UPPER: EIT Urban Mobility working to unleash the potential of public transport in ten European cities

EIT Urban Mobility is proud to contribute to the implementation of UPPER, a new EU- funded project working to strengthen the role of public transport as the backbone of mobility in cities.

UPPER (Unleashing the Potential of Public transport in EuRope) is a 48-month project funded under the Horizon Europe Programme of the European Commission. The project aims to strengthen the role of public transport as the flagship of sustainability and innovation of mobility in cities. To achieve its ambitious goals, the project brings together organisations representing all key actors of the public transport ecosystem.

Why we need a public transport revolution

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving the European Green Deals ambitions of climate neutrality by 2050. To accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality in cities, UPPER is facilitating cooperation among public transport authorities, operators, and users by offering a physical and digital environment to test measures, update existing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), and optimise public transport offerings. The overall goal of participating Living Labs and Twinning Cities is to increase the use of public transport by > 30 % and the user satisfaction by > 25 %, leaving nobody behind in the process. The project is strongly linked to the goals of the Cities Mission in supporting the transition towards zero-emission mobility.

Implementing 84 measures in 10 cities

UPPER will implement a combination of measures looking to push people out of private cars and to pull them closer to public transport. These measures will increase the share of public transport and cover different market segments. A big spotlight in UPPER will be on participative governance and involving citizens, ensuring decisions are made based on the needs of different target groups using public transportation.

Gareth Macnaughton, Innovation Director at EIT Urban Mobility: “In our current Climate Crisis, we take seriously that 20% of global GHG emissions come from transport. Electrification of private vehicles is not enough to contribute to climate neutrality. Convincing people to change habits and ditch private cars for shared mobility should be about making the entire experience as dependable, positive, safe, and comfortable as possible.

Thus, the 84 pull and push measures will act on different levels to enable the shift from private to public transportation:

  • Mindset and culture
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Mobility services ecosystem
  • Road network management
  • Democratic governance

The measures will be tested in the UPPER Living Labs (Valencia, Rome, Ile de France, Oslo, and Mannheim) and the UPPER Twinning Cities (Lisbon, Leuven, Hannover Region, Budapest and Thessaloniki) across Europe and will be adapted to the local context and objectives. While in Rome, UPPER will test the inclusion of new mobility services in multimodal interchange nodes; in Île-de-France (one of) the measures will focus on promoting the use of public transport in large events; in Mannheim UPPER will establish participative governance and dialogue formats to address special needs of citizens.

The UPPER measures will be supported by the UPPER Toolkit (U-TWIN, U-SIM, U-NEED, U-GOV, U-KNOW, U-TRANSFER and U-SUMP), seven IT tools combining social and technological innovation that will be demonstrated in the UPPER Living Labs and Twinning sites.

EIT Urban Mobility will contribute to a successful replication and transferability of the project’s results by developing a business strategy that will allow participating partners to make use of UPPER’s results in the long-term. 

Who is part of the UPPER project?

The project gathers a strong consortium of 41 partners from across the public transport sector. It is coordinated by UITP and will run over the course of four years.

Read the full press release here: https://www.uitp.org/news/unleashing-the-innovation-potential-of-public-transport-as-backbone-of-urban-mobility-upper-project-launches/

URBANE: EIT Urban Mobility working to decarbonise last mile deliveries in cities

EIT Urban Mobility is excited to announce that the URBANE project has officially kicked-off and EIT Urban Mobility is involved in its implementation.

URBANE (Upscaling Innovative Green Urban Logistics Solutions Through Multi-Actor Collaboration and Physical Internet (PI) – Inspired Last Mile Deliveries) is a 42-month project co-funded by the Horizon Europe Programme with a budget of around 9 million EUR.

It aims to develop novel last-mile delivery solutions combining green automated vehicles and shared space utilisation models. Leading European cities, research experts and knowledge partners, solution providers for shared, connected, and automated operations, and industry leaders in logistics services, kicked off the project in September 2022.

The project will be implemented by a consortium of 39 partners and an external partner from 12 different EU Member States, led by INLECOM.

EIT Urban Mobility will contribute to the definition of business models and the commercialisation of tested solutions in the Living Labs and will also contribute to communication and dissemination activities.

Why do we need innovative last-mile delivery solutions?

The e-commerce industry has seen continuous economic growth—a tendency that has been significantly
bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes with a vast transformation of the e-commerce sector,
presenting enormous issues in urban supply chains.

