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PRESS RELEASE: Technical readiness of artificial intelligence, lack of investments, and insufficient data quality slow down EU businesses in global AI race.

Madrid, Spain, 21 September 2021 – A new report by EIT Urban Mobility [1] reveals businesses in the EU need better data collection and processing capabilities to reap the full benefits of artificial Intelligence (AI). 60% of experts surveyed for the report identified the lack of technical feasibility – the ability of AI solutions to competently carry out tasks – as the biggest barrier to AI solution deployment, followed by poor data availability and quality (50%).

According to industry experts, budget constraints (30%) is the next most important barrier to the development and deployment of AI in Europe, which confirms an earlier analysis by the European Investment Bank stressing the lack of investments in AI at EU level. Targeted investments to improve collection and processing of data by European businesses are crucial to catch up with AI leaders China and the US.

Main barriers for deploying AI solutions are lack of technical feasibility, lack of data availability, poor data quality & integrity, and budget constraints.

The report was launched today at the Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence event in Madrid by EIT Urban Mobility, in collaboration with Siemens Mobility and with the participation of Maria José Rallo, General secretary of Transportation and Mobility at the Spanish Ministry of Transportation, Mobility, and Urban Agenda and Torsten Klimke, Head of Innovation and Research Unit of DG MOVE at the European Commission.

The report builds on a survey of more than 60 European experts in the fields of urban mobility, climate, manufacturing, and health. In the mobility sector, AI applications are mostly used for user-centric mobility services, traffic and logistics forecasts, on-demand bus services, vehicle tracking on transport networks, or self-driving car technologies such as automated valet parking.

In the wake of AI’s rapid uptake in recent years, industry experts identified cybersecurity (73%), compliance (55%), and personal privacy (55%) as the three top risks arising from AI development and deployment. To face these risks, European businesses need competent staff equipped with the necessary AI knowledge and skills. One in five experts think their company needs to invest more in AI talents and training.

Dr. Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility, said: “The Recovery plans are a unique opportunity to strengthen EU´s efforts to leverage the vast opportunities of artificial intelligence, and to upskill the workforce. EIT Urban Mobility looks forward to supporting policymakers and business leaders in accelerating AI uptake to provide better, citizen-centred mobility services.”

In addition to the Next Generation EU recovery package that will assist Member States’ green and digital transformation, the European Commission proposed in spring 2021 a harmonization of rules for AI, and launched a new EU funding instrument of up to €150 million to support AI early and growth companies in Europe.

[1] The report can be accessed here

Press Contact Details:

Yoann Le Petit, Business Development Manager ‐ E: yoann.lepetit@eiturbanmobility.eu ‐ T: +49 176 63615408


EIT Urban Mobility is now a part of the Smart Cities Marketplace

EIT Urban Mobility is happy to announce that it will be a part of a 10-partner consortium led by VITO.be for the management of the Smart Cities Marketplace. The Smart Cities Marketplace is a major market-changing undertaking that aims to bring cities, industries, SMEs, investors, researchers, and other smart city actors together, to advance the market for smart and sustainable city solutions.

The project aims to improve citizens’ quality of life and the competitiveness of European cities and industry as well as reach European energy and climate targets while ensuring a mutual level playing field for all smart city stakeholders within the European regulatory framework. By involving different stakeholders, with different knowledge and experience, the Smart Cities Marketplace aims also at being a catalyst for innovative economic and financial approaches capable to help the post-pandemic recovery phase.

EIT Urban Mobility ‘s vision of making urban mobility sustainable cannot be achieved without the critical dialogue between diverse actors of the innovation ecosystem. This productive dialogue and development of collaborative projects of cities, innovators, and investors represent a key mission of the Smart Cities Marketplace. EIT Urban Mobility will connect innovators, investors, and cities in order to develop high-quality, close-to-market projects by contributing with expertise in matchmaking and knowledge management.

Being a leader in digital matchmaking, EIT Urban Mobility launched the Mobility Innovation Marketplace in Nov 2021, with the platform growing rapidly both in terms of the number of visitors and content over the past year. EIT Urban Mobility and its Marketplace team are ready to provide their expertise to help thrive the Smart Cities Marketplace and to provide a growing number of innovative solutions to cities for the sake of accelerating the transition towards more sustainability.

