The European Commission recently extended an invitation to the +CityxChange consortium, whose members include the IOTA foundation and 24 other enterprises, to work cooperatively on a Smart Cities and Communities Project. The tech project, which is managed primarily by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), is part of a larger initiative called the European Union Research & Innovation (EU R&I) Program Horizon 2020. Reportedly, the goal of this partnership will be to create the technological framework to support the establishment of several energy independent “smart cities” throughout Europe.

This new partnership announcement follows IOTA’s formal collaboration with Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, which is also focused on leveraging blockchain technology to build a smart city. Notably, the +CityxChange project will receive €20 million in funding from the EU R&I program, and the funds will reportedly be used to develop “climate-friendly and sustainable urban environments.” Moreover, this IOTA-based project is scheduled to begin on January 1st, 2019 and is also expected to receive €10 million in additional funding from various interested parties.

“Smart Cities” To Improve Resource Utilisation

So far, seven European cities have been selected to participate in the smart city project. They include Alba Iulia, Limerick, Pisek, Sestao, Smolyan, Trondheim, and Voru. The +CityxChange official website notes:

In the future, municipalities must handle a completely different complexity in society. In order to have well-functioning cities, cities must improve how they utilise their resources and how they engage with technologies in different ways. A smart city will use digital technologies to enhance performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.

The website also states that the large-scale smart city project is supported by several non-profit organizations, academic institutions, SMEs, and influential policy makers. An official IOTA blog post by Wilfried Pimenta, the crypto platform’s head of business development, says that “smart cities” are an integral part of a rapidly developing “cross-sectoral” socioeconomic initiative.

Per the IOTA head, the smart city project builds on the platform’s “work and partnerships across mobility, energy [and the] data marketplace” by bringing them “all together.” Pimenta describes the IOTA-based +CityxChange project as an “open-innovation and co-creation initiative.” He also mentions that the +CityxChange consortium includes “many public and private partners.”

IoT Will Be As Pervasive As Communications Technology

IOTA foundation co-founder and Norwegian resident David Sønstebø stated that the smart city project will leverage the latest IoT (internet of things) technology and interconnect several countries across Europe. The co-founder added that IoT will grow and evolve much in the same way as communications technology has in the last decade. He also said that the implementation of smart cities will help “to explore and demonstrate the utility of IOTA”