In today’s landscape, every industry, both in the public and private sectors, is rapidly “going digital”. Yet, the demand for employees with digital skills far exceeds the supply. The ERASMUS+ project Managing Digital Transformation Academy (MDTA) was conceived to respond to this pressing need.
The objective of MDTA project is to offer a programme tailored for both students and professionals. It encompasses six specialisations, strategically addressing the essential components of the “leadership skills triangle”: technology, business/commerce, and leadership. The final goal is to empower individuals to become digital leaders capable of driving and facilitating successful digital transformation.
Today, we are pleased to introduce our newest initiative, the specialisation “Digital Transformation: A Changing Society”, composed by three MOOCs open now to registration.
This programme not only bridges the skills gap but also provides a unique solution to several essential requirements in today’s digital landscape by preparing professionals capable of formulating and executing strategies that address digital transformation challenges effectively.
EIT Urban Mobility Academy Participation
At the EIT Urban Mobility Academy, we are deeply committed to the critical needs and priorities of urban mobility, and digital transformation is a defining force today, reshaping industries and markets. By joining this project, we aimed to contribute to the development of a programme that would equip individuals and organisations with the tools and knowledge to navigate the digital technologies’ impact on urban mobility.
Our participation also facilitated valuable collaborations with other prominent European institutions. These partnerships have further solidified our mission to enhance skills in individuals and organisations and expand our collective impact. The participant institutions were:
University of Twente (The Netherlands)
Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal)
University of Applied Science Saxion (The Netherlands)
Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece)
Fachhochschule Munster (Germany)
EIT Urban Mobility (Spain)
Moreover, this initiative aligns with our objective to create engaging learning solutions in urban mobility. This specialisation allowed us to gain expertise by creating engaging digital learning experiences that align with one of our core missions. It’s an exciting opportunity to foster innovation and ensure that professionals are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in this digital era.
The content of the specialisation: “Digital Transformation: A Changing Society”
The specialisation created by the EIT Urban Mobility Academy is a journey through the digital landscape and its profound impact on our society via three interconnected MOOCs. From understanding the historical factors that drive technological success and predicting future trends to mastering scenario planning, and the intricacies of business roles and partnerships in a digital environment, this specialisation offers a holistic exploration of digital transformation. By the end of this program, participants will have the capacity to drive innovation and make informed decisions in the urban mobility landscape.
The users of “Apanha-me!”, the Loulé municipality’s urban transport network, can now locate their bus in real-time using the developed by EIT Urban Mobility’s project “Digital Bus”
The project is promoted by the municipal company Loulé Concelho Global in collaboration with two technology companies as partners – NEMI Mobility Solutions SL and Factual Consulting Barcelona – the Centre for Environmental Studies of Spain, based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, and the Municipality of Vilafranca del Penedés, in Catalonia
[City of Loule, September 2023] – The City of Loule, located in the heart of Portugal’s Algarve region, is proud to announce the launch of the mobile application, “Apanha-me!”, a new app that promises to transform the way residents and visitors navigate the city, offering a convenient and efficient means of transportation that caters to the modern urban lifestyle.
Apanha-me! – The ultimate urban mobility companion
Loule is renowned for its landscapes, vibrant culture, and historical charm. However, like many thriving urban centres, it faces the challenges of congestion and transportation efficiency. The “Apanha-me!” app is set to address these challenges head-on by providing a range of innovative features designed to simplify commuting while reducing the environmental impact of transportation.
The launch of “Apanha-me!” is a new step in Loule’s commitment to embracing innovation and technology to enhance the lives of its residents and visitors. The app aligns with the city’s broader vision of sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint. In the municipality of Loulé, the Digital Bus project aims to promote the use of public transport by providing digital tools to support users by providing real-time information on the location of the buses. To make it easier to use the municipal urban transport network, the digital application will make it possible to respond to users’ greatest needs, such as departure and arrival times, bus journey and arrival times and the real-time location of buses.
Digital Bus aims to close the digital gap observed by small and mid-sized operators often, but not exclusively, running services in rural areas. Currently, a rudimentary manual booking and info system prevails with inefficient data, poor management and impoverished user service due to a lack of information and transparency. Digital Bus will demonstrate the benefits for public transport operators and end-users alike.
