RESPONSE participation at the SCEWC23

This year, on November 7-9, 2023, the RESPONSE project participated at the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEW2023) in Barcelona and online.

On behalf of RESPONSE, project partners Lea Kleinenkuhnen (Brussels City) and Ritva Salminiitty (Turku University of Applied Sciences- TUA) joined the event offline.

RESPONSE project was presented at the event alongside 30 other EU-funded projects dedicated to 𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐍𝐞𝐮𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 at a joint booth, organized by the Smart Cities Marketplace.

𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐂𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐨 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬 is the world’s biggest and most influential event for cities and urban innovation. Every year, leaders from the most innovative companies, governments, and organizations are gathered to 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐚 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐮𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞.

The major goal of the event is to collectivize urban innovation across the globe and empower cities to face the critical challenges the world faces today.

Discover the full program of the event at the SCEW website.

Lea Kleinenkuhnen joined the AGORA session: EDIC on networked LDTs: Technical synergies. The RESPONSE project was presented among others during the event. It was aimed to understand the contributions and expectations of the projects represented of the planned European Digital Infrastructure Consortium (EDIC) on Local Digital Twins (LDTs).

Ritva Salminiitty was presenting the RESPONSE project at the expo highlighting the project´s citizen engagement approach. The presentations were followed by discussions in relation to citizen engagement methods.

Here are some of the highlights from the event.

RESPONSE workshop organised during the EU Week of Regions and Cities event in Brussels from 9 to 12 October

As part of the European Week of Regions and Cities held in Brussels from 9 to 12 October, RESPONSE partners organised a workshop to discuss the project’s contribution to a fair energy transition.

The energy transition should be reachable for everyone. Most Positive Energy Districts are implemented in new or recent neighbourhoods, where the population is rather well off and already aware of climate change. However, in the H2020 RESPONSE project, the cities of Turku and Dijon are setting up major collective self-consumption operations in areas where people with specific challenges live: a deprived city district in Dijon and a student village in Turku.

The session highlighted the experience of Dijon and Turku with citizen engagement and empowerment. With the participation of Georg Houben, to establish the link between the European Commission’s strategy on these issues and its practical application at local level, through SCCs projects. With the participation of Georg Houben, it was also an opportunity to talk about Europe’s support for the local climate transition, through its funding programmes, the SCCs community and many other initiatives! 

Title of the session: Just and local energy transition: how to create Positive Energy Districts for everyone?

Speakers  

  • Jean-Baptiste Clervil—Decoeur (Project manager, Dijon metropole) 
  • Zahra Jahanshah Rad (University of Turku) 
  • Georg Houben (European Commission – DG ENER) 

Moderator  

  • Miia Paananen (Turku-Southwest Finland European Office

The event was an opportunity for disseminating the lessons learned from RESPONSE resident engagement activities and reflection with the European Commission representative for future funding and scaling-up opportunities.  

More info here: https://regions-and-cities.europa.eu/programme/2023/sessions/1715

Develop user-friendly interface to enhance & visualize information from Energy Management System (EMS) and win up to 45 000 EUR for the development

The RESPONSE project invites front-end developers, full-stack developers, web development start-ups, companies and student teams with software design and web development experience to a hackathon.

The focus of the hackathon will be on creating an interface for an Energy Management System’s (EMS) that enables users to monitor and control their energy usage efficiently. Energy management systems play a critical role in achieving sustainability goals and have several benefits for citizens. By effectively monitoring and controlling energy usage, energy is conserved, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation of the effects of climate change. EMS can integrate renewable energy sources, such as solar power, into the energy grid, thus reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, EMS improves energy security by increasing the reliability and resilience of the energy infrastructure, reducing dependence on foreign energy sources.

With the RESPONSE technical hackathon, we are searching for a front-end application or website which is user-friendly for the Cloud-based High Level Energy Management System (HL-EMS) of the RESPONSE project. The GUI/APP should enable easy access to data and provide intuitive visualization of energy consumption, production, and storage.

