On 20 February, EIT Urban Mobility will launch the call for applications for its thematic accelerator programmes. This year, EIT Urban Mobility expanded its portfolio of programmes with three new themes: Future Mobility, Inclusive Mobility and Smart Mobility. They complement the four continuing programmes: E+ Mobility, Energy & Public Ream, Sustainable City Logistics and Urban Air Mobility.
The accelerator programmes are run by different consortia of partners, each with their own unique combination of expertise, variation in pan-European locations and networks. The thematic programmes offering to early-stage start-ups includes their participation in Living Labs and business coaching as well as urban mobility-specific expertise such as technology or market validation, product-market fit or market entry strategies. Ultimately, the six-month long accelerator programmes are intended to be a funnel to the EIT Urban Mobility investment arm for the top performers of each programme.
Scope of the programmes…
Being linked to most of daily activities and routines of inhabitants, mobility is one of the most complex topics and end-to-end journey requires seamless integration of various components and close cooperation between different stakeholders.
Due date, the following programmes have been actively helping entrepreneurs to validate their ideas, strengthen business models, and equip them with soft skills for successful commercial kick-offs:
(1) Sustainable City Logistics Accelerator – urban logistics is a hot topic in mobility agendas worldwide. The rapidly increasing e-commerce demand and pressure to limit traffic in cities to meet climate goals contribute to this. To meet sustainability goals, new goods transportation methods must be developed and implemented. UnternehmerTUM GmbH, along with an international consortium of partners with experience in logistics, support start-ups with resources to develop and implement innovative freight transportation and management interventions.
(2) E+ Mobility Accelerator – a rapidly growing sector that is changing the way we move around, providing us with alternative, sustainable, and affordable transportation options. This programme has a specific focus on mobility & energy, micro-mobility, and shared mobility thematic fields. Given the importance of the topic with mobility being tied to global energy markets, strong consortium of TIER 1 industry players, research centres and SMEs led by Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) is supporting selected start-ups.
(3) Energy & Public Realm Accelerator – as cities become increasingly dense and populated, it is important to consider how energy is used and how public spaces can be made more efficient and accessible. This acceleration programme led by Zone Cluster seeks start-ups to contribute to better living spaces by addressing energy and mobility related aspects. Thus, addressing social and environmental well-being. The aim of the accelerator is to work closely with local communities to define and embrace the most frequent bottlenecks.
(4) Urban Air Mobility Accelerator – involves the use of vehicles that are able to fly and are powered by electricity or alternative fuels, as well as systems supporting their operations. We are at the very beginning of a mobility revolution with the inclusion of air transport systems. Nevertheless, sustainable adoption of urban air mobility solutions will rely on very specific use cases which require time critical transports, for example the use of drones for transport of medical goods, rescue operations in remote areas or traffic surveillance. With the advancement of technology, urban air mobility is quickly becoming a reality and is gaining a lot of attention from the public, industry, and government. Toulouse Metropole with its well-established Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem became an EIT UM hub for this acceleration programme.
…and new Thematic Accelerators at EIT Urban Mobility
Thanks to the continuous evaluation of market trends as well as demand side monitoring, EIT Urban Mobility decided to launch dedicated programmes and focus on three new verticals, namely:
(1) Future Mobility Accelerator – with the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles, the potential to better manage traffic flows, reduce emissions and improve the overall quality of life in cities is huge. This programme is open to all cutting-edge and high-impact technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platforms, blockchain, 5G, vehicle-to-everything (V2X), Internet of Things (IoT) or edge computing that could be applied to the sector and leverage on their advantages. Led by North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency, cooperation will be stretched over 3 countries (Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia) with 5 more partners: VEFRESH, North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency, Innovation Centre Nikola Tesla, ABC Accelerator, LMT, and Poslovna Inteligencija.
(2) Inclusive Mobility Accelerator – increasing awareness of inequalities embedded already in urban design, high-level planning and systemic solutions makes public debate shifting nowadays towards identification of mobility patterns that should be re-designed to serve the whole society. To address range of the existing issues as well as to ensure that developed innovations are inclusive, Impact Hub Vienna as a lead partner, together with Ocean Strategy Unnipessoal Lda and Punkt vor Strich GmbH, will be working with entrepreneurs with the aim to create a frontrunning incubation center for inclusive mobility.
(3) Smart Mobility Accelerator – implementation done in close cooperation with ecosystem stakeholders is pivotal for any innovation to succeed and grow exponentially in its first phase. Following that belief, EIT Urban Mobility is delighted to host an ¨accelerator of accelerators¨ – a consortium founded by 3 leading start-up accelerators: DriveTLV in Israel, MobilityXLab in Sweden, and Start-up Autobahn powered by Plug and Play in Germany. The consortium will create an impactful transcontinental collaboration between leading mobility stakeholders and start-ups thanks to proven and in-house tested methodologies, and with access to facilities, experts, and direct channels of engagement with key corporations and investors.
Outlook for 2023
All seven Thematic programmes will be launched on 20 February, with the deadline of 21 April. All the submissions should be delivered via AwardsForce. If you would like to be reminded of the call opening, please fill in the following form.