27 September 2023 – EIT Urban Mobility is thrilled to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ID4 Mobility, a pioneering technology company focused on advancing intelligent transportation solutions. This strategic partnership is set to revolutionise how cities across Europe address urban mobility challenges, making transportation more sustainable, efficient, and accessible for all.
A Synergistic Collaboration
The MoU signed between EIT Urban Mobility and ID4 Mobility marks the beginning of an exciting partnership that will harness the strengths of both organizations. Together, we aim to drive innovation in urban mobility, transforming how people move within cities and reducing the environmental impact of transportation.
By combining EIT Urban Mobility’s expertise in fostering innovation and ID4 Mobility’s technological prowess, this collaboration promises to unlock new opportunities for sustainable urban mobility, improve the quality of life for city residents, and contribute to the broader goal of a greener, more connected Europe.
ID4Mobility is a European mobility cluster acting in West France, Europe, and internationally. Through a collaborative approach, they bring together 400+ members focusing on more intelligent Mobility and supporting 50 EU projects and 250 members in developing their large-scale innovation projects since 2006.
Karos transforms empty car seats into a new mode of public transport
Karos lands in Vitoria-Gasteiz with a pilot experience co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility
Vitoria-Gasteiz, September 2023 – Karos was born in 2014 in France and has services in Denmark, Germany, and Spain. It is a leading European app for car sharing between home and work, and since its launch, it has made 8 million journeys, avoiding around 13,600 tonnes of CO2.
The app is now coming to Vitoria-Gasteiz, thanks to a project developed by EIT Urban Mobility, to reduce the thousands of journeys from the city centre to the industrial estates every morning. The Mobility survey of industrial parks revealed that more than half of the workers would share a car to get to work. Until now, this was only possible with an acquaintance.
Carpooling solution for daily commuting in suburban areas
EIT Urban Mobility, in collaboration with the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, and our silver partner, Karos, we plan to create a carpooling network for commuters of the city who have no other option than driving a car, adapting our carpooling app to the Spanish market and involving local employers.
The aim of the project is helping hundreds of companies to reduce their carbon footprint: if fewer cars exist for the same workers, there will be less pollution. Car sharing is currently the most sustainable and efficient way to get to work: you reduce emissions, save time and spend less money.
What is Karos?
Karos lands in Vitoria-Gasteiz with a pilot experience co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, as a result of one of our “Small Calls“. The project is aimed at companies to reduce the carbon footprint of their staff and offer them more comfortable journeys. The objective is to minimise overall commuting emissions and save time and money.
Drivers create the route in the app and wait for others to sign up. For each journey, the driver will receive at least €1.5 for each person they transport, and passengers select a route and travel to work for free. Each passenger saves time and pays nothing.
The app is available in Basque, Spanish, and English. It was launched in 2014 and is already present in European countries such as France, Germany, and Denmark.
The Municipality of Braga has launched the “Reactivity Braga – Diversity and Sustainability” initiative to encourage Braga residents to embrace more sustainable, inclusive, and eco-friendly transportation options. In return, citizens can accrue points to exchange for discounts at local businesses.
This represents an innovative intermodal urban mobility project supported and promoted by EIT Urban Mobility, in collaboration with Braga Urban Transport (TUB) and the Business Association of Braga. The project hinges on a reward and gamification system, where users are incentivised to choose public transportation, bicycles, electric scooters, or walking for their commutes.
This approach makes the mobility experience more appealing and enjoyable, motivating citizens to adopt more mindful and sustainable transportation practices.
The project began on 10 August and is slated to run for three months. To participate, Braga residents need to complete a specific form. Upon registration approval, users can access an online platform to track their performance, view accumulated points, and observe their contributions to promoting sustainable mobility in Braga.
During the project’s presentation press conference, Olga Pereira, Braga’s City Councillor and President of the Board of Directors of TUB, remarked that this initiative is part of ongoing efforts to transform the mobility habits of Braga residents toward sustainability: “Reactivity Braga follows the success of last year’s Bicification project, which inspired us to apply for this new project in partnership with TUB. Reactivity relies on buses as the core component but also encourages walking, cycling, and scooting.”
