A funding of â‚¬15 million from the EC’ s Horizon 2020 programme along with â‚¬17 million from the Estonian Government was obtained for Smart City Research in Helsinki and Tallinn. This will enable R&D teams to test and implement smart city strategies with the eventual goal of creating cross-border smart city initiatives along the EU.
The beneficiaries were Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Aalto University, along with Forum Virium Helsinki and the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The funding was given to the Finest Twins project, the brainchild of Dr Ralf-Martin Soe from the Nurkse Department of TalTech. The idea is to link two countries which are “cultural twins’, Finland and Estonia, by having the cities of Helsinki and Tallinn and the regions around them working more closely together than just two regions in two different countries.
“The funding will be used to establish the Smart Cities Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. This will be the first global centre of excellence focusing on developing top-level research and innovative solutions for cross-border smart cities. The innovative concepts and solutions will be tested and implemented in Tallinn and Helsinki before being scaled globally.’
The centre’ s research outputs will be exploited by the Urban Open Platform and Lab, which will design and trial various jointly created smart city pilot projects in a real-life environment, such as autonomous cars, smart street lighting etc. In essence, the Finest Twins project aspires to become a smart and sustainable model for future cross-border smart cities and affiliated projects.