25 May 2018

The 2nd Academy Seminar for the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge brought over 40 European cities to Brussels last week, together with urban development experts, city managers, industry and policy advisors, to shape their strategic vision and smart growth policies.

The Ambition Academy Seminar was the first time all 15 Challenge cities could take part in an Academy session, and they were joined by a host of fellow cities, who are also following the programme on their own resources, as well as mentor cities that volunteer to inspire and share success practices with the group.

The academy fostered exchanges of good practices among 41 cities showcasing their numerous initiatives and experiences gained. Among the topics discussed was strategic vision, digital transformation governance, open data platforms, and digital transformation of city tourism. 

Participants were able to draw on best practice examples from the mentor cities and share insights from their own projects such as onGranada Tech City in Granada. Cities and experts were also able to peer review each other’s digital transformation vision and ambition statements.

The innovative training session was successful in creating a network of cities committed to digital transformation and working groups of joint thematic interests were formed between cities of different digital maturity levels.

With the Digital Cities Challenge now well underway, training to the digital transformation trajectory methodology for the next phases was provided to facilitate the work of cities until the next milestone, the next City Academy Seminar scheduled for October 2018.

"The stakes for the Digital Cities Challenge are high. If we want Europe to win in the global race for tech leadership and growth, this has to start in EU cities. This is not just a project. It is the kick-starter of a long, exciting journey and we are partners in this journey. The Challenge gives you international exposure and world-class support to create your territory's future. But you are the principal actors" said in her takeaway message Dana Eleftheriadou, Head of the Advance Technologies Team in the European Commission.

See photos of the 2nd Academy Seminar.