“The great thing about the REACTIVITY project is its intermodal approach, which combines different modes of transport to offer citizens flexible and convenient options for their daily journeys,” explained Olga Pereira, Braga City Council councillor. By integrating public transport with bicycles and electric scooters, the project extends the reach of public transport stops, providing citizens with more comprehensive and accessible mobility throughout the city. “The municipality remains committed to working in favour of more sustainable mobility in the municipality, which benefits everyone’s quality of life,” said the councillor.
REACTIVITY promotes sustainable mobility through a unique reward and gamification component. By participating in the project, users can accumulate points and achieve goals by opting for more sustainable modes of transport. With the project’s rewards and gamification mechanism, users can win vouchers, which can be discounted at various commercial establishments that are partners of the initiative. Around 30 shops are already involved, but the aim is to extend this range to a more significant number of establishments. “We started out with around 30 shops, but given the extraordinary receptiveness of local businesses, the aim is to increase the number of shops involved significantly,” said Rui Marques, AEB’s director-general.
Local traders joining the REACTIVITY project represents a unique opportunity to boost their businesses and establishments. By joining the network of partners that accept vouchers generated by users, shops have access to greater visibility and attract customers. In this way, traders not only benefit from increased customer flow, but also contribute to a more sustainable and dynamic city. Over the next three months, Braga’s people can participate in this pioneering initiative. Through the online platform dedicated to the project, citizens can monitor their performance, accumulate points and check their contribution to more sustainable mobility in Braga.
The REACTIVITY project rewards public transport and active mobility to reduce emissions; backs data-driven urban; and traffic planning and engaging with citizens, thus helping cities promote sustainable mobility and intramodality while discouraging car dependence.
This project meets the needs of city managers for digital tools to enable urban multi-modal and multi-source mobility planning, providing a solution to support intermodal transport, including public transport, cycling, walking, kick-scooters, and car-pooling. The mobility monitoring support is achieved through an active mobility plugin integrated in a multi-data source web dashboard.
The solutions will be implemented and tested in Braga (Portugal) and Lecce (Italy) during the second half of 2023. The expected outcomes of REACTIVITY are an increased share of public transport (+6%) and active mobility (+ 15%) and the reduction of kilometres driven by private cars (-2.5 M) and of CO2 emissions (-320 tons) in each city.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) announced the 12 cities from 10 countries that have advanced to the semi-final stage of the ninth edition of the iCapital Awards. The cities aim to become the 2023 European Capital of Innovation or the European Rising Innovative City.
Supported by the European Innovation Council (EIC) under Horizon Europe, the prize recognises cities’ role in shaping the local innovation ecosystem and promoting game-changing innovation.
The city of Lisbon has taken another step in the race to become the European Capital of Innovation 2023 by being chosen as one of the six semi-finalists for this honour awarded by the European Commission. The Portuguese capital is now competing with two other Ukrainian cities – Kiev and Lviv -, two Turkish cities – Istanbul and Basaksehir – and one Polish city, Warsaw.
Lisbon’s application, presented under the title Lisboa Unicorn Capital, is based on the idea of the city as a “home and space for all those who believe, take risks and innovate, undertake and endeavour to make the impossible possible, while at the same time contributing to improving the community’s quality of life”, says a statement from the municipality. To this end, the city presented the jury with a dossier of the work carried out so far, particularly in the environment, culture, economy, and mobility.
For the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas, this choice reflects the city’s commitment to establishing itself as a Unicorn Factory: “Innovation is fundamental to the growth, competitiveness, and development of our society. Lisbon is today a recognised stage in innovation and has had an enormous capacity to attract companies and professionals from all over the world. Being part of this selection by the European Commission is proof and recognition of the intense work done to be at the forefront and place Lisbon as a city of innovation.”
The European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital) was established in 2014 to reward those European cities that are courageous enough to open their governance practices to experimentation, to boost innovation, to be a role model for other cities, and to push the boundaries of technology for the benefit of their citizens.
In addition to the monetary reward, the prize brings high visibility through renewed public interest and increased media coverage.
Past winners include Barcelona (2014), Amsterdam (2016), Paris (2017), Athens (2018), Nantes (2019), Leuven (2020), Dortmund (2021), Vantaa (2021), Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole (2022) and Haarlem (2022).
