"Digital Society, Digital Cities" Conference in Bordeaux highlights Europe's role in fostering city Innovation

24 Oct 2023

On 19 October, the session titled "How Europe supports cities and communities in innovation and transformation projects: Presentation of major action programs, by their managers and feedback from local authorities" unfolded as part of the larger Conference on Digital Society, Digital Cities (https://dsdc.bordeaux-metropole.fr/).

Nicolas Rossignol of ESPON, Christophe Colinet of Bordeaux Metropole, and Giacomo Lozzi, Senior Project Manager at the European Network of Living Labs, took the lead in the first round of discussions. Nicolas and Giacomo informed the audience about their respective structures and the benefits of local actors participating in their networks. Christophe Colinet, on the other hand, shared Bordeaux Metropole's tangible experiences with European networks.

In particular, Giacomo Lozzi emphasized the key role of Living Labs, intended as open innovation ecosystems, in facilitating collaboration among citizens, research bodies, businesses, and governmental agencies at the local level.

Highlighting ENoLL’s extensive reach with over 165 members spanning five continents and 38 countries, Giacomo shared their endeavors in promoting user-centric innovation ecosystems. He also highlighted the opportunities for presented by the Living-in EU movement (www.living-in.EU), which supports cities and regions in their digital transition. Last but not least, he invited attendees to join the CommuniCity project (https://communicity-project.eu/), funded by the European Commission, which provides funding for tech solutions to address societal challenges in EU cities.

In the second discussion round, Federica Bordelot of Eurocities discussed the digital contributions of cities to Eurocities and its role as a leading network that leverages on EU initiatives such Living-in EU and other projects. Marion Glatron of Rennes Métropole, on the other hand, presented the role of Europe in Rennes Métropole's data projects.

The session culminated in a collective discussion around three core ideas: Europe as a source of rights, Europe as a funding source, and Europe as a collaboration space. A live poll, conducted via Menti, was utilised to understand attendees' positions and challenges they face today, eliciting valuable insights from the five main speakers.

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