Learn more about the challenge here: https://h2020response.eu/hackathons/hackathon-2-turku/

Submit your concept paper by August 14th 

Consortium Meeting gathered partners in Turku

A RESPONSE consortium meeting gathered horizontal project partners, Lighthouse Cities and Fellow Cities in the city of Turku from 6th to 8th of June. For three days, project partners collaborated and exchanged views on project implementation, citizen engagement and replication of the project measures.  

The first day of the consortium meeting was dedicated to talks on the implementation progress of the project. The meeting kicked off with a presentation on the project progress so far, after which partners discussed monitoring of implemented solutions, future project communication, and continued citizen engagement measures until the project ends in 2025. In the afternoon, a site visit to the Kakolanmäki wastewater treatment plant was organized. At the plant, partners learned more about the heat pump and the water treatment processes at Kakolanmäki.

A visit to the Kakola wastewater treatment plant was organized on the first day of the meeting.

On the second day, focus shifted to replication in Fellow and Lighthouse Cities, and to the technical energy and ICT solutions implemented in RESPONSE. Partners, such as VTT, FMI and SunAmp, presented the solutions that have been implemented in the Positive Energy District (PED) area in Turku. The presentations were then followed by a guided tour in the PED area.

During the site visit, partners learned more about the energy renovations completed in the 5th Block of the PED, the operation of the heat pump installed in Tyyssija building, and the novel LVDC microgrid, which minimizes energy loss in the local energy system. In combination with increased local renewable energy production, these smart solutions will reduce the carbon footprint of the PED and optimize energy consumption in the buildings.

Participants also took part in a guided tour to test the journey planner AirQu, developed during RESPONSE. The journey planner utilizes air quality data from the sensors in the PED and helps pedestrians and cyclists choose paths that are healthier, greener, and flatter.

Participants tested the Air Quality Journey Planner AirQu, developed in the RESPONSE project.

Finally, during the last day of the meeting, partners discussed future collaboration and considered different climate adaptation measures that could be implemented in Turku. During the adaptation workshop, local stakeholders were invited to exchange views with partners from Fellow Cities and to learn more about different adaptation strategies and challenges posed by a changing climate.

Text by Helmi Andersson (City of Turku)

RESPONSE Lighthouse and Fellow Cities selected for NetZeroCities programme

The NetZeroCities Programme announced in March 2023 the fifty-three cities selected for the launching year of the project, and the RESPONSE Lighthouse Cities, Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI), and one of the Fellow Cities, Zaragoza (ES), are part of the cities list on a path to total decarbonisation.

Each Pilot City selected in the NetZeroCities Programme has identified pathways toward climate neutrality, taking action on bespoke combinations of six main domains, including: energy; waste management; land use; electricity for buildings; industrial processes; and mobility and transport. On this journey, each Pilot City will align their activities with existing and new partnerships, initiatives, and goals, to amplify outcomes and impact.

All 53 cities have the same ambition, to pave a way for a climate-proof future in Europe, and to scale up their solutions for the replication in other cities. They represent twenty-one different European Union and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and were chosen out of 103 applications involving 159 cities.  

Dijon

RESPONSE project is proud to be represented by the cities of Dijon, Turku, and Zaragoza, with the announcement of the NetZeroCities Programme happening shortly before the inauguration of RESPONSE’s Positive Energy Blocks (PEBs) in the Lighthouse Cities, Dijon and Turku.

The RESPONSE Project started in 2020, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The consortium is composed of 53 partners from 13 European countries, and the main aim of RESPONSE is to turn energy sustainability into a do-able vision by solving the energy trilemma (security, equity/affordability, environmental sustainability) at building, block and district levels in smart cities. The project builds upon intelligent integrated and interconnected energy systems coupled with demand-oriented city infrastructures, governance models and services that foster energy sustainability.