The EIT Urban Mobility is very excited to embark on this journey together with all the consortium partners!

If you’re interested in being impacted by this project, please contact us!


Request for Proposals: Start-up ecosystem agent (Israel)

By the present procurement procedure, EIT Urban Mobility is aiming to identify a tenderer located in Israel to provide services which align with our main lines of activity for the purpose of increasing and establishing EITUM’s outreach to Israel, to provide supporting services to Israeli mobility start-ups, and to EIT Urban Mobility’s European equity portfolio start-ups interested in the Israeli market, especially in terms of access to knowledge, training and best practices.

A diverse, well-functioning and dynamic ecosystem is crucial for start-up growth. Such environment of inter-dependent actors is characterised by, and dependent on, access to market, industry leaders, support organisations, talent, knowledge, and capital.

EIT Urban Mobility believes that to best fulfil our mission of supporting European start-ups, we must also engage, collaborate, and support leading local start-up-ecosystems, acting as change agents to facilitate and promote start-ups growth.

The expertise of the bidders should demonstrate the following:

  • Strong network within the Israeli start-up ecosystem, high-quality connections to important players in the start-up community and to private and institutional investors, as well as to local and global industry leaders, government innovation agencies, etc.
  • High-quality, experience-based, and proven knowledge of: The mobility industry in Israel with regards to regulation, trends, and market leaders, as well as knowledge of the global mobility start-up ecosystem, current technologies; and /or impact-tech in the sense of the intentional use of technology to benefit people and the planet, ideally addressing major social or environmental problems – with regards to training, acceleration, and fundraising of impact-tech start-ups.
  • Proven experience in supporting mobility / impact-tech start-ups for the past 5 years.
  • Proven experience in delivering high-quality knowledge and training, mentoring and/or coaching programmes to early- stage companies, in the past 5 years.
  • Proven experience in successfully scouting and selecting high-quality teams to accelerators, investments, and other training programmes, for the past 5 years.
  • Located in a central start-up working space in Israel, easily accessible by public transport.
  • Experience in organising networking events for start-ups and the start-up ecosystem.
  • Led by a professional team of experts, out of which two are with at least 7 years of personal experience in the start-up ecosystem, including direct experience in scouting, accelerating, and investing in start-ups.

All information, including the detailed scope of work, deliverables, and terms & conditions can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Deadline for submissions: 3 October 2022 at 16:00 Central European Time.


What is the New European Innovation Agenda?

The New European Innovation Agenda was released on 5 July 2022.

The agenda lays out the European Commission’s plan to catalyse Europe to be more competitive globally and become a leading player in deep tech innovation. It also prioritises innovations that help decrease greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy dependence, while improving the health of citizens.

That means helping start-ups, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), universities and research institutes in particular, to cut through red tape, and foster research and development and business growth.

The main focus is on deep tech innovations, or those ideas and initiatives that focus on solving complex scientific and engineering challenges. Investment will prioritise research in the fields of artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotech, robotics and as well as non-motorised vehicles and autonomous vehicles, and bringing associated products to market.

It could also include further research into fields where Europe has a comparative advantage but are not yet considered established such as the areas of artificial photosynthesis, bioelectronics and aluminium-ion batteries.

How will it help?

There are 25 initiatives in total but key ones aim to:

  • simplify procurement processes
  • simplify access to funding for new initiatives and ideas
  • help underrepresented areas to be more competitive
  • encourage women to be more involved and obtain more investment – given only 1.7% of capital was invested in female-led start-ups in 2020 according to the State of European Tech Report 2021
  • achieve the ambitious goal of training one million deep tech students, entrepreneurs and researchers, to attract and retain talent in Europe
  • improve the policy framework through clearer terminology, indicators and data sets, as well as policy support to Member States
  • improve the conditions to allow innovators to experiment with new ideas such as employment conditions and better access to funding and financing

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that the biggest takeaways from the agenda for start-ups and companies is the push to attract 45 billion euro of private capital to be invested in deep tech companies and help founders retain more control if, and when, they go public, in line with the forthcoming Listing Act.