Portugal has been making noteworthy progress in urban mobility in recent years. The country has set ambitious goals and objectives, driven by the motivation to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and create more sustainable cities. One of the primary objectives of Portugal’s urban mobility policies is to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable transportation. To achieve this, the country has set a target to have 40% of all urban trips made by walking, cycling, or public transport by 2030. This goal is part of Portugal’s National Energy and Climate Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.
The motivation behind Portugal’s push for sustainable urban mobility is to create more liveable and healthy cities for its residents. The country’s urban areas are among Europe’s most congested and polluted, significantly impacting public health. By promoting sustainable transportation, Portugal aims to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and create more pleasant urban environments.
Portuguese cities are working towards achieving these objectives. Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, has been working on making its transportation more sustainable for several years. The city has implemented a bike-sharing program, a car-sharing service, and an electric tram system. It has also invested in a network of bike lanes and pedestrian paths, which has helped increase cycling and walking in the city. Cities like Porto, Braga or Cascais has made significant investments in public transportation.
How is EIT Urban Mobility supporting Portugal’s objectives?
Since 2021, 39 projects have been implemented in the country to promote innovation and foster collaboration in urban mobility, two of which are particularly noteworthy: RAPTOR and #ChallengeMyCity.
Rapid Applications for Transport (RAPTOR) is a competition that swiftly creates and tests solutions to niche urban mobility challenges. Participants compete to provide the most innovative, feasible, and impactful solutions. The RAPTOR programme was implemented in 2022 in the city of Cascais with successful results, helping to solve three challenges identified by the city.
#ChallengeMyCity is a programme enabling European cities to tackle their most pressing urban challenges by testing market-ready innovative mobility solutions. Its objective is to test the best solutions through a six-month pilot and evaluates their social, economic, and environmental impact and estimate long-term integration into the city’s mobility strategy, to make mobility more sustainable and accessible for all.
The programme will be implemented in 2023 in Braga, which has just won the European Mobility Week 2022 prize for its remarkable activities in promoting sustainable mobility and continues to take steps towards improving its urban mobility ecosystem. Through #ChallengeMyCity programme, it is seeking innovative solutions to face four identified challenges. A total of 240.000 € will be invested in testing these solutions. https://portocanal.sapo.pt/noticia/326280
But in addition to these two main programmes, other projects have been developed in the country thanks to our collaborative work, resulting in an investment of more than 1.5 million from EIT Urban Mobility since 2021. The city of Lisbon becomes one of the most illustrative examples, with more of 16 projects implemented.
As Portugal continues to prioritize sustainable and innovative urban mobility solutions, programmes like RAPTOR and #ChallengeMyCity will continue to play a significant role in driving progress and promoting collaboration.
Nowadays, a new generation of sector-agnostic VC (Venture Capital) funds is emerging to laser-focus on solutions advocating for inclusivity. This trend follows the political agenda of decision-makers backed by a vast amount of data collected in the past decade. As showcased in multiple studies, they serve researchers and thought leaders when pointing out gaps and deficiencies existing in the current mobility systems. Technological leap with the high pace in which urban areas grow makes them an incredibly attractive, albeit competitive space for solution providers where implementation speed and economic efficiency naturally gain the position of urging priorities.
Although it is true that competition translates into quality and eventually leads to cutting down on emissions while improving the quality of life, so-called smart cities are often overseeing vulnerable groups and minorities with needs that are different from the regular user profile. In this article, a hi-tech software solution supporting the blind and visually impaired will be discussed.
How does Dreamwaves work?
As an organization bridging all types of stakeholders under the pan-European roof, the special mandate of EIT Urban Mobility is to be vocal about the mobility-related needs of vulnerable minorities and lead the peloton of actors working on safe and inclusive public spaces.
Dreamwaves, an Austrian start-up founded and led by Hugo Furtado, Liliana Calapez, Elke Mattheiss, and Lukas Zimmermann strengthened the company’s equity portfolio with the right tool to work on this agenda. Namely, a software employing augmented reality technology to unlock the unique sound navigation experience to its users, making them feel safe and welcome on the busy streets. With Dreamwaves, the blind and visually impaired can navigate their surroundings with greater confidence and independence, creating a more equitable environment for all.
Why we invested in Dreamwaves?