Turku

The Lighthouse Cities, Dijon and Turku, selected for the NetZeroCities Programme, are advancing already existing city platforms to further support the operation of a smart and resilient city in the context of climate adaptation and safety risks, supporting services such as smart diagnostics and disaster management or “perturbations”, by sending targeted alerts to their citizens.

In parallel, the know-how of the Lighthouse Cities are being distributed to the Fellow Cities, Brussels (BE), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BG) Severodonetsk (UA), and Zaragoza (ES), also selected to be part of the NetZeroCities Programme.The six cities have different conditions of energy systems, climate, building types and financial possibilities and challenges, with a long-term commitment to replication activities through their existing policies and strategies. 

Zaragoza

The three RESPONSE project cities represented in the NetZeroCities Programme are propelling the EU Cities Mission forward, part of the aim of the 112 climate-neutral cities by 2030. With the launch of the Positive Energy Blocks (PEBs) in 2023, the RESPONSE project is closer to this objective, essential for all European cities and citizens.

RESPONSE at Tech4SmartCities Event in Brussels – November 2022

Lea Kleinenkuhnen from the City of Brussels presented RESPONSE during the NCP session and included a testimony of what it is like to participate in an EU-funded project and international consortium.  

About Tech4SmartCities:

This B2B focusses on Sustainable and Smart Technologies for Cities and invites you to discover multiple business and cooperation opportunities in the field of urban mobility, energy performance, sustainable construction, circularity, low carbon economy and digital transformation. 

Do you have an innovative project /solution that can contribute towards the achievement of climate-neutrality objectives of cities that increases their resilience? Are you looking for a partner to improve and develop your technology? We will help you  to find your technical partner for international collaboration or R&D projects.

Main topics covered by the matchmaking event:

 Smart cities and communities, ICT for cities
• Smart mobility and logistics, MaaS
• Energy-efficiency of buildings and districts
• Renewable energies, energy management and recovery, smart grids and energy systems integration
• Circular economy and nature based solutions for urban districts
• Smart, healthy and secure living

The presentation about RESPONSE from Lea Kleinenkuhnen can be accessed here.

RESPONSE Hackathon 2022 in Dijon 

From Friday 25th to Sunday 27th of November 2022 more than 40 students of 9 different higher education schools gathered in Dijon to work on multidisciplinary teams of 4 to 6 students in order to develop an innovative solution (software, innovative service, device…) responding to a challenge related to the smart and low-carbon city proposed by 9 companies or organizations. These challenges addressed issues such as air quality, energy, mobility, smart building etc. (see list below). A group of coaches supported the teams all along the hackathon to help them to tackle all technical or organizational blocking point.  

Each team presented the result of their work during a pitch session on Sunday 27th afternoon and three of them were awarded. 

1st Prize: LowMyWatt is an application to encourage citizens to adopt more sober behaviours. The main features of LowMyWatt are a visualization tool in order to raise awareness about energy consumption, a decision support tool, to give citizens tips for improvement and gamification to foster commitment to action. This challenge was proposed by EDF 

Team cohesion Prize: Tool to help decision about work planning in schools in order to lower energy consumption. The tool used data from rehabilitation works (type, prize,…) and energy consumption to develop a predictive model of the most efficient work to manage. The next steps will be to optimize the model and adapt it to other types of building (e.g. Gymnasium). This challenge was proposed by Dijon Métropole 

Special mention of the jury: App using the data collected in the housings of Grand Dijon Habitat to allow tenants to visualize how their behaviour has an impact on collective energy consumption. The app proposes a gamification approach including quiz, challenges, individual and collective competitions, etc. 

Some other teams proposed promising solutions that might be developed further by the challenge initiators.   

