The two main aims of the UPSIDE project are:
1. Fostering economic growth
UPSIDE will foster the convergence of the digital research and innovation agendas of leading ICT clusters in the partner regions and their home city administrations, which have a strong policy dedication to digital services. The project aims at promoting the development of cooperation frameworks and synergy linkages between research, innovation activities within the companies as well as open innovation, urban development policies and open user-driven innovation ecosystems “which are close to the interests and needs of cities and their stakeholders, including citizens and businesses, and which may bridge the gap between short-term city development priorities and longer term technological research and experimentation.”[Hans Schaffers et al.: Smart Cities and the Future Internet: Towards Cooperation Frameworks for Open Innovation. SpringerLink.com].
Strategic markets / application areas
Building on the priorities of the cities involved in the project and the estimated market potential, the UPSIDE partners will focus on the following fields of action:
- health, including ambient assisted living,
- new solutions for public transport (intelligent transport systems) / intelligent mobility,
- public services (e- and m-Government), and
- energy (energy autarkic cities)
with a common viewpoint of developing user-driven participatory solutions that use the ICT specializations within each of the partner regions. Within these fields, the partners will define a common strategy and measures to be implemented so as to foster the development of innovation systems able to accelerate the cycle of research, innovation and adoption in real-life environments. This will stimulate faster development of new and innovative products and services within these application areas. The cities shall contribute to the faster development of technologies and markets not only through policy support but also by providing the right scale for test beds (e.g. Living Labs, Experience Labs, Field Labs), which are needed in order to optimize different applications and scale up pilot projects to ensure real-life deployment. This is crucial for the take-up of the new digital services.
According to the scientific, technological and economic strengths of the clusters involved in the project, the focus of the projects is to contribute to the development of innovative digital services making use of the contemporary (and future) leading-edge technologies and technological infrastructures. The relevant technology areas as mentioned in the call for proposals are: e-Infrastructures (e.g. Global Virtual Research Communities, ICT enabled infrastructures: road, electricity, pipes, tracks, … and/or large-scale infrastructures for science, e.g. Grids), cloud computing applications for government and science (e.g. mobile cloud computing applications for local government m-services, where both the data storage and the data processing happen in the cloud, i.e. outside of the mobile devices), new generation of web-based applications and services including multilingual content (interactive and up-to-date information solutions for transport, linked to offers for complementary services) and Internet of Things (capturing the value of data and information from devices, networks, and sensors by creating new knowledge and extracting wisdom from the system).
2. Fostering societal benefits
The Digital Agenda for Europe is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, set out to define the key enabling role that the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will have to play if Europe wants to succeed in its ambitions for 2020. The Digital Agenda particularly underlines that “Digital Technologies will provide Europeans with a better quality of life through, for example, better health care, safer and more efficient transport solutions, cleaner environment, new media opportunities and easier access to public services and cultural content”.
Within the strategic markets / application areas selected, the UPSIDE partners will contribute societal ICT-enabled benefits in the following areas, as listed in the Digital Agenda:
- ICT for environment,
- Sustainable healthcare and ICT-based support for dignified and independent living,
- Intelligent Transport Systems for efficient transport and better mobility.