But there are other barriers to wholesale adoption of the agenda. As Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, alluded to, the initiatives proposed will only work with the support of the relevant stakeholders including start-ups, research institutes, and governments.

And while the agenda is welcomed by many key stakeholders, there are some reservations.

An evaluation study by the European Innovation Council (EIC) showed that many respondents believed there wasn’t broad understanding of what deep tech innovations are, and European investors are more risk-averse than their U.S. counterparts.

That’s not to say there isn’t already considerable investment. The EIC gives equity and finances grants while the European Investment Bank (EIB) is the world’s largest multilateral lender and has a clear mandate to support climate action initiatives.

But firms like Boston Consulting Group (BCG) state that the EIC needs to increase its funding thresholds to make real innovation happen, amongst other investors. This is because deep tech initiatives require huge amounts of upfront capital to have any significant impact. It’s not uncommon for a product to take several years to reach the market, even after the final prototype has been developed.

Others had hoped for a broader definition of innovation, questioning the focus on deep tech, and emphasising the importance of societal innovation instead. “This is where we see most barriers and this is why we are so keen on ecosystem thinking,” said Pirita Lindholm, director at European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), in the organisation’s response to the release of the agenda.

The European University Association were also pleased to see the focus on training and attracting entrepreneurial talent, and research and development, but also stated innovation should be extended to consider how people would be involved in the development of technical solutions and their uptake.

As part of the EIT community that is already a key player in the wider innovation community in Europe, committed to transitioning to a greener future, EIT Urban Mobility believes the New European Innovation Agenda is a welcome addition to the suite of policies and laws implemented to further the achievement of related goals. These include the progressive Green Deal, Climate Law and various Higher Education policies.

EIT Urban Mobility is also interested in the forthcoming initiative of the European Commission to test how hydrogen technologies can be used in industrial settings and is keen to contribute to the development of a “vibrant hydrogen economy”, especially the potential to produce cleaner energy options for transport. EIT Urban Mobility also sees the creation of the high-level New Mobility Tech Group as a positive development.

By partnering with diverse and ambitious cities, regions, universities, research centres and businesses to support the decarbonisation of the mobility sector and to create more liveable urban spaces, including supporting local authorities to experiment and deploy innovative technologies, EIT Urban Mobility is already well-connected to the key stakeholders that promote innovation.

But to achieve long-term impact and actually deliver the change needed, it’s crucial to look beyond technological innovation. At EIT Urban Mobility, engaging citizens all the way from design to implementation stages of a product or service is considered. This ensures solutions are responsive to the actual needs of the people who will use them.

Innovation is also about having a different perspective, applying ideas that are already proven to different settings, and understanding behavioural changes that make a difference to how people adapt to new ways of doing things. As such, the New European Innovation Agenda is a great opportunity to boost more investment in innovation in general while also reshaping what it means to be innovative.

Especially in light of the ambitious goals of achieving 55% lower carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050, transforming European cities’ transport and mobility systems cannot happen soon enough, and the more approaches that will speed up the transition, the better.


Extra investment opportunities to start-ups incorporated in RIS countries

All over Europe, entrepreneurs are working on innovative solutions to cope with urban mobility challenges. However, circumstances differ across the continent resulting in unequal number and quality of funding opportunities for locally emerging businesses.

Through the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), EIT tackles such disparities by spreading its activities more evenly. More precisely, the RIS region defines a group of countries with a low performing innovation capacity. Despite the talent and entrepreneurial mindset available in such countries, change and innovation in the RIS region tend to slow down due to the conservative and risk avoiding policy making, as well as the drawbacks of engaging in an entrepreneurial career and the limited mechanisms to support start-ups.

By setting up a dedicated budget to invest in start-ups incorporated in RIS countries, EIT Urban Mobility is now contributing to the faster development of their innovation ecosystems and, more importantly, to the fundraising process of their local start-ups. As an impact investor, EIT Urban Mobility fosters positive social and environmental change across Europe, which among other things translates into paying special attention to those vulnerable innovation ecosystems.