In this light, Europe urgently needs to identify and scale-up novel last-mile transportation solutions. At the same time, as e-commerce expands more quickly, so will the issue of sustainability become more and more crucial. The last mile of e-commerce deliveries is the portion of the delivery that produces the highest emissions, and more demand causes this.

URBANE aims to tackle the negative trends associated with the pressure on last-mile deliveries. Its
ambitions are in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Paris Agreement, and the Green
City Accord, towards the fast adoption of zero-emission urban logistics solutions by 2030, achieving
improved efficiency of road transport and logistics systems.

How will URBANE contribute to Europe’s sustainable last-mile deliveries?

URBANE’s goals are part of the wider European Commission’s goals towards achieving “Zero Emission Last Mile Deliveries”, as components of the European Green Digital Coalition and the European Climate Pact goals.

The project will support the transition path towards effective, resilient, safe, and sustainable last-mile
transport, through four Lighthouse Living Labs (LLs): Helsinki (FI), Bologna (IT), Valladolid (ES), and
Thessaloniki (GR), that will demonstrate efficient, replicable, and socially acceptable innovative last-mile
delivery solutions (Wave 1 solutions), building on existing assets.

Hands-on lesson learning at the European level will be primarily facilitated by an Innovation Transferability Platform. This will comprise Digital Twinning Tools, open models, smart contracts governed by blockchain technology, and a data-driven Impact Assessment Radar that will enable the adaptation and replication of Wave 1 solutions in two Twinning LLs in Barcelona and Karlsruhe (Wave 2 LLs), demonstrating their solutions within the course of the project.

URBANE’s commitment to upscaling is further strengthened by the engagement of six early adopters
(Follower Cities – Aarhus (DK), Antwerp (NL), La Rochelle (FR), Mechelen (BE), Prague (CZ), and Ravenna
(IT)) in innovations’ adoption feasibility studies, thus stimulating the formulation of new Living Lab
communities across Europe.

Who is part of the URBANE project?

The consortium comprises 39 partners and an external partner from 12 different EU Member
States, led by INLECOM, a leading digital innovation provider, responsible for the twinning
infrastructure and open models’ library of the project. The URBANE consortium includes:

• City Stakeholders & Urban Planners: COBO, KARL, VALLAD, HELS (with their affiliated
• Last-mile Logistics Value Chain Operators: VAN, DBSCH, ACS, TYP, DTS
• Physical Innovation Providers: SOBEN, LMAD, EUDRIVE, IFEVS
• Sector Associations and Impact Strengthening Partners: ALICE, AENET, EITUM, POLIS
• Business innovation consultancies: FIT, TRV
• Research organisations: KLU, NORCE, TUD, UOC, CERTH, CIDAUT, SKEMA
• Innovative ICT solution providers: KON, GEL, VLTN

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15 new solutions for cities launched 

EIT Urban Mobility is excited to announce that 15 start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) have been awarded tailored mentoring and support plus €30 000 in funding through the RAPTOR programme, which focuses on developing agile solutions for cities. 

The start-ups and SMEs are implementing their winning solutions between September and December. 

They will work with the cities of Riga, Tallinn, Bratislava, Cluj-Napoca, Prague City District 6 and City District 7, as well as Tel Aviv, Istanbul, and Cascais, to design, test and refine their solutions to critical urban mobility issues. 

Each of the cities identified specific challenges that can be addressed in a short period of time, to improve the reliability and experience users of public transport and make micromobility more attractive and safer. 

The new round of projects have built on the success of the first four solutions developed in early 2022.

More details of all the fifteen initiatives are below:

Tel Aviv, Israel 

  • Managing sidewalks to prioritise pedestrians and accommodate other users 
    AD Knight (Israel) 

Istanbul, Türkiye 

  • Optimising and integrating the Sea Taxi System into the current public transport system  
    MEEP (Spain) 
  • Technological solutions to facilitate new or improved systems for taxi driver license inspection  
    TEXINSIGHT (Turkey) 

Cascais, Portugal 

  • Assessing on-demand transport services that effectively serve the Parede commercial and service area  
    OpenMove (Italy) 
  • Incentivising parents to take their children to school using carpooling and shared transport app 
    CHILDFY (Spain) 

Prague District 6, Czech Republic 

  • Making mobility in cities safer for supervised groups of children  
    Flare (Slovenia) 

Prague District 7, Czech Republic 

Riga, Latvia 

  • Improving and promoting safer and more convenient micromobility solutions  
    Novality (Spain) 

Tallinn, Estonia 

Cluj-Napoca, Romania 

  • Making public transport more reliable and predictable using real-time data  
    X2 Mobile (Romania) 

Bratislava, Slovakia 

Learn more about the RAPTOR programme here, and visit the site for more details on the new city pilot schemes

Raptor pilot 2 programme – now open for applications

Cities from Regional Innovation Scheme countries are searching for startups and SMEs to help them solve critical urban mobility issues over a six-month period in the second half of this year.