What sparked EIT Urban Mobility investor´s attention and dispelled potential doubts? Let´s zoom at a simple 3xT test applied in this case as a part of standard qualification analysis.
It all started with a spotted opportunity and a multi-billion market that awaited to be unleashed. As he later admitted during one of the off-track conversations, Hugo Furtado – CEO of Dreamwaves – was always a passion-driven entrepreneur centered on new technologies and out-of-the-box innovations. To be crazy or not to be at all. Following the music and gaming industries racing solitary for both hardware and software improvements to take the sound experience to the next level, he already saw a brand-new use case. It later resulted with the thought that it pays off to look right when everyone goes left. And talking about the majority, all of us interact with audio content while commuting or during physical outdoor activities. It is nothing strange considering the fact that – following Eurostat´s data (1) – in 2019 an average commuting time oscillated around 25 minutes. However, as explained with greater detail in different study (2), for one-fifth of the population it could be extended to over 90 minutes per day.
To put it briefly: headphones, of all sizes and kinds, are nowadays an extension of our bodies. Extension that might be more than a source of entertainment, especially for the blind and visually impaired. Dreamwaves decided to be the voice of blind people, making them see the world through their ears.
In principle, the whole concept of screen- and hands-free navigation offered via waveOut can be stressed in three steps. Once the destination is selected and the journey kicks-off, virtual waypoints are being placed in the real world around the user. On the fly. The goal is to reach them and to make it happen, the user must hear them. That is when the sound is activated. It can be compared to a phone call when the ringtone allows us to locate the device. The closer we are, by nature the louder becomes the sound. The same law applies to the Dreamwaves´ software. As soon as the checkpoint is reached, the next waypoint is placed, and the voice switches its location. Again and over, following the beat of a gentle drum until the doormat. Or one´s favourite bookshop.
As simple and naïve the above may sound, the way-finding solution enclosed in the app requires the latest augmented reality toolkits, global positioning advances and machine learning methods behind the scenes. Additional challenges lie in the accuracy that in the busy streets full of static obstacles and dynamic objects must be ultimately reliable. Understanding the state-of-the art of computer vision methods to determine the location of the user in real time helps to overcome this barrier.
Connected to the multi-object environment but being a separate problem class is omnipresent noise pollution. As the solution is hardware-agnostic, meaning that no special upfront investment in wearables is required, it is crucial to ensure that the best experience is provided, even with some quality being lost. This trade-off is a fair price for making the solution truly open and accessible to everyone.
3. Tests & Testimonials
While Dreamwaves is changing the way people understand and sense their locations, the competent and interdisciplinary team navigate itself company´s growth by hearing to the group of early-adopters and tech geeks. Hundreds of individuals were involved in the design and testing phases, with the others feeding engineers with further, post-launch testimonials.
“The best thing we ever heard from a user was: “It’s a bit like seeing. The fact that I constantly can hear the direction I have to go to is a great advantage!”. This made us really proud, and also gave us the feeling that we are in the right direction. On the tough days, thinking about this and other pieces of feedback, really keeps us motivated and going!” – said Hugo Furtado, the CEO of Dreamwaves.
Besides feedback, interactions are constantly feeding the team with new ideas, because the real beauty of every journey lies in additional opportunities being unfolded on the way. For Dreamwaves, these are cavernous cycling and travelling markets where hundreds of millions of users are looking for tricks to make their lives easier and their urban trips saver. Is there anyone out there who didn’t manoeuvre the bike with one hand while staring at phone maps?
Future Mobility: amplifying the voice of inclusivity
Accompanied by the story of Hugo, Liliana, Elke, and Lukas this is the space to reflect all the barriers that still must be overcome to eradicate the gap between the blind or visually impaired and the rest sensing the surrounding with sight. With its first step and team efforts, Dreamwaves points to the direction we should look at technology. Its proper incorporation into urban and suburban areas can significantly enrich the existing toolkit, making the lenses through which smart cities are defined adjusted to the needs of commuting minorities. Only then we will be entitled to call streets inclusive and open spaces.
Do you want to know more about Dreamwaves’s mission and its solutions?