List of the challenges 

  • Web app to valorize Atmo BFC’s Open data (air quality index, exposure of populations and territories, average concentrations, annual emission of the main pollutants, pollution episodes, etc.) and give access to intelligible and useful information for the public. 
  • How to raise awareness and encourage residents to adopt a new sorting gesture with bio-waste, via innovative and incentive solutions in collective housing? 
  • Development of a decision support application for the programming of work for the energy transition based on historical data of renovation (type of work, amounts…) and consumption of buildings (schools, gyms…) 
  • Solution to mobilize citizens around energy sobriety using data from the energy and climate platform. 
  • What solution should be implemented to optimize energy management (production, storage, distribution of uses, etc.) on mixed-use blocks (offices, housing, shops, etc.)? 
  • Development of an AI to analyze electrical load curves to allow consumers to optimize their consumption and free up electrical power for the network. 
  • How, from the data collected in the housings, can we show tenants in real time (at the stairwell, building and block level (6 buildings)) that small individual gestures contribute to big collective savings? 
  • DiviAccès 2.0: Analysis of usage data of the transportation service for people with reduced mobility and recommendations for improvement to increase shared transportation. 
  • How can data from connected housing sensors (smoke detectors, thermal regulation, access systems, etc.) be used to detect pre-fragility situations among senior tenants to automatically trigger a call campaign, a home visit or contact with a partner? 

RESPONSE Ideathon 

A “Marathon of ideas” to address ecological issues: On Tuesday, January 10, more than 160 students from the metropolis participated in the Pulse Event: a 48-hour Ideathon to find innovative solutions to sustainable development issues. Among the four impactful topics proposed by the metropolis, two of them referred to RESPONSE, the positive energy blocks project, such as: how to make the commitment to energy sobriety a source of pride? The event was organized by the Campus des Métiers Territoire Intelligent and its partners, with the support of Dijon métropole. 

  • RESPONSE/Dijon métropole topic 1: How to make the inhabitants and/or the companies of the Dijon Metropole territory adhere to the collective self-consumption? 
  • RESPONSE/Dijon métropole topic 2: How to make the commitment to energy sobriety a collective and individual pride (without financial or regulatory drivers)? 

Pictures : “© Ville de Dijon”  

Horizon Magazine – “Finnish and French cities chart Europe’s path to clean energy” article about RESPONSE

In an interview about Europe’s path to clean energy, Monjur Murshed and David Goujon from EIFER – European Institute for Energy Research, talked about RESPONSE to the Horizon Magazine.

The coordinators of the project shared how Turku and Dijon, the Lighthouse Cities of RESPONSE, are among a group of cities seeking to become climate-neutral by 2030, two decades before the European goal.

“In 2029, Finland’s oldest city, Turku, will celebrate reaching the grand old age of 800. At the same time, it hopes to reach another major milestone – becoming climate-neutral. The French city of Dijon 2 000 kilometres away hopes to achieve the same goal by 2030.

The two are part of the Cities Mission – an EU initiative to create 100 climate-neutral cities by the end of this decade. Turku and Dijon are also flagship members of the EU-funded RESPONSE project to help cities chart the path toward clean energy.”

Please read the full article here:

https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/finnish-and-french-cities-chart-europes-path-clean-energy

RESPONSE Press Conference: Dijon Metropole, European demonstrator for collective self-consumption

From October 18 to 20, Dijon hosted the RESPONSE Consortium meeting, which brings together all the partners in this European project on positive energy districts. It includes representatives of the cities that will replicate the solutions currently being tested in Fontaine d’Ouche and Turku (Finland).

A new concrete phase in the deployment of the project has begun: the production of the solar equipment at the Buffon school. Soon, more than 500 homes with 1,100 inhabitants in the Fontaine d’Ouche district will also benefit from solar energy, making it the largest self-consumption operation in France.

The two-day event concluded with a press conference attended by François Rebsamen, Mayor of Dijon, and President of Dijon Metropole, who signed the collective self-consumption agreement with Enedis. This was an opportunity to present the project, to show the district, and to answer the questions of the 40 journalists present. In total, several dozen articles in the local, regional, and national press were published, with a TV report on the regional news.