eurbanlab Benchmark for You (B4U) is a unique assessment method that quickly determines the impact of proposed or completed projects based on people, planet and profit indicators, and also evaluates the process and context in which innovations are implemented. In addition, it evaluates the extent to which the solutions can be applied in other cities and at larger scales.It can serve for the selection of the most promising project proposals in an open tender procedure, or for improving future performance and developments by learning from the implementation of past projects. There is the option of conducting a self-assessment with the online tool, or to be assisted by one of Eurbanlab certified assessors.

3. Learning Community: 
Extensive European network of engaged stakeholders

Eurbanlab brings together a large community of leading partners in the urban development sector to discuss, share and exploit knowledge, ideas and experiences in the design, planning and implementation of urban innovations. By combining relevant stakeholders and networks such as Climate-KIC and the World Cities Network, Eurbanlab connects people and ideas, and enables innovators and problem-owners to accelerate sustainable urban development.

Lessons learnt

  • Working in a project with a great variety of partners requires communication at regular intervals. Meeting in person is essential to avoid misinterpretations and effectively discuss issues, opportunities and barriers during project development
  • It is essential to proceed with the relevant market research while the project is still at an early stage, in order to effectively develop solutions for your market and determine their value. Engaging an expert to perform this process can provide significant additional value.
  • When developing tools and services (‘less’ tangible outcomes) it is essential to provide a proof-of-concept tool interface or concrete figures to support your offer while contacting potential clients

Next Steps

Eurbanlab will be working in the next 2 years on increasing its market outreach and start generating revenue from the tools & services on offer. Continuous steps are taken in the direction of  connecting with diverse parties in sustainable urban development, with an aim to  bring together an ever-growing vibrant community to collect, generate and share knowledge on urban innovations.

Contact

For more information you may contact the Eurbanlab coordinator, Roger Toussaint: info@eurbanlab.eu, +31 (0)63 00 54 840

If you wish to subscribe to the Eurbanlab newsletter, please click here.

Categories: Transport, Design, Mobility, Environment, Technology, Housing, Finance systems, Energy and water