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.

Velo-city 2022 in Ljubljana

During the Velo-city conference 2022, that took place from the 14 until the 17 June, Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, was fully garnished with butterflies. Those represented the visual identity of the annual flagship event organised by our partner, the European Cyclist’s Federation, and that symbolises change, development and metamorphosis. Indeed, the Slovenian capital made a drastic shift in the last 10 years regarding cycling.

EIT Urban Mobility was fully present in Velo-city with a booth, that attracted those interested in our programmes and that could learn more about our mission, specially regarding Active Mobility.

During the 3 days event, different conferences brought together those involved in the policy, promotion and the provision of cycling facilities and programmes. Edwin Heesakkers, EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub West director, took part of the Focus on citizens, stakeholders and community plenary session on Wednesday. Heesakkers highlighted the importance to engage with youth, women and marginalised groups.

“We’re breaking the silos to make the changes together. Why? Because cities are for you, for us, for the people who live in them. And it is of utmost importance that each of you can have your say in designing the city you will live in” Edwin Heesakkers, EIT UM Innovation Hub West director

On Thursday, Anja Ilenič, EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia representative, took part of the Engaging citizens and building the cycling community session. Ilenič introduced EIT Urban Mobility, some of the RIS Hub Slovenia initiatives, and same as Heessakkers, also stressed the importance of involving the youth in the decision making process. The same morning, EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Lifecycle officer, Manuel Crespo Yáñez, attended the conference The latest innovations from bike-sharing and micromobility, where he presented one of our projects that was also present at Velo-city, Bicification.

“The future of urban mobility is active mobility” Manuel Crespo Yáñez, EIT UM Innovation Lifecycle officer

In order to preach by example, the EIT Urban Mobility team present in Ljubljana took part in the traditional Velo-city Bike Parade, together with hundreds of other enthusiastic bike lovers.

Indeed, the conferences are designed to encourage cycling as part of daily transport and recreation. Velo-city began in 1980 in Bremen (Germany) with deep ties in the founding of the European Cyclists’ Federation. The next world cycling summit will take place in May 2023 in Liepzig. More info here

Join the Citython 2022 Žilina and co-ideate the solutions for your city! 

Citython 2022, a project funded by EIT UM and organised by CARNET, analyses mobility challenges faced by cities, where multi-disciplinary teams of students and professionals from different backgrounds and expertise (architecture, urban planning, data science, engineering, human science, and business creation) compete against each other to provide innovative solutions.

This hybrid (in person and online) Citython will be held in the city of Žilina, Slovakia, from 29 April to 1 May. The first edition of 2022 is focused on smart mobility, in the context of climate resilient cities, public engagement and extreme weather and humanitarian emergencies. The goal of this Citython is that young professionals search for innovative and creative solutions that can be applied in the city of Žilina to foster innovation. 

This hackathon will provide an opportunity for brilliant young talents to create their works with the help of mentors and experts, who will be at hand during the event, while also experiencing the unforgettable thrill of coming together with peers who share the same passion for digital technology and innovation. 

Citython 2022 is an international event focusing on urban challenges in RIS countries  in which the participating teams work on implementing their ideas from inception to presentable project or prototype in 54 hours. Next events are going to be held Neapolis-Sykies, Greece, and Kosice, Slovakia. Learn more here.

EIT Urban Mobility held its first RIS Hub Summit in Budapest

The beautiful city of Budapest was the chosen location to gather for the first time our 12 EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hubs. During a two day face-to-face and semi-online event taking place between 8-9 March 2022 in the EIT Community Hub office, representatives from Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkiye get to know each other and the EIT Urban Mobility Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) Team.

On the first day, marked by International Women day, the EIT Urban Mobility CEO, Maria Tsavachidis, made the inauguration speech, dedicated to the given day, and specially to the situation in Ukraine. The RIS Manager, Bence Huba, welcomed all the participants, highlighting the importance of their commitment and the mission they are performing in the RIS countries where we aim to improve urban mobility and reinforce the synergies between local knowledge triangle actors.

During the initial session the RIS business activity plan was addressed, and the hubs could introduce themselves, as well as their consortia and activities. The first day of the summit ended with a workshop from our Business Creation thematic area.

Alenka Mauko Pranjić and Anja Ilenič presenting EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia
Emre Elmas presenting EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Turkiye
           Viesturs Celmiņš presenting EIT UM RIS Hub Latvia
Viesturs Celmiņš presenting EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Latvia

On the second day, it was the turn to get to know better all the details for the Innovation calls for the next Business Plan 2023-25. During the Academy session, the RIS Hubs learnt how to run a citython and the opportunities we offer in our Competence Hub.  Also, the new EIT Urban Mobility partnership model was presented with the new opportunities that our organisation can offer to different types of stakeholders.

After the presentation on Communication, the summit culminated with a cross-Hub workshop led by Ákos Dervalics, from EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Hungary. The goal of the initiative is to build a resilient ecosystem for the future and economical sustainability of the RIS Hubs. Different working groups have been created to work on how to educate the community, provide opportunities for innovators and help them to scale and provide access to finance using a unique platform.

EIT Urban Mobility RIS Team and representatives from our 12 RIS Hubs

This was the first EIT UM RIS Hub Summit but more will come during the year connected to the different activities and topics related to the business plan.

Learn more about RIS and its work!

MaaS vouchers and discounts for public transport, some of the ideas to improve urban mobility in Slovenia

On  14 December 2021, EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia organised a hackathon, which focused on the development of more sustainable and innovative solutions to decarbonise Slovenian cities. Six teams of students and young researchers focused mainly on the challenges of the freight and passengers’ transport. 

The winning idea, that received a total award of 1.500 euros, is the app Wom3n. The implementation of this application is intended to help both Slovenian citizens (including children and people with disabilities) and tourists with the way they are using public transport.  Smart bracelets and regular cards will be connected with the app. These gadgets will measure steps in kilometers, transfer these steps into points and finally monetise them as discounts for different Slovenian products, bus and train tickets and funds for better transport equipment for people with special needs.  

Active8 Planet group tried to address the problem of the excessive ownership of cars. The solution would be a three-year preliminary project, which would serve as a basis for the introduction of the already desired MaaS (Mobility as a Service). Vouchers (e.g., 200€) would be distributed to all citizens, who would be able to use them for various forms of sustainable mobility: car-sharing, bike rental, train and bus tickets,…The unused vouchers would flow into the municipal treasury and the citizens would then vote on local mobility projects for which the money would then be intended. 

Both of the ideas will also be presented at the workshop that EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia is organising with the Association of Urban Municipalities of Slovenia in February. EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Slovenia will organise another hackathon in Spring 2022.