How can artificial intelligence support cities in achieving their ambitious climate goals?

AI4Cities is a three-year EU-funded project exploring how artificial intelligence can help six European Cities solve their problems in relation to energy optimization and mobility, and through that reduce their carbon-emissions and meet their climate commitment. The cities will present their challenges to a number of companies, who over a three-year period will have the opportunity to come up with solutions and test their prototypes in the cities. The six cities responsible for the project are Amsterdam, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Paris Region, Stavanger, and Tallinn.

The focus of Copenhagen: Energy optimization in buildings
To reduce energy consumption is an important step in the fight to minimize carbon emissions, and the City of Copenhagen has an ambition to bring down the consumption of energy in the municipality’s buildings with 40 % by 2025. Therefore, the focus of the AI4Cities project in Copenhagen will be on optimizing the energy consumption in our own buildings, optimizing indoor climate and the interaction with the energy network, and by these means reduce the municipality’s emissions. Artificial intelligence can in this context be issued for storage needs, more efficient energy uses and the integration of renewable sources. Furthermore, AI can help citizens to better understand how their energy consumption impacts their carbon footprint and give them tools that can facilitate the change.

The Pre-Commercial Procurement Process
Through AI4Cities, these cities and regions will go through a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process, an innovation procurement tool that enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs. Through a request for tenders the six cities will challenge startups, SMEs, bigger companies and other relevant stakeholders to design innovative solutions applying the use of AI and related enabling technologies, such as 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and big data applications. The total funding amount to be divided among the selected suppliers throughout the whole PCP process is 4.6 million euros.

The PCP process will consist of a solution design phase (Phase 1), a prototype phase (Phase 2) and a prototype testing phase (Phase 3). AI4Cities will reach the supply side to select and fund a minimum of 40 contractors (20 for the energy challenge and 20 for the mobility challenge) who, during Phase 1, will present their reports with a concept design, results of their feasibility studies and conclusions. Then, a minimum of 20 contractors (ten for each of the two challenges) will be invited to develop their prototypes in Phase 2. Finally, a minimum of six contractors (three and three) will make it into Phase 3 where a series of larger scale pilots will be undertaken in one or two of the participating cities.

The project runs over the course of 36 months from January 2020 to December 2022

In September 2021 twenty suppliers were selected to continue to Phase 2 of the project – 10 within the field of energy and 10 within the field of mobility. During this phase each of the selected suppliers will create the first prototype of their solution.

Read more about the project here