Connected Places Catapult has been identified as Key Innovator by the European Commission’s Innovation Radar

The Innovation Radar identifies high-potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation framework programmes. This initiative from the European Commission has highlighted Sharing Cities and SynchroniCity as shining examples of this.   

The Sharing Cities’ Digital Social Market

The Sharing Cities project involves a consortium of 35 partners in seven countries and is a collaboration between cities, industry, NGOs and academia led by the Greater London Authority.  

We have led the stream of work with our partners in this project to develop new ways of engaging citizens. 

The Digital Social Market incentivises citizens to change their perception and behaviour around key urban challenges, with the goal of improving residents’ lives. Along with local partners, we have worked with three cities – London, Milan and Lisbon – to tackle a different challenge, offering rewards to local residents to adopt behaviours which would improve the life of local citizens. 

In London, residents of Greenwich were incentivised through points-based rewards to change their energy consumption patterns and behaviour, to reduce pressure on the grid during peak times. These points could be exchanged for vouchers or contributions to local charities.  

In Lisbon, schools competed for city funding to make their infrastructure environmentally responsible, through sustainability-focused equipment packages, or services to improve energy efficiency and encourage environmental awareness. More than 1200 users participated in the challenge.  

In Milan, an online community called SharingMi was created, with almost 2000 users. Participants were urged to share ideas to develop awareness and action around city policies, such as the campaign for a plastic-free Milan, and a recent series of ‘stay at home’ eco challenges during the Covid-19 lockdown. 

The €25m project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, runs over six years between January 2016 and December 2021. Partners of the project are: Greater London AuthorityRoyal Borough of GreenwichCamara Municipal de LisboaComune di MilanoVille de BordeauxObshtina BurgasMiasto Stoleczne WarszawaConcirrusMastodon C, Danfoss, KiwiTransport for LondonLisboa E-NovaEmelInstituto Superior TecnicoReabilitaCEIIAEDP, PT Innov, Politecnico di MilanoCEFRIELPoliedraLegambiente, RSE, AMAT, ATM, Kyunsis, NHP, TeicosA2ASiemens ITUrban DNAInstytut EnergetykiEurocitiesImperial CollegeSiemens UK.


Can data-driven solutions purpose-built for one city be developed to work for them all? This is the question which SynchroniCity set out to answer.   

SynchroniCity aims to open up a global market for Internet of Things-enabled services for cities and communities, where partnerships between businesses and public authorities use technology to develop and deploy services to improve citizens’ lives and create long-term sustainable economic development.  

Synchronicity represents the first attempt to deliver an IoT-enabled digital single market for Europe and beyond, based on the principle that a simplified, open and agile digital market can unlock new services and grow city economies. 

Building on mature standards and global best practice, the project developed the reference architecture, common technical mechanisms, and data protections needed to create a harmonised, smart city market. 

 With large scale implementation at the heart of the project, CPC along with project partners, led a pan-EU Open Call, enabling businesses and cities to participate in this pioneering new marketplace. Applicants from all over the world were invited to demonstrate how they could deploy their solution in more than one city.  

In February 2019, 16 pilot projects were selected, culminating in to make 50 deployments across 21 cities, each acting as a catalyst for standards–based innovation and procurement. 

SynchroniCity was part of the IoT Large Scale Pilots Programme. It ran over three years from January 2017 to December 2019.

The €20m project, including the €3m for the Open Call, was funded by EU Horizon 2020. It ran over three years between January 2017 and December 2019. Partners were, Aarhus university; Project coordination (DK); Aalto University (FI); Alexandra Institute (DK)Forum Vilium Helsinki (FI); Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SpA (IT); Atos (ES); Associação Porto Digital (PT); University of Cantabria (ES); Santander City Council (ES)TST Sistemas (ES); Connected Places Catapult (UK); Manchester City Council; Digital Catapult (UK)Manchester Metropolitan University; Comune di Milano (IT); Imec (BE); Stad Antwerpen (BE); Rombit (BE); Heijmans Wegen BV (NL)Ubiwhere (PT); European Network of Living Labs IVZW (BE); Bronze Software Labs (UK); City of Eindhoven (NL)Mandat International (CH)City of Carouge (CH)UDG Alliance (CH)Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KR)HOP Ubiquitous (ES); NEC Laboratories Europe (DE); Ulike (KR); Seongnam Industry Promotion Agency (KR); FIWARE Foundation (DE); City of Bordeaux (FR);Open & Agile Smart Cities (BE).