Through the Raptor Pilot 2 programme , Riga, Tallinn, Bratislava, Cluj-Napoca, Prague City District 6 and City District 7 will work with the winners to implement agile solutions. Applicants are sought from EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated states.

Each of the cities identified specific challenges that can be addressed in a short period of time. Applicants are invited to help the cities to:

  • promote active mobility while combating the effects of climate change
  • improve the reliability of public transport
  • make micro-mobility more attractive in winter
  • design and test wearables for kindergarden-aged children to monitor their movements and increase safety;
  • improve the regulation of e-bikes and scooters to reduce safety risks to pedestrians

EIT Urban Mobility will support the awardees financially, technically, and commercially, to develop and test their solution from July to December 2022. A maximum of six awardees, one per city challenge, will be selected to work on delivering their solution.

The winners will be awarded a prize package worth up to €50,000 to support the development and in-situ testing of their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) solution.

The total package includes cash funding of up to €30,000, technical and business mentoring, and support to market and promote the project. 

Previous winners prove success with Raptor Pilot 1

Winners from the Raptor Pilot 1 programme, which is coming to an end, spoke about their experiences and their partnership with EIT UM.

“We applied for the programme because as an emerging startup in the mobility space, we had been looking for opportunities … to pilot our solution in a city context. The Raptor Pilot 1 programme was the perfect opportunity for us to do this,” said Marco Filippi, chief executive officer and founder of Volvero, who worked with Tour and Taxis in Brussels.

“One of the main challenges we encountered [was] lack of funding and concrete stakeholder support from municipalities … EIT UM, through this pilot programME, has been able to provide us with the needed funding, collaboration with major stakeholders, and the exposure that the affiliation with the Raptor programme brings,” he added.

EIT Urban Mobility also helped to coordinate with municipality partners and to finance ASIMOB, a tech startup that monitors the conditions of road infrastructure, who used their prize to trial their pilot in the seaside town of Cunit in Catalonia, Spain. They tested the viability of their idea in a small municipality and learned how to work with various government departments to overcome issues. “We had some technical challenges due to the installation of the system in police vehicles that required adaptation of some automated processes … [that] required a specific development [sic] by us,” said Ibon Arechalde, chief executive officer and co-founder.

Meanwhile, Ossana Tanachian, co-founder and operations manager at Cédrat Conseil, Toulouse, France, said EIT Urban Mobility had been vital in setting the milestones and KPIs for the project as well as redesigning the scope of the pilot to fit the timeframe and budget, and emphasised funding from EIT Urban Mobility was crucial to achieve their objectives. Cédrat Conseil worked with Toulouse Métropole to solve waste management issues and improve last-mile garbage collection.

To learn more about the Raptor Pilot 2 programme, how to apply, and conditions, please contact raptor@eiturbanmobility.eu. The deadline is 27 May 2022.

City RAPTOR Call Awardees Selected

After a rigorous two phase evaluation process, the EIT Urban Mobility is pleased to announce the three consortia selected through the City RAPTOR Call!

The RAPTOR Programme will be implemented in the following three cities between 1 May 2022 and 31 December 2022:

Tel Aviv, Israel 

RAPTOR Project Team: Cityzone and CARNET

Cascais, Portugal 

RAPTOR Project Team: University of Lisbon, Municipality of Cascais, and Impact Hub Vienna GMBH 

Istanbul, Turkey 

RAPTOR Project Team: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Farplas Otomotiv AŞ, and BGI S.A. 

Each city will see their 3 niche city mobility challenges addressed by the RAPTOR competition to find the best solutions proposed by teams, start-ups, and SMEs around Europe! The competition for solutions is set to open on 3 May 2022.

The challenges – including topics such as water taxis, bus interchange enhancement, and addressing micro mobility theft – will be published on raptorproject.eu by 2 May 2022. Stay tuned!