Mateusz Kaluza – investments analyst at EIT Urban Mobility, passionate about data and active mobility. Scouting for impact-driven innovations enabling shift towards citizen-oriented transportation systems. Contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When thinking about the scope of urban mobility, there is always a vertical that pops into our minds and this is city logistics. However, what fits within the concept of logistics is never too obvious. Construction tech is a rapidly growing industry that has the potential to transform the way we build and manage our cities, and yes, it’s an industry directly related with urban logistics.
EIT Urban Mobility has made a ground-breaking investment in ProperGate, a Polish construction tech start-up that has become the first successful investment in Poland for the organisation.
How does ProperGate work?
ProperGate’s innovative platform aims to digitize and streamline the construction logistics management process, reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of construction projects. With ProperGate’s platform, builders and suppliers can track and manage their deliveries to construction projects in real time, identify and address issues more quickly and efficiently, and reduce the need for paper-based documentation.
ProperGate addresses the needs of all potential customers in the construction supply chain, from real estate developers and investors to subcontractors and suppliers, all having a customized profile to sign up for within the platform. And yet its direct customers are not the only ones to benefit from the results of the solution, as the use of ProperGate’s innovation indirectly contributes to the development of the professional construction sector by adding tools and methods that will have to be acquired by young professionals.
Why we invested in ProperGate?
Construction site logistics can be a significant pain point not only for the constructors but also for the surrounding city and the people that live in it.
Give it a thought; the usually limited space around an urban construction site can make it difficult to manoeuvre large construction vehicles and equipment, leading to potential safety hazards and logistical challenges for the delivery of materials and supplies; in already densely populated areas, heavy traffic around the construction site can cause more delays and disruptions than normal and often become a significant source of disruptive noise, having severe effects in the health and well-being of citizens. On top of all these challenges, construction sites also contribute to polluting the city, with negative environmental impacts ranging from air and water pollution to soil contamination. Therefore, managing construction site logistics effectively is crucial to minimizing the negative impact of construction on the surrounding urban environment.
The onboarding of ProperGate into EIT Urban Mobility’s equity portfolio is testament of a threefold purpose: First, as its first successful investment in a Polish registered company, EIT Urban Mobility proofs to have fruitfully taken measures to ensure that funds are directed towards the RIS region; second, as EIT Urban Mobility’s first investment in the construction tech industry, the KIC shows its commitment to explore and boost the endless potential of the urban mobility meaning; and finally, by supporting the gender-diverse C-level team that leads ProperGate, EIT Urban Mobility is also backing its mission of promoting female entrepreneurship.
Do you want to know more about ProperGate’s mission and its solutions?
With the boom of new personal mobility devices (PMDs) in recent years, E-scooters are now one of the fastest-growing micromobility solutions in Europe, which has a unique potential to develop a world-leading ecosystem promoting sustainable urban mobility, with unparalleled potential to create new jobs, reduce air pollution, accelerate the transition toward climate targets.
A new digital, green, and equitable economy fosters tremendous investment opportunities in both private (e.g., renewable energy installations or electric vehicle charging stations) and public facilities (e.g., digitalisation of electricity and mobility systems). To address this, Barcelona-based YUP is breaking the barriers for better safety parking & charging infrastructures, much needed to cover increasing micromobility vehicles demand. YUP aims to revolutionise the micromobility smart infrastructure, becoming the first European one-stop-shop provider for cities and corporates.
How does YUP work?
Through an iMaaS business model, YUP offers infrastructure network within cities and companies that has now secured more than 170 new customers during the first 24 months. Thanks to their sound financial management and a top-notch team, YUP has already reached financial break-even.
Beyond the value that YUP already brings to the urban mobility landscape through charging stations, lies a colorful roadmap of products and features for both municipalities and corporates with high high-performance capabilities.
The concept of home is a hard one for YUP. With more than 170 projects and 2.500 units delivered during the last 2 years, YUP has one key market: Spain. Currently, more than 40% of their business comes from Spain, and another 60% from 3 other international markets: France, Germany, and Greece.
With a vast experience designing and manufacturing micromobility innovative charging solutions, YUP has the ambition to become European leaders in smart infrastructure development for cities.
Following the acquisition of Zicler in 2022, YUP is planning to double their team in 2023 (recruiting the positions of C-levels and other key positions) and expand/ scale to 5 countries and preparing the expansion in USA, with the goal to deliver up to 10.000 new units and double the number of new clients (split between B2B and B2G).
