SCIFI Announces its First Funding Call for Smart City Solutions

Aug 1, 2018

The Smart City Innovation Framework Implementation project (SCIFI), supported by Interreg 2 Seas, has opened its first funding call for which the use of open data and the interoperability of the solutions are a key.

Saint-Quentin, July 23, 2018.​ On 2 July the Interreg 2 Seas project Smart City Innovation Framework Innovation (SCIFI) has announced its first open call for European startups, SMEs and companies working on Smart City solutions.

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. The first call opened in July 2018 and is due to close on the 2nd of October 2018. The second call, which will feature a different set of challenges is expected to open in summer 2019.

Seven Challenges

The first call consists of seven challenges, set by the project partner cities, which prospective applicants are asked to address. Apart from funding to support pilots, the selected startups, SMEs and companies will receive extensive support during the pilot phase of 6 months. Successful pilots also receive the opportunity for a full solution implementation by the SCIFI cities and/or its ecosystem (>40 cities).

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 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 here.

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 via the use of 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 IoT resources.


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 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) and 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).

This open innovation accelerator programme​ brings together cities, citizens, corporate and public-sector organisations that have smart city needs, challenges and/or data with startups, companies and students that have innovative solutions with data for these needs/challenges. This programme facilitates joint and innovative cross-border procurement. SCIFI enables medium-sized cities to create proof of concept that opening their data will create value and better services for their city and citizens. SCIFI enables startups, companies and students to work directly with cities to develop smart city, open data solutions and to scale easily their products and solutions.

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