To date, EIT Urban Mobility has invested in more than 20 start-ups from the RIS region like Mosaic from Czech Republic, Meight from Portugal, and Deeptraffic from Greece, and keeps looking for the most prominent entrepreneurs to disrupt the European mobility industry in those countries. If your company is incorporated in a RIS country seeking for capital, we highly encourage you to apply to our open investments call!

Check out EIT Urban Mobility’s investments landing page for more information or apply directly through the AwardsForce platform.


Meet the winners of #ChallengeMyCity 2022

#ChallengeMyCity has selected seven start-ups to test their mobility solutions in Milan, Toulouse, and Madrid.

The winners will each receive around €50,000 in funding from EIT Urban Mobility to implement a solution to an urban mobility challenge faced by the city and the opportunity to showcase their product in a real environment through a 6-month pilot.

Following the tests, EIT Urban Mobility will analyse their social, economic, and environmental impact, to let the city permanently adopt the solutions.

The test of these solutions allows the city to better understand how to tackle the mobility challenges it faces. In a matter of months, #ChallengeMyCity is providing each city with insights into how to improve its urban mobility, to make it more accessible and sustainable.

Meet the winners and their solutions:

Milan

Don Cicleto: A secure bike shelter at Rogoredo station to foster the use of micromobility amongst commuters and improve the connection in peripheric train stations.

SOLUM: A solar-powered docking station for e-vehicles at Rogoredo station to foster the use of micromobility amongst commuters and improve the connection in peripheric train stations.

Toulouse

Nielsen: A secure bike shelter at Matabiau station to foster the use of micromobility amongst commuters and enable intermodality.

SOLUM: A solar-powered docking station for e-vehicles to foster the use of micromobility amongst commuters and enable intermodality.

Madrid

Smartpoint: A logistics service for green last-mile delivery.

Dashbike: A camera device and data platform to monitor cyclist flows and bike path safety.

Vianova: A data platform to monitor active mobility flows in Plaza del Sol.

Vadecity: A secure bike parking in Plaza Castilla.

SOLUM: A solar-powered docking station for e-vehicles at Chamartín station to foster the use of micromobility amongst commuters.

Pilots in these three cities are kicking off in September and October 2022, look out for the launch events!

For solution providers looking to participate in the next editions of #ChallengeMyCity, keep an eye out for future calls on our media channels, opening early 2023.


Eleven new entries to EIT Urban Mobility’s equity portfolio

EIT Urban Mobility’s equity portfolio keeps growing! During the first half of 2022, EIT Urban Mobility has invested in eleven innovative start-ups. Furthermore, four follow up investments have been made in existing companies from our equity portfolio.

The common factor between all these top-tier entrepreneurs is their impact on reshaping the mobility landscape. They are showcasing the major market trends such as sustainable city logistics, future mobility and connectivity.   

Pablo Garrido, investment manager at EIT Urban Mobility says: “Being an impact investor, we believe the best way to achieve a sustainable future is through system change, bridging a positive correlation between financial returns and social impact. Therefore, we only invest in companies that contribute to one of the Sustainable Development Goals, related to sustainable cities and communities, clean energy, and climate action.” 

EIT Urban Mobility welcomes the following ventures to its equity portfolio: 

  • Bout: a digital platform for water transportation, increasing the accessibility of maritime locations for consumers. 
  • Chainge: reduces inner city CO2, NOx, PM and noise pollution and traffic congestion by replacing delivery vans with cargo bike driven sustainable last mile logistics (LML). 
  • Cogo: an app gathering all shared scooters, bikes, cars and moped as long as they are human or electric powered, making it easy and seamless to move around cities the green way. 
  • Eccocar: a platform to launch, operate and scale digital mobility services, designed hand in hand with Rent-a-Cars, Dealers and Fleet Managers around the world. 
  • GeoFluxus: maps, analyses and predicts where, how and which materials can be saved from becoming waste. 
  • Jonna: offers quality bikes/e-bikes which they make themselves, on monthly subscriptions with insurance and service included. 
  • Luna Systems : an ‘Edge AI’ / computer vision technology, to keep micromobility vehicles safely in the correct lane and/or parking zone. 
  • Mioo : provides safety and bike (repair) services for everyday cyclists to have more people to use the bicycle as a means of transport. 
  • Solum: develops last-generation solar-backed charging stations for light electric vehicles. 
  • Transition One: retrofits light ICE cars (passengers, commercial) into electric cars. 
  • ZipForce: a portable electric motor that turns any regular bicycle into an e-bike. 

