Public-private collaboration, key to achieve climate neutrality in cities
City councils, corporates, universities and startups come together to lead a new edition of Clean Cities ClimAccelerator, the acceleration programme of the European Union that aims to make our cities more sustainable spaces.
After a first stage focused on training and validating the business model, a total of 14 startups are participating in the Stage 2 of Clean Cities ClimAccelerator, the European Union accelerator led by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Impact Hub Vienna and supported by EIT Climate-KIC.
As a novelty of this edition, this selection includes four startups belonging to the European program New European Bauhaus, an initiative that proposes an innovative and collaborative model in order to increases the commitment of citizens and the involvement of cities in the design of public spaces that generate more impact and face new climate challenges.
In this way, the selected startups will continue developing and improving their business model with the continuous support of international mentors and experts and will begin to work with private corporations and public institutions from both Spanish and Austrian ecosystems.
Stage 2, Validation and collaboration
This new stage, which lasts until next December, focuses on collaboration between startups and partners, with the aim of validating their proposal.
The startups will define a proof of concept focusing on solving a real and concrete problems presented by the municipalities and corporations participating in this initiative. The goal of this collaboration is to continue over time and reach a third stage in which the selected projects will focus on raising funding and scaling their solutions.
“For us, this stage represents the opportunity to materialize in defined projects the idea that technology is there to serve a purpose, to solve real and tangible city challenges. The economic package available to companies is key to being able to carry out these tests at a minimum cost”, explains Ana Jiménez, Head of European Projects at the Intelligent City Service of the Zaragoza City Council.
Public-private collaboration, key to meet lasting solutions
Public-private collaboration and the involvement of all actors in the ecosystem, is essential to achieve systemic changes that allow cleaner and more sustainable cities, as well as synergies for solving social, economic and environmental problems.
This is the goal pursued by the institutions engaged in the programme, as is the case of the Valladolid City Council. “From this initiative we would highlight its contribution to the growth of startups, consolidating their projects through their validation and presentation to investors and search for financing. And, on the other hand, the development of public-private collaboration, with the aim of helping to solve the challenge that cities face to become resilient and healthy places in to live and, at the same time, meet the challenge to be climate-neutral cities in a few years”, highlights Rosa Huertas González, Director of the City Council's Area of Innovation, Economic Development, Employment and Commerce.
Together with the City Councils, the corporates also have an impact on these same purposes. Examples such as Repsol, whose participation spotlights "the differential contribution in the early detection of technologies compared to more traditional scouting methods, the possibility of learning about open innovation methodologies that other partners of the program work on and especially the opportunity to develop concept tests in order to validate relevant technologies with startups”, in the words of Virginia Sánchez Pérez-Cejuela, Open Innovation Expert of the entity.
New initiatives for a change of mentality
Achieving climate neutrality is essential for the future of cities and one of the main points included in the 2030 agenda. To reach this, new initiatives are needed at the local, national and European level, all the actors involved to do so in an effective and sustainable way in the long term. And this is precisely what Clean Cities ClimAccelerator pursues.
“The most important thing about this initiative is the freshness that companies bring to administrations at the level of innovative solutions. They open our minds to new solutions that day-to-day and traditional public contracting mechanisms do not allow you to explore”, says Daniel Sarasa, Director of the Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation.
Opinion shared also by Austrian ecosystem and partners “We love to see more common efforts all over Europe to create the best strategies and outstanding research in this field. The Clean Cities Climate Accelerator definitely helps to achieve this ambitious goal. (…) We have to think across all borders to fight climate change. It’s an honor and a great opportunity to experience so many new technologies and fresh ideas from startups from all over Europe”, exposes Angelika Sterrer-Tobler, Technology Services at Vienna Business Agency.
Full list of selected start-ups
If you want to check the complete list of startups that have go forward to Stage 2 and the partners they currently collaborate, visit the following link.
Clean Cities ClimAccelerator is built on the innovation ecosystems developed by public institutions such as the City Councils of Madrid, Zaragoza, Valladolid and Vienna, as well as the Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation and focuses on solving the real challenges that these cities face. In addition, it has the collaboration of important strategic partners such as Ferrovial, Distrito Castellana Norte, Repsol, Acciona Energía, La Pinada Lab, Zubi Cities, Banco Santander, Wien Energie or Wiener Linien, among others.