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METACITIES Excellence Hub in South-Eastern Europe: A New Exciting Project Kicks Off!
On January 19th, the project METACITIES ‘MetaCities Excellence Hub in South-Eastern Europe’ held its physical kick off meeting in Athens, Greece. This 48-month EU-funded Coordination and Support Action under the HORIZON Europe program, officially started on the 1st of January 2023.
Dr. Loizos Christofi, R&D Director and Dr. Ioanna Ioannou, R&D Project Manager at eBOS, participated in the physical kick-off-meeting, which was chaired by Prof. Spyros Denazis representing the University of Patras, as the coordinator of METACITIES. The meeting was attended by the project’s 21 consortium partners and included partners’ presentations of the vision and objectives of the project, as well as of an overview of the overall project expectations and guidelines by the European Commission’s Project Officer. Partners also discussed the project’s work plan, tasks, challenges, risks identified and implementation schedules.
METACITIES’s main mission is to create an Excellence Hub for Future Cities and Regions in Southeast Europe. Three place-based innovation ecosystems in Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria partner together to create a sustainable network that offers a common platform for collaboration, cross-fertilization, and best practices sharing across borders, sectors and disciplines on knowledge production, circulation and use. Founded upon a joint Research and Innovation strategy, a nexus of collaborative links across sectors, joint research, innovation and outreach activities as well as business modelling and sustainability plans, the collaboration aims to benefit citizens, stakeholders, regional ecosystems and the whole Southeast Europe region. The thematic focus on future and metaverse cities necessitates the definition of ambitious Research and Innovation agendas and the uptake of advanced digital technologies.
Digital Twins of future cities/regions provide accurate and reliable reference representation seamlessly unifying the physical, digital and human worlds and enabling stakeholders to assess the effects of any changes before investments and implementations actually occur. The proposed Open Digital Twin Framework facilitates the co-development of complementary future city domains along with their equivalent Digital Twins. The applied Quadruple Helix Model forges synergies among actors and alignment of public and private sector priorities for regional development. Proof of Concept studies, small-scale pilots and feasibility assessments will be used to validate key project’s outcomes. Green Business and Operation Models will be developed for future and metaverse cities, as well as for the METACITIES Excellence Hub. Investment and Sustainability Plans will mobilize the communities of the three innovation ecosystems to progress faster in joined efforts. Common investment plans for Research and Innovation, infrastructures and support for real-life experimentation, aim to leverage national, regional and European funds as well as crowd funds and private capital in a synergetic manner.
In METACITIES, eBOS will lead the elicitation of socio-techno-economic requirements that will guide all research activities related to the specifications of the Open Digital Twin Framework for the smart cities’ ecosystem. eBOS will also lead the dissemination and communication activities, ensuring visibility of the project activities through several traditional and electronic dissemination and communication material sent out to a large pool of stakeholders. Apart from designing and maintaining the project’s website, eBOS will also be responsible for the METACITIES social media presence and management. Moreover, eBOS has a major contribution to the design and execution of small-scale pilots and demonstrators. Three small-scale pilots will be used as experimental zones, and pilot scenarios will address aspects of the defined Smart City Cases. Lastly, eBOS will act as the quality assurance and risk manager of the project.