Jonna, Luna, Transition one, and existing equity start-up Nudgd have received capital as part of the New European Bauhaus programme 2022. Nudgd, nominee for the EIT Venture Award 2022, offers a digital platform using behavioural science to establish climate-friendly habits such as switching from cars to active mobility and public transportation.  

The other equity start-ups receiving follow-up investments are: 

  • Allihop: provides the first green business travel platform with direct booking capacity for trains, buses, e-cars, e-scooters and bikes.
  • Skyroads: enables advanced air mobility to scale safely and efficiently. 
  • Vonzu : empowers the digitalization in the urban distribution of goods with a last mile logistics management platform.  

Having EIT Urban Mobility as an investor has been extremely valuable for Skyroads’ journey so far. Their support has not just been monetary, but they have also provided us access to their wide business network, along with offering us multiple opportunities to grow as a start-up and increase our visibility to the world of customers, strategic partners, and other investors. Skyroads would like to thank EIT Urban Mobility for their extraordinary services and we highly recommend EIT Urban Mobility to other start-up founders

Tim Krieglstein, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Skyroads AG

Besides capital to scale, internationalise and grow, the invested ventures have now access to the largest pan-European mobility network, including cities, corporates and other European organisations such as the EIB, the EIC and the EIF. 

Is your company looking for capital? EIT Urban Mobility keeps looking for the most prominent entrepreneurs to disrupt the European mobility industry with our year-round open call for investments.  Check out the investment page for more information or apply directly via AwardsForce.  


Best of The Baltics | sTARTUp Days

EIT Urban Mobility was thrilled to be in Estonia last week mingling with the best of the Baltic’s (and beyond) start-up scene. The three-day event is the largest one in the region bring together the start-up ecosystem in the city of Tartu, Estonia.  

Our Partners, the University of Tartu were one of the key organisers of the festival contributing to an inspiring programme of talks, workshops seminars and mingling events. At one seminar organised by the University, Peter Vest and Anna Burgués of EIT Urban Mobility presented Liveable Cities: Investment Opportunities from EIT Urban Mobility and EIT Urban Mobility. 

EIT Urban Mobility joined EIT Manufacturing in the Demo Area, a space where start-ups, investors and organisations in the ecosystem could mingle, present their product/service, and learn more from each other. It was great to meet with the ecosystem and see how they got creative with our Lego build a bike challenge!  

Friedrich Kaasik from the University of Tartu said, “It’s all about Making Innovation Happen! I think the participation in sTARTUp Day has been very successful! Especially when you think about the number of startups and scientists that have dropped by to talk to us here. Hopefully there will be more activities related to EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility, but also that start-ups or people with a start-up-mindset, will find the EIT Jumpstarter, for example.” 

It was fantastic to support several mobility start-ups to attend the event and look forward to seeing their businesses develop. Below are some images of a warmup event co-hosted by the University of Tartu. It was an opportunity for mingling amongst mobility start-ups and investors.

“If you want to do something big, this is the event to come to!”  

Käroliin Jääger – Project Manager at University of Tartu Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation 


Request for proposals: Production of two face-to-face training programmes on Real Estate and Virtual Reality

EIT Urban Mobility is aiming to identify a supplier capable of designing and delivering two multiannual face-to-face (F2F) training courses on urban mobility, for urban mobility professionals.

All information, including the detailed scope of work, deliverables, and terms & conditions can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Deadline for submissions: 5 September 2022 at 16:00 Central European Time.


