The 7th Edition of the RESPONSE Newsletter is out now!

In this edition, discover updates and innovations from our participating cities! RESPONSE supports lighthouse cities Dijon (FR) and Turku (FI), along with Fellow cities Brussels (BE), Zaragoza (ES), Botosani (RO), Ptolemaida (GR), Gabrovo (BU), and Severodonetsk (UA). Stay updated with the latest news and developments from the RESPONSE project.

Find the newsletter here:

Winners from the 3rd and 4th Hackathons in Turku announced

The hackathons challenged participants to create innovative solutions.


As part of the RESPONSE project, Turku has hosted its 3rd and 4th hackathons focused on energy transition. The 3rd hackathon challenged participants to create solutions for minimizing PV energy curtailment at the residential level, while the 4th invited ideas for engaging people in energy issues through an interactive, gamified approach. Both events were successfully concluded, showcasing innovative solutions with significant societal impact.

Meet the Winners of the 3rd Hackathon

This year’s Turkus technical hackathon topic was “Residential PV Curtailment Mitigation and Energy Optimization”. Throughout the application process, 6 teams presented their solutions and methodologies for evaluation. The jury selected 3 teams and accordingly awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes. The team who secured the 1st place had advanced their idea using AI algorithms.

1st Prize Winning Team

1st Prize Winning Team is developing an AI-powered energy management system for residential PV curtailment and energy optimization. Located in Sri Lanka, they will be implementing their idea from their home place. 

2nd Prize Winning Team

The 2nd Prize Winning Team´s project involved backend development with a machine-learning-based prediction module for residential PV curtailment and energy optimization. 

3rd Prize Winning Team

The 3rd Prize Winning Team worked on leveraging deep neural networks to make smart decisions about energy production and consumption for residential PV curtailment and energy optimization.


Meet the Winners of the 4rd Hackathon

A social hackathon organized in Turku was held under the “Gamifying Energy” challenge, aimed to make understanding energy and climate change engaging and accessible. On May 24-25, the Hackathon for the RESPONSE project took place at Turku University of Applied Sciences. 8 teams, including students, companies, and organizations, competed to develop energy-themed games to raise awareness about energy issues. The winners of the hackathon were selected on June 7th. 


1st Prize Winning Team

The winning team, ButterGuy, developed an engaging solution utilizing data from the city of Turku and incorporated the energy avatar developed in the project as a part of the game. 

2nd Prize Winning Team

The 2nd prize was awarded to team GreenMe and 3rd to team NormalNorppa. 


RESPONSE Consortium meeting in Zaragoza

RESPONSE project partners met for a Consortium meeting in Zaragoza, Spain. The event took place on May 28-29, 2024.

The first day of the meeting started with welcome speeches by Miguel Angel Garcia Muro, Deputy of Digital Transformation of Zaragoza City (Area of Economy, Digital Transformation, and Transparency), and David Rodríguez Ochoa, Head of the Funding and Transfer Unit at CIRCE. It was followed by the Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting where each of the Work Packages and its development status was presented. The second part of the day was dedicated to the Workshops that were held in parallel.

The highlight of the second day of the Consortium meeting was the Site Visit and exploration of Zaragoza where participants could visit the Replication area of the city.

In the concluding part, Daniel Sarasa (ZARAGOZA) Ignacio López and Eduardo Manchado (Zaragoza University) hold a discussion Towards Bold City Vision 2050 for FCs and LHCs.

Overall, the meeting was a great opportunity to reflect on the project’s progress and discuss the further steps toward all of the project components. The outcomes of this meeting are expected to significantly influence future project development and ensure its successful
conclusion and exploitation of its results.

The RESPONSE project supports two Lighthouse Cities and six Fellow Cities across Europe, aiming to achieve significant energy savings and emissions reductions while fostering innovation and collaboration among diverse stakeholders.


RESPONSE Workshops

During the two-day event, several workshops were held focusing on different topics relevant to the final phase of the RESPONSE implementation. These workshops were organized and conducted by the project partners, specifically those responsible for the various Work Packages, as detailed below:

1. Lessons Learned on Business Models and Financial Analysis Towards Replication – by Alessandro Venturin, and Stefano Bovicelli (RINA-C)

This workshop aimed to maximize the replication potential of the solutions embedded in RESPONSE by analyzing the barriers, pros and cons, and bottlenecks encountered throughout the project, with a particular focus on Work Package 5 (WP5), which is dedicated to business modeling. The challenges and investment hurdles faced during the implementation of Innovation Elements (IEs) were presented to the audience.

2. RESPONSE final event preparation – by Monjur Murshed, Amélie Grelaud (EIFER), Lise Brusseaux (DM), Helmi Anderson (Turku)

The main objectives of this workshop are to answer open questions and get prepared for the RESPONSE final events to successfully celebrate the achievement of the RESPONSE project.