Why we invested in YUP?
This is why, as an impact-driven investor, we believe that EIT Urban Mobility shall add value to its portfolio companies in many forms.
Capitalizing on the network effects, EIT Urban Mobility has supported YUP on leveraging real sales opportunities through the largest European mobility network for YUP to scale more quickly and gain new consumers at little or no cost.
The second component of our collaboration is that YUP has detailed plans for what they want to build and execute next and why. In our capacity as the largest European mobility ecosystem, EIT Urban Mobility will play a pivotal role in facilitating ongoing investment regulation, positively driven by Next Gen Funds. The current EU horizon for funding opportunities in transport and infrastructure represents in excess of EUR 1.100M ongoing from 2021 to 2027.
From EIT Urban Mobility, we are truly convinced YUP will be able to onboard the most talented urban mobility enthusiasts thanks to their open, respectful and passionate company’s culture and values.
The ultimate goal of raising capital isn’t only about cash. It is also about the new shareholders’ expertise, knowledge and network. The value generated by EIT Urban Mobility has facilitated a smooth cooperation and dynamics with YUP, and we are convinced that both new and existing investors will be loyal supporters of the company in future endeavors. YUP is well on their way to becoming a key player in the new global micromobility infrastructure industry.
Do you want to know more about YUP’s mission and its solutions?
Urbanization is a global trend that is rapidly accelerating, with over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas. SHQUARED contributes to more sustainable urban development by maximizing the use of existing infrastructure and reducing the need for new buildings or parking structures. That´s why we invested in SHQARED!
According to the United Nations, the world’s urban population is expected to reach 68% by 2050, up from 55% in 2018. This rapid growth of urban populations has led to increasing demand for space, resulting in a shortage of land for residential, commercial, and industrial activities. In the context of urban logistics, space is a critical resource that is often limited and expensive.
Micro hubs are a potential solution to this issue, providing smaller and more strategically located logistics facilities that can reduce the need for larger distribution centres and improve last-mile delivery efficiency. And SHQAURED is the answer!
How does SHQUARED contribute to solve this issue?
Finding suitable micro hubs in urban areas can be challenging, especially for small businesses. This is where SHQUARED’s space-sharing platform comes in, providing a practical and sustainable solution to the urban space shortage. The platform enables space owners to rent out and share their underutilized spaces, such as warehouses, garages, or parking lots, as micro hubs for urban logistic companies.
By sharing spaces, urban logistics companies can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable urban logistics ecosystem. Considering that according to a report by the International Transport Forum, micro hubs can reduce delivery distances by up to 40%, resulting in lower delivery costs and reduced congestion and emissions, this is of utmost importance.
Another point to consider is that, according to a study by McKinsey & Company found that logistics and distribution centres occupy approximately 12% of urban land, while generating up to 30% of total urban traffic. Furthermore, the same study found that logistics and delivery costs account for up to 30% of the final price of goods and services in urban areas. And Shquared also plays a role in it, as it is currently working on a project together with the City of Munich to develop an online B2B Market Place for City Logistics Spaces tailored to the needs of the city. In the next months, the team plans to fully roll out their solution in Germany and subsequently in other European cities.
Christian Kink, Co-Founder and CTO at SHQUARED: “Working with the city of Munich on this important topic and with the great support of EIT Urban Mobility allows us to use our space sharing expertise and platform infrastructure to solve an urgent infrastructural problem in Munich and other urban areas. After adjusting our platform and processes to logistic-related requirements we are eager to offer this solution to other cities in Germany and Europe.”
Do you want to know more about SHQUARED’s mission and its solutions?
This is an article of the series Why we invested in? Written by Johannes Kirschner, Investment & Portfolio Manager at EIT Urban Mobility, expressed his enthusiasm for SHQUARED: “I’m thrilled to support SHQUARED’s diverse and motivated team as they work towards making a positive impact on urban logistics in cities. I believe their space-sharing platform has the potential to offer a practical and sustainable solution to urban space shortage, enabling more efficient and cost-effective use of existing infrastructure.”