Request for proposals: Venture fund for equity investments

By the present procurement procedure, EIT Urban Mobility is considering setting up the fund as an alternative investment fund (“AIF”) based in Luxembourg. Therefore it is selecting an agent who will support the tax and cost benefit analysis and the eventual set up of the fund.

All information, including the detailed scope of work, deliverables, and terms & conditions can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Deadline for submissions: 5 September 2022 at 16:00 Central European Time.


Nordic Female Founder Series | Copenhagen & Gothenburg

In June, EIT Urban Mobility hosted two events to identify female founders in the Nordics, within urban mobility. The events are part of an effort made by EIT Urban Mobility and Position99 to both identify more female founders in the region and, to help them get access to venture capital through increased visibility and match making.  Read more here about the collaboration. 

The first event was hosted by our partner Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, a hub for innovative projects with a focus on mobility for tomorrow.  

The second event was hosted at Bloxhub, the Nordic hub for sustainable urbanization in Copenhagen, Denmark. The theme was liveable cities, innovation and gender.  

Both events brought together a diverse mix of female founders, funders and potential innovators to discuss the gender imbalance in entrepreneurship in the region and to discuss what we can do to improve the ecosystem for female entrepreneurs. 

Anna Branten, the initiator of Position99 presented her research on innovation and gender, and then facilitated an inspiring and lively discussion amongst the participants. 

During the Copenhagen event a few of the participants shared some key messages that they took away from the discussion. 

EIT Urban Mobility is looking forward to continuing these discussions and uncovering and supporting more female founders in Urban Mobility.

If you are or know of female founders in the Nordics looking for funding – then sign up for or share the Position 99 List with them!


Conversations in the park: episode 14 – Investment in mobility

Excelling as a start-up in the mobility industry relies on three things: ambition, a good business strategy, and investment. We focused on the third factor in Episode 14, where our host Brittany Atkins ponders about the investment landscape in mobility. Our esteemed guests Taryn Andersen, Pablo Garrido, and David Fidalgo all share their expertise on the ins and outs of investment, both as investors and investment seekers. This episode touches all matters – from obstacles in the investment process to international differences, and so much more.

Taryn Andersen is the CEO and co-founder of Impulse4Women, an international non-profit that aims to support and promote female led start-ups and social entrepreneurs and provide them with the investor connections, tools and skills to help them grow. She is also the Director of Investor Relations at THCAP Venture Capital and applies her skills from 10+ years in private banking in all her work.

Pablo Garrido is an Investment Manager at EIT Urban Mobility, where he helps develop/manage financial sustainability systems and assists in the process surrounding EIT’s start-up investments. His background is in corporate banking, and his passions include entrepreneurship, and instilling positive social/environmental impact and financial return.

David Fidalgo is the CEO of Y-Mobility, a boutique tech consultancy that aims to support businesses in the mobility industry transition to a software-defined system. He is also the VP of AEVAC and a board member of RTI, both dealing with autonomous systems. He dedicates his time to advising and strategising to help drive high-quality digital transformation.

In this episode, our guests broke down the relationship between investments and start-ups within the mobility industry, and everything it entails.

Taryn spoke on some of the hurdles and obstacles young companies face when it comes to seeking investments and what the advised course of action is. Pablo spoke about initiatives that exist to help support and connect startups to investors, especially within the EIT Urban Mobility Space. David spoke about how startup funding and finance allocation varies between the United States and Europe, and what main differences and benefits are.

There is a plethora of advice, lessons, and perspective on this episode of Conversations in the Park – and we are proud to sponsor yet another informative discussion.

You can also listen to the full chat on Apple Podcasts, as well as anywhere podcasts are found.


Request for Proposals: Recruitment Agency (for Dutch market)

By the present procurement procedure, EIT Urban Mobility is aiming to identify a recruiting agency that will support EIT Urban Mobility in the recruitment process for profiles that are difficult to find in the Netherlands (Dutch market).

All information, including the detailed scope of work, deliverables, and terms & conditions can be found in the Request for Proposals.

Deadline for submissions: 29 August 2022 at 16:00 Central European Time.