Representatives from Donostia-San Sebastián, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pamplona, Sestao and Bilbao Smart Cities met via online video conference to exchange knowledge, experiences and best practices in H2020 projects.

The first Innovation Atelier Bilbao workshop was held on 19 July. Innovation Atelier Bilbao is a participation tool defined by Bilbao City Council together with its partners in the ATELIER project. It is open to businesses, citizens, agencies and other groups interested in using open innovation to transform Bilbao’s Zorrotzaurre neighbourhood into a Positive Energy District. 

The workshop, led by the Basque Energy Cluster, featured a distinguished panel of representatives from the REPLICATE (Fomento de San Sebastián, Tecnalia), SMARTENCITY (Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council, VISESA, Tecnalia), STARDUST (Pamplona City Council, CENER), +CITYXCHANGE (SestaoBerri) and ATELIER (Bilbao City Council) projects, who presented their smart vision of their respective cities to a full audience, sharing many of the experiences, best practices and lessons learned in their H2020 projects, all with the aim of fostering a joint understanding of the roll-out and take-off phases.

The first part of the session consisted in fostering a common understanding of the projects and initiatives proposed and implemented in the five cities, by means of a short introduction by representatives from each.

In a second, more dynamic part, panellists outlined experiences, lessons learned and recommendations on a series of subjects in an open discussion between participants. The three main lines of debate focussed on the governance model and tools made available in each city for the initiatives of the projects, how the best technical solutions were defined in each case, and the citizen communication and participation mechanisms put in place.

At the end of the session, the representatives from all cities highlighted one recommendation and one lesson, and were positive about establishing a collaborative framework between the five projects in order to elaborate on the matters discussed and analyse others of common interest.

Closing the workshop, Bilbao’s Deputy Mayor, Gotzone Sagardui, thanked the panel and attendants for taking part and for their efforts on their respective projects, and looked forward to the next session in the autumn, hopefully to be held in person.