Supporting literature and sources:
SHQUARED Company Info (2022). Retrieved from https://shquared.de/c/logistic
At EIT Urban Mobility, our mission is to accelerate change towards a sustainable mobility model for liveable urban spaces. In the current context of climate emergency, our objective is to support our community of innovators to develop solutions that help mitigate and adapt to climate change and, at the same time, are able to improve the quality of life of our cities, create jobs and strengthen the European mobility sector.
To this end, the primary emphasis of our Innovation Programme for 2023-25 is to radically advance commercially viable solutions/services/products that support this mission and those goals.
Since 2020, we have a growing portfolio of projects to support agile and collaborative mobility projects across Europe. We work with innovators in city administrations, research organisations and businesses, to strengthen the urban mobility ecosystem.
The focus of our 2024 Call is on three Challenge Areas: Sustainable City Logistics, Energy and Mobility, and Future Mobility. Whilst addressing these challenges, we seek proposals that tackle the most pressing issues facing public, private or hybrid mass transit providers. Nonetheless, we remain open to excellent proposals from other providers within the urban mobility arena.
In this Call, we align with the aims and objectives of the Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. The EU Mission challenges cities to accelerate their digital, energy and mobility transformations through urban mobility experimentation supporting the race to Net Zero. Moreover, we support active alignment with the European Technology Platform – ALICE in relation to the Sustainable City Logistics challenge area.
We look forward to broadening our partnership and our portfolio of entrepreneurial innovation projects.
Main features of the call (aim and challenges)
The overall purpose of the Innovation Programme is to resolve challenges facing European cities in improving citizens’ lives, by bringing innovations to market. We support projects that are close-to-market, capable of testing new solutions in real-life city demonstrations and that can attain commercial viability by the end of the project.
The EIT Urban Mobility Business Plan 2023-2025 defines nine Challenge Areas that stem from over 250+ urban mobility challenges identified by cities across Europe. For this Call, three Challenge Areas are prioritised:
Sustainable City Logistics
Mobility & Energy
Within these Challenge Areas, we encourage the participation of public, private or hybrid mass transit providers to drive pan-European innovation, testing and validating of new transport services and improved operations.
We also align with the objectives of the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. As such any of the 112 cities committed to Net Zero climate neutrality by 2030 are encouraged to apply. Transport and mobility are one of the main sectors cities must address to reach climate neutrality. In alignment with the Cities Mission’s cross-sectoral and demand-led approach, we support citiesto act to deliver on their commitments and action plans laid out in their Climate City Contracts.
Type of contact
For legal, financial and administrative procedures, including questions about PLAZA submission tool
EIT Urban Mobility hosted online information sessions from 17 to 20 of April 2023 focused on the Call content, the challenges, and requirements, as well as on the general procedures, such as the submission and evaluation process and the PLAZA submission tool:
Call opening: 6 April 2023 Call closure: 7 June 2023 at 17:00 CET Eligibility and admissibility check: June 2023 External evaluation of proposals (1st stage): July-August 2023 Invitations to hearings (2nd Stage): September 2023 Hearings: October 2023 Communication of results: October-November2023 Tentative start of the projects: 1 January 2024
Total estimated EIT Funding allocated to this Call
Application form available on the PLAZA platform, including Annexes (Business model canvas and Financial plan) A declaration from the actual city/municipal government only if applicable (see section 5)
Sustainable City Logistics: operational, shared or brokerage services, business modelling, technological innovations in urban logistics.
Energy and Mobility: the uptake of zero-emission and clean energy solutions that decarbonise urban transport provision.
Future Mobility: New digital devices or products capable of improving how we live, work, and move within cities.
Evaluation criteria (1st stage)
For the Strategic Fitevaluation: – Contribution to EIT Urban Mobility Strategic Objectives – Aligned with the specific – Call requirements under which the proposal was submitted. – Has the potential to achieve the expected outcomes and impacts
For the full proposal evaluation: – Excellence: novelty and innovation – Impact: social, economic, financial, and general sustainability – Quality and efficiency of the implementation, including sound financial management.
Portfolio selection criteria (2nd stage)
Outcomes of the hearing, pitch and responses – Business intelligence, including applicants track record and viability – EU dimension – Portfolio fit, complementarity of the proposal and relevance of the partnership
 Please note that this calendar is indicative. Dates might be subject to slight changes.
A European initiative for the future of urban mobility
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