3. Replication update from FCs and LHCs- identification of open questions and issues – by Lea Kleinenkuhnen (BRUSSELS)

The objectives were to verify where FCs and LHCs are in their replication planning as well as check and share what they still need in terms of information and support and identify how this can be provided. The workshop also intended to define will all partners involved the needed next steps to finalise the replication roadmaps by spring 2025.

4. Detailed Exploitation planning – by Douglas Thompson and Ana Fernandes (SPI)

The objective of this session was to discuss ideas on the next steps and actions needed regarding communication of the Key Exploitation Results (KERs) and collect inputs from partners to develop the final exploration plan, such as the identification of RESPONSE KERs and other activities for exploitation of the project results and identification of main target group.

5. Working sessions to support replication/troubleshooting – by Lea Kleinenkuhnen (BRUSSELS)

The idea for this session was to organise targeted replication-related discussions in smaller groups of concerned partners to answer questions and help solve problems identified by the cities regarding their replication efforts.

6. Follow up of RESPONSE project – by Lise Brusseaux (DM)

This workshop aimed to discuss the continuation of the cooperation dynamic after RESPONSE ends by promoting matchmaking for future projects between RESPONSE consortium members and to duplicate and massify the solutions tested as part of RESPONSE.

7. Towards Bold City Vision 2050 for FCs and LHCs – by Daniel Sarasa (ZARAGOZA), Ignacio López and Eduardo Manchado (Zaragoza University)

The intention is to develop an interactive session in which the FCs can create a “Bold City Vision Canvas (BCV)”. Explore how the LHCs have raised their Bold City Vision and generate an active discussion among the cities, putting forward ideas, and questions to the LHCs and reflecting on common issues (methodological, practical, etc) to be addressed by all cities in the implementation of a roadmap towards their BCV. 

Anjou school produces its own electricity

The energy renovation of the Anjou school, as part of RESPONSE, is now complete.  

After the Buffon and Colette schools, it’s now the turn of the Anjou elementary school, also located in the Fontaine d’Ouche district! The city of Dijon has invested no less than 1.6 million euros in the installation of photovoltaic panels, ventilation systems and intelligent building control systems such as connected radiators. The school principal Alain Dardot points out “we’ve already noticed a real positive change in the air quality in our classrooms”. 

Solar panels at Anjou school.

The Ambassador of the European Commission in France visited Fontaine d’Ouche

RESPONSE team in Dijon was honored to host a site visit, showcasing the project supported by European funding. The meeting was a great opportunity to highlight both the actions of Dijon métropole and to show the involvement of citizens in the project.

Valérie Drezet-Humez spent 2 days in the Côte d’Or on 7 and 8 April, firstly at the invitation of the EUROTOQUES organisation and then in the company of e Dijon Internationa and the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region.

The Head of the European Commission Representation in France visites the RESPONSE project, that alongside the Finnish city of Turku, Dijon was selected as part of the European RESPONSE programme – an offshoot of the larger €80 billion European programme “H2020, Intelligent Cities and Communities” – before it was replicated in 6 other European cities.

Funded to the tune of €23 million – including €7.4 million in Dijon alone – by the EU, the RESPONSE programme brings together 53 partners (public and private) from 13 European countries. The aim is to develop positive energy islands that not only meet their own energy needs but also export what they produce.

In this respect, the school’s panels should produce around 30% of the electricity needs of the 14 public buildings in the working-class district.

With the 2nd part of the project, which involves reducing the energy consumption of 487 homes in the district nicknamed the “French Dallas” by the former mayor of Dijon, Félix Kir, the project aims to produce 20% more energy than they consume. And all the while reducing their carbon emissions by 75% .


Visit from alérie Drezet-Humez, the Head of the European Commission Representation in France.

Turku receives recognition for climate work among European cities aiming for carbon neutrality

Turku has now received recognition from the European Commission for the City’s pioneering role in the realisation of its Climate City Contract related to the mission. 

The The European Union’s Mission of 100 Climate-neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 aims to support 100 European cities to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Turku was selected as one of the mission cities. Out of Finnish cities, Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Lahti and Lappeenranta were also selected. The cities selected for the mission pave the way to help all cities in Europe reach climate neutrality by 2050. 

Cities chosen for the Mission must develop a Climate City Contract, evaluated and approved by the European Commission. The Commission approved the Turku Climate City Contract in March 2024. Turku Climate City Contract includes planned measures for reducing emissions, an investment plan for funding the measures and the City’s commitment to aim for carbon neutrality by 2029.