RAPTOR Pilot Winners Announced

The RAPTOR submission period closed on the 3 October, with more than 55 applications received from 19 countries! After a competitive two-part judging process, one final winner per city challenge was selected. We are pleased to present these winners and excited to share ongoing news in the coming months about their MVP development. 

Smart Data Collection – Cunit Municipality

ASIMOB Urban – Cunit 
Advanced Services In Mobility (ASIMOB) – Start Up – Spain 

Reverse Logistics – Toulouse Métropole

COOP MIL – Cooperative supply chain 
Cédrat Conseil – Start Up – France 

Private Vehicle Sharing – Tour&Taxis (Brussels)

Volvero app for sharing vehicles 
Volvero – Start Up – Italy 

Adapting Traffic Demand – Valencia Municipality  

NATUROUTE: preserve nature routes through mobility models 
HOP Ubiquitous – SME – Spain 

Congratulations to all the winners! Those following RAPTOR should stay tuned for news and updates about the winners and their progress in developing their respective MVPs and subsequent city demos to come in late spring 2022. 

NetZeroCities: EIT Urban Mobility working to support cities to achieve climate neutrality by 2030

NetZeroCities Overview

Europe has pledged to lead on climate action and has set forth ambitious goals and directives to achieve that commitment. Horizon Europe, the European Green Deal and other European Union policies and directives propel European Member States towards a 55% cut in emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.  Cities are envisioned to lead in this respect, achieving net zero carbon emissions faster and ensuring our decarbonisation efforts are equitable and contribute to the well-being of European communities. This level of impact is an extraordinary undertaking for each city and will require profound and systemic changes. Government leadership will be critical, and actions by industry, education and research institutions, and civic organisations must align in terms of policies, governance, and how we arrange for the needed capital investments.

Launched in October 2021, NetZeroCities is a four-year project designed to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional, and cultural barriers they face in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. The project will enable European cities and citizens to show the way forward towards an inclusive, thriving, climate resilient and sustainable future and this will be achieved by working in:

  • The development of a service-oriented platform supported by world-class practitioners.
  • The co-creation of solutions needed to achieve net zero goals in a socially inclusive way
  • Capacity building on systemic change, citizen engagement and democratic governance, capital and financial structuring, and social innovation
  • The development and promotion of new and existing tools, resources, and expertise into a one-stop shop platform that will be accessible to all cities through an online portal
  • Supporting of up to 30 pilot cities to help drive rapid learning about how to achieve climate neutrality at the city scale

Cities will benefit from an intensive support relationship and dedicated services to achieve their net zero goals. The project supports the EU’s Mission of “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” newly launched as part of the Horizon Europe programme. The Mission seeks to scale the activities of this project across 100 cities, and to tackle the unprecedented capital investments needed to make such a transformation possible.

Role of EIT Urban Mobility

To achieve this, NetZeroCities gathers 33 partners from 13 countries. EIT Urban Mobility as a member of the partnership will bring its knowledge and expertise on sustainable urban mobility and transportation, as well as its strong ties to cities and network organisations in the field. EIT Urban Mobility will contribute to the call for pilots and engage with cities to understand their barriers, drivers and needs to achieve climate neutrality targets. With other NetZeroCities partners, we will direct support to cities in the scaling up of piloted and tested solutions and provide state-of-the-art expertise on mobility solutions to help cities reach climate neutrality.  

By working in the implementation of NetZeroCities, we are supporting our vision of creating more liveable urban spaces, by fostering innovation and transformation to improve quality of life and decarbonisation in European cities.

NetZeroCities is coordinated by EIT Climate-KIC and builds on the expertise of its partners, leveraging a vast array of knowledge and expertise, as well as access to a large network of cities throughout Europe.

Project partners

  • Associations & Networks:

Climate Alliance, The Democratic Society, EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Urban Mobility, Energy Cities, ERRIN – European Regions Research and Innovation Network, Eurocities, ICLEI, Open & Agile Smart Cities, REGEA, Resilient Cities Network, Union Internationale des Transports Publics, Viable Cities.

  • Research organisations:

Cartif, Cerema, Demos Research Institute, Fraunhofer Institute, Tecnalia, TNO, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

  •  Universities:

Austrian Institute of Technology, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Politecnico di Milano, TalTech – Tallin University of Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

  • Think-tanks:

Institute for European Environmental Policy.

  • Companies and consultancies:

Bankers Without Boundaries, Dark Matter Labs, LGI, Material Economics, Metabolic Institute, Rupprecht Consult, South Pole Carbon Asset Management.

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