Cities for Excellence

Be the first to be in touch with Bilbao, Brno, Guimarães, Helsinki, Sønderborg, Vienna, Vilnius’ best practices. Make the best from networking with top universities, clusters and research institutes for Smart Cities and Urban Governance projects. Follow in first-hand the presentations from European Commission. Don’t miss it!

2018, October 11th and 12th

Don't miss what is likely to became the biggest networking event during European Week of Regions, in Brussels:

10+ H2020 active Smart City projects present!

39 countries as part of the participant networks;

300 SME and industries represented by participant clusters;

200 H2020-RTD projects run by participant organisations

3000000+ citizens in the participating cities.


Cities for Excellence

Strategic networking is the event’s objective. Cities, science, strategy, future and excellence. This event is a call for long term partnering for H2020’s Smart Cities projects and Horizon Europe’s “Cities for Excellence” related missions.


By email to Kamila Olchowicz ||

Or on eventbrite ||


Day 1 - Matchmaking session

Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the European Union
41-43 Rue Belliard, 1040 Brussels

13:30 Welcome coffee

14:00 Opening address, Dr. Brigita Serafinavičiūtė, Head of LINO - Lithuanian RDI Liaison Office in Brussels

14:05 Key-note address, Prof. Ricardo Machado, Vice-Rector and Professor at the Department of Information Systems, University of Minho

14:15 Vilnius Gediminas Technical University R&D activities and initiatives for smart cities, Prof. Antanas Čenys, Vice-rector for Research and Innovation, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

14:25 Science and Innovation Excellence in Slovenia, Maja Ferlinc, Senior Economic Advisor, SBRA- Slovenian Business & Research Association

14:35 Smart co-development innovation strategies, Paula Peiró, Project developer, IrRADIARE, Science for Evolution

14:45 FP7 and H2020 Smart City projects, 6 years of experiences in urban transformation, Sergio Sanz, Researcher, CARTIF Technology Centre

14:55 University of research excellence-making a real difference to real lives, Janette Gilder, Director of the Project Support Office of the University of Wolverhampton, City of Wolverhampton, Midlands Engine

15:05 The cluster as a transforming agent of cities to promote opportunities and generate wealth, Cristina Murillo, Cluster Services Manager, GAIA Cluster

15:15 Sustainable Energy Innovation and Cooperation in Lithuania, Rolandas Urbonas, Deputy Director, LEI- Lithuanian Energy Institute

15:25 SINFONIA and Stardust Smart Cities Endevours, Farah Fahim, Research Development Office, EURAC Research

15:35 EU Smart Cities Information System - Making cities more liveable and sustainable, Tatiana Pasquel Garcia, Business Developer, Smart Energy and Built Environment, VITO

15:45 Innovation-chain clustering – thematic tables

  • Thematic table I – Digital technologies
  • Thematic table II – Energy technologies
  • Thematic table III – Mobility technologies
  • Thematic table IV – Urban environment
  • Thematic table V – Social and cultural innovation

16:25 Summary presentations of thematic table conclusions

16:50 Concluding remarks and next steps - Brigita Serafinaviciute, Head of LINO - Lithuanian RDI Liaison Office in Brussels

17:00 Closure and networking tea

Day 2 - Strategic partnering session

Portuguese Permanent Representation to the European Union
12 Avenue de Cortenbergh, 1000 Brussels

09:00 Registration, networking coffee

09:30 Welcome addressHE Ambassador Pedro Lourtie, Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union

09:40 Opening address - Jens Bartholmes, Policy Officer, DG Energy, European Commission

10:10 Climate, energy and transport cluster in Horizon Europe – perspectives for smart citiesPirita Lindholm, Director, ERRIN- European Regions Research and Innovation Network

10:20 Cities for Excellence, Marcos António Nogueira, Managing partner, IrRADIARE, Science for Evolution

10:30 City of Guimarães, European Innovation Capital for 2020, Ricardo Costa, Councillor, City of Guimarães

10:40 Vilnius Smart City, first to innovate, Mindaugas Pakalnis, Chief Architect of Vilnius City

10:50 Coffee break

11:10 Zorrotzaurre, an open gateway to the future of cities, Gotzone Sagardui Goikoetxea, Deputy-Mayor, City of Bilbao

11:20 Boosting innovation, Krista Taipