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AI carbon neutrality challenge

AI4Cities, an EU-funded Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP), has launched its Request for Tenders (RfT). Tenderers are invited to submit innovative AI solutions in the fields of energy and mobility. These solutions should contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the six cities and regions involved in the project: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), Île-de-France – Paris Region (France), Stavanger (Norway) and Tallinn (Estonia). The call is open until 28 February 2021.

The six cities and regions have developed ambitious strategies and policy plans to become carbon neutral by no later than 2050. AI4Cities aims to help accelerate their transition to carbon neutrality by utilising artificial intelligence and related enabling technologies – such as big data applications, 5G, edge computing and IoT – to find innovative solutions contributing to the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These solutions will address energy- and mobility-related challenges, as these two domains are responsible for 82% of GHG emissions in European cities. 

Kaisa Sibelius, coordinator of the AI4Cities project at Forum Virium Helsinki, hopes that suppliers will be inspired by the challenges. “We encourage tenderers to address several problem areas mentioned under one or multiple sub-challenges. Our goals and challenges must be seen in a broader context. There is a global need for effective solutions that can drive the transition to carbon neutrality. We believe that AI4Cities’ solutions will be well positioned for rapid upscaling, so that other cities in Europe could also benefit from these solutions. The insights gathered from AI4Cities’ R&D should help suppliers tailor similar solutions to different kind of cities.”

Potential suppliers can submit offers in two lots: Lot 1, Mobility and Lot 2, Energy. The PCP will be split in three phases: a solution design phase (Phase 1), a prototyping phase (Phase 2) and a piloting phase (Phase 3). Each lot includes three sub-challenges (+ a wild card) that can be addressed by the suppliers. 

The tenderers’ offers will be evaluated by the Buyers Group, consisting of Forum Virium Helsinki representing the City of Helsinki, the City of Amsterdam, the City of Copenhagen, the City of Stavanger, the City of Tallinn and Cap Digital, which represents the Paris Region. Forum Virium Helsinki is the Lead Procurer. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is part of the consortium, as an expert partner.

The total funding amount to be divided among the selected suppliers throughout the whole challenge-based procurement is €4.6 million.

The deadline for submitting a tender to respond to the AI4Cities challenges is next 28 February 2021. More information about the project budget, timelines, the sub-challenges and the functional requirements of the AI4Cities solutions can be found in the relevant Request for Tenders documents.

The challenges

The European Union aims to reduce transport emissions by 60% by 2050. AI4Cities can contribute to that through solutions focusing on the three mobility sub-challenges: Mobility-as-a-Service, Traffic Flow Optimisation, and Optimisation of Logistics. Suppliers wanting to focus on energy, responsible for 50–70% of all emissions in European cities, can choose between Flexible Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency, and Development of Renewable Energies. The Buyers Group is also allowing suppliers to independently propose a solution for a non-defined challenge in each of the lots.

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