Turku has invited companies and other operators in the region to sign their own climate commitments as part of the Climate City Contract. By signing the commitment, Turku’s climate partners declare that they are committed not only to realising the Carbon-neutral Turku 2029 goal and reducing emissions, but also to communicating about climate actions in their organisation, setting an example for climate work and participating in the activities of the Turku Climate Team. Since the City of Turku can only reduce emissions by about 50% through its own actions, it is important to extensively involve other operators in the region in reducing emissions.

Twenty-two operators from the Turku region have already signed up. The implementing parties and signatories of the Turku Climate City Contract include local higher education institutions, local companies, such as Bayer Turku and Meyer Turku, and other partners, such as the Wellbeing Services County of Southwest Finland (Varha) and the Turku and Kaarina Parish Union.  Our intention is to create more commitments in the coming years and to involve an increasing number of operators in building a carbon-neutral Turku.  


Mission Label ceremony in Brussel 21 March 2024. Photo: Miia Paananen

Mayors of Turku and Dijon Lead the Charge: Translating the EU Green Deal into Local Action

The mayors of RESPONSE’s Lighthouse cities, Turku and Dijon, attended the ‘Translating the EU Green Deal into Local Action’ conference on March 15.

The Flanders government and the Belgian EU presidency organized this crucial discussion, aiming to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Like other EU Mayors, François Rebsamen and Minna Arve emphasize the importance of embedding the local level in the heart of the Green Deal, as it has the power to mobilize citizens.

Learn more about the  Declaration by European and Regional leaders, signed by 550 Mayors and Regional leaders from across Europe, which was presented to Alexander de Croo, Belgian Prime Minister, on March 15.


The European Green Deal

Climate change and environmental degradation pose an existential threat to Europe and the world. To address these challenges, the European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy, ensuring:

  • No net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
  • Economic growth decoupled from resource use
  • No person and no place is left behind

The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals to make the EU’s climate, energy, transport, and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. More information on Delivering the European Green Deal.

The Solution for the First Social Hackathon is Now Ready

Solutions from residents to residents – RESPONSE hackathon solution reduces CO2 emissions and saves moneyby scheduling the use of household appliances

Electricity prices and energy savings have been on the minds of many people during the past years in Finland and all over Europe, but did you know that by shifting your electricity consumption you can save both the environment and money? If you’ve been wondering how much carbon dioxide emissions are caused by using electricity to run your washing machine, or how much it actually costs to heat up your sauna, it’s now easy to find out with Every day demand response calculator.

The Everyday Demand Response Calculator is a web-based application that allows you to easily check when to use different household appliances to minimise the emissions and electricity costs of your electricity use. The app provides the user with information on the cost of electricity use and the amount of CO2 emissions from the appliance, as well as a visual representation of the optimal time to use the appliance, when it will produce the lowest emissions (gCO2) and the lowest electricity bill increase for electricity customers (€).

Solutions from residents to residents

The concept of the Everyday Demand Response Calculator was developed by Enutime Oy who won the “Energy Made Easy for People” hackathon in April 2023, organised as part of the RESPONSE project. The  competition, organised by the City of Turku and Turku University of Applied Sciences, aimed to find new innovative digital solutions that would encourage people to pay attention to their own energy consumption and change their consumption habits.

The Everyday Demand Response Calculator can be found at

Everyday Demand Response Calculator 

RESPONSE Consortium meeting in Zaragoza

This event brings together around 50 partners to discuss the final stage of RESPONSE’s project.

It’s a productive start to the last week of May for the RESPONSE partners. Zaragoza hosts the RESPONSE consortium meeting and has prepared a 2-day program filled with workshops and discussions.

The meeting will commence with welcome speeches by Miguel Angel García Muro, Deputy of Digital Transformation of Zaragoza City (Area of Economy, Digital Transformation, and Transparency), and David Rodríguez, Head of the Funding and Transfer Unit at CIRCE. Following the opening remarks, the day will continue with committee meetings and workshops.

About the RESPONSE Project

The EU-funded RESPONSE project will support two Lighthouse Cities and six Fellow Cities across Europe in delivering positive energy blocks and districts. Specifically, it will aim to achieve a local renewable energy systems penetration of 11.2 GWh/y, energy savings of 3,090 MWh/y, and an emission reduction of 9,799 tons CO2 eq/y within the districts of the two Lighthouse Cities. The focus is heating and cooling systems, optimizing energy flows with novel storage systems, and linking with existing applications and other digital infrastructure.

Keep in touch! We will be sharing the key insights of the event later this week.

Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEW) in Barcelona 2023

RESPONSE participation at the SCEWC – November 23

The presentation about RESPONSE by Lea Kleinenkuhnen (Brussels City) and Ritva Salminiitty (Turku University of Applied Sciences- TUA) focused on providing testimony about what it’s like to participate in an EU-funded project and an international consortium.


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.