Finnish Lighthouse City network gathered in Turku

A meeting for Finnish cities participating in Smart Cities and Communities projects in Turku promoted the exchange of implementation, discussed the replication of Smart City solutions, and explored the concept of Nordic PEDs.

The Finnish Lighthouse City – network gathers lighthouse and fellow cities of Smart City projects in Turku on 9-10 of January. During the meeting, the collaborative network allows cities to exchange experiences and share knowledge, thus improving and enhancing the success of each initiative involved. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding programs, the group meets a few times a year to discuss ongoing work and relevant topics.

The themes of the January meeting in Turku were replication, monitoring, and communication of project results. In addition, participants discussed the concept of a “Nordic PED”, as many of the participating projects are implementing a PED in their city. Establishing a PED in the Nordics can be challenging as sunlight decreases drastically during winter. The importance of innovative solutions connected to district heating and cooling, energy storage, and smart energy management systems are highlighted in these conditions.

Although there are differences between the Smart City projects, the Finnish Lighthouse City – network allows cities operating within the same legislative framework, faced with similar challenges and opportunities, to connect and foster mutual support. Ultimately, this advances development and strengthens the overall success of all the projects involved.

Visiting cities were provided a tour of the PED at Turku Student Village to learn more about the technological solutions implemented and tested in the RESPONSE project. The 5th block, which underwent energy efficient retrofitting is pictured in the background.

Developing user interface for energy management system in Turku Technical Hackathon

TUAS, VTT, and the city of Turku collaborated to select an Energy Monitoring Dashboard for optimizing energy management within the PED.

Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) hosted a Technical Hackathon to design a user interface for the energy management system developed under the RESPONSE project. Commencing in September, participating teams ideated and refined their concepts. Two teams were chosen to develop their ideas further in the hackathon.

The dynamic teams invested their time and expertise in crafting innovative solutions focusing on the Energy Management System (EMS) user interface tailored for optimizing energy management at the Tyyssija building within the PED. On December 12th they presented the Front-end beta versions of their solutions to the jury that consisted of professionals from RESPONSE project partner organizations, TUAS, VTT, and the city of Turku. 

In the culmination of this event, both teams proudly unveiled their Front-end beta versions, providing a glimpse into a future defined by heightened energy efficiency and sustainability. The jury faced an exciting and challenging evaluation process due to the exceptional quality and depth of the proposals. Each team showcased remarkable skills and groundbreaking thinking.

After thorough deliberation, the jury declared the Energy Monitoring Dashboard by Tuomas Rinne, Matias Kumpalainen, and Juhana Kuparinen as the winning entry. The second prize was awarded to Wattson Energy Management Assistant by Florian Dejonckheere, Joni Rajamäki, and Otto Heldt.

Both teams expressed outstanding performance and dedication. The jury was impressed by the team’s creativity and technical expertise throughout the competition. The winning team will continue developing the user interface further and make it operational during the RESPONSE project.

This hackathon was a collaborative effort involving the City of Turku and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland).

Participants at the Turku Technical Hackathon.

Hackathon #2 in Dijon: Hack2Horizon2023, 48 hours of innovation for the resilient, low-carbon city

Student-led innovations at HacktoHorizon2023 and Dijon celebrate a successful festival of the ecological and digital transition.

On the weekend of 17 November, as part of the Festival of Ecological and Digital Transition, more than 50 students from schools in the Dijon metropolitan area had the opportunity to take part in #HacktoHorizon2023 at ESIREM – Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Numérique et Matériaux.

Two days to develop innovations to achieve the energy transition objectives and the transformation of the smart, low-carbon city of the RESPONSE project.

The projects that received the highest evaluations and won the prizes were:

  • Grand Prize RESPONSE for participants in the Carbon Scale challenge: “Development of a tool to help assess and reduce carbon impact”
  • Innovation Prize for participants in the Dijon Métropole challenge: “Application for simulating a positive-energy district (example of the Fontaine d’Ouche district)”
  • Jury’s Favourite Award for participants in the Dièze challenge: “Considering the characteristics of the student population on the Dijon metropolitan campus, how can we encourage them to sort their waste?”
Participants at the Hackathon #2 in Dijon.
Participants at the Hackathon #2 in Dijon.
Participants at the Hackathon #2 in Dijon.

Busy Autumn in Turku Positive Energy District (PED)

The RESPONSE project has kept the Turku PED residents busy this Autumn, as three workshops have been arranged to raise awareness and disseminate RESPONSE solutions.

Students have had a core role in organizing the events, which has ensured that the events are appealing to the Turku PED residents in Student Village, offering a possibility to participate in the creation of digital tools.

The environmental workshop gathered people to test energy consumption in one’s everyday life

The Environmental workshop was held on the 16th of November featuring energy in everyday life. The objective of the RESPONSE Environmental workshop is to raise the residents’ awareness and interest in energy topics. The participants strolled around the many different stands with activities varying from playing Nintendo Switch and measuring the energy consumption of the console compared to how many calories you spent while playing, a Kahoot quiz on energy consumption, guessing how much energy different appliances consume to solar powered toy cars that demonstrated how solar energy and batteries work. The RESPONSE mentors also participated in the event to discuss with the PED residents.

Although all stands were interesting to the participants, the stand where you could see how much energy different energy appliances consume seemed to be the most popular one. One could measure the energy consumption of different lightbulbs, an air conditioner, Christmas lights, a massaging pillow, and other appliances. There was a Kahoot quiz on energy consumption, which was a lot of fun for people who took part in it as they had funny moments seeing the correct answers to the questions.

Overall, there were a lot of different conversations and realizations about energy consumption, and the event had a nice variety of people – including young kids who liked to play with solar-powered cars and the Nintendo Switch console. A joyful atmosphere is a good way to describe the event.

Students facilitated Avatar workshops in Turku

As a part of the RESPONSE project, digital tools are being created to help the residents understand the technical solutions that have been implemented in the apartments and buildings. This concerns especially the retrofitted 5th block apartments. This was the third workshop Turku University of Applied Sciences organized as a part of a series where digital tools are developed.

The workshop’s key focus was twofold: firstly to showcase the technical improvements made to the area due to the RESPONSE project, and secondly to gather feedback by encouraging the residents to share their thoughts and experiences about the project. This was achieved by hosting two workshops in November for the residents of the PED area. These workshops included VR tours of the PED area comprised of 360-degree images captured using both a drone and a mounted camera, discussions, and feedback gathering with the residents and enjoying food and refreshments.

Career Forum in Fontaine d’Ouche, Dijon

Discovering the careers of tomorrow, on the road to transition. The initiative brings students to learn about climatic questions, sustainable and smart cities, and future professions.

As part of the 2023 Ecological and Digital Transition Festival, the Your Future Job careers forum was in full swing from 13 to 15 November 2023. Taking the example of RESPONSE as the first chapter of the energy transition in European cities, more than 800 secondary school students and job seekers from Côte-d’Or registered to take part in the many workshops organized in Fontaine d’Ouche.

Immersive, fun experiences were on offer to raise awareness among as many people as possible of the professions that will shape our future. Local schools and businesses provided specific workshops for raising awareness about the upcoming need for skills in Dijon and Europe.

According to ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), between now and 2050, over 900,000 jobs will be created in sectors such as construction, transport, industry, and energy, all closely linked to the ecological transition. This is the major challenge that Dijon, one of RESPONSE’s Lighthouse cities, is committed to meeting.

Presenters at the Career Forum in Fontaine d’Ouche, Dijon.
Participantes at the Career Forum in Fontaine d’Ouche, Dijon.
Participantes at the Career Forum in Fontaine d’Ouche, Dijon.

17th SET Plan Conference

The discussion on energy research and innovation for a competitive Europe provided insights into Empower Communities: Citizen Engagement Practices in Clean Energy Transition and the revamped SET Plan as instruments to address energy policy challenges.

On 13 November, as part of the SET Plan Conference 2023, Jean-Patrick Masson (Vice-President of Dijon Métropole) participated in a round table discussion on the empowerment of communities and best practices for citizen involvement in the clean energy transition.

This was an opportunity to present RESPONSE’s challenges and successes in Dijon, engaging inhabitants of the Fontaine d’Ouche district, where the PEBs are being implemented.

Watch the conference here: 17th SET Plan Conference – 14 November 2023.

Key messages from the discussion:

The 3 pillars of multi-stakeholder engagement are crucial to the local energy transition

  • Involvement of local stakeholders and strong public-private partnerships,
  • citizens’ involvement, collaboration with the European level for inspiration,
  • and the exchange of good practice.

Speakers of Empowering Communities at 17th SET Plan Conference.

Activating all means of communication to engage citizens in the transition

Regular newsletters, on-site workshops, meetings with elected representatives, and the citizen engagement platform for inhabitants to share their ideas and comments on the project, offering inhabitants the opportunity to become ambassadors for the Fontaine d’Ouche to promote the PEBs to other residents.

RESPONSE 5th Webinar: Collaborative Citizen Engagement in the Development of Positive Energy Districts (PED) | January 16th, 2024 | 12:00 CET

The 5th Webinar on Collaborative Citizen Engagement in the development of Positive Energy Districts – this event will focus on Collaborative Citizen Engagement and we will present some of the RESPONSE activities to engage citizens in Turku and Dijon.

This event is an introduction to the topic “Collaborative Citizen Engagement in the development of Positive Energy Districts” and a presentation of RESPONSE activities regarding citizen engagement implemented in the 2 LHCs of Turku and Dijon. The webinar aims to increase public awareness of RESPONSE to create new links between organizations and enable learning and knowledge exchange processes, especially between Lighthouse and Fellow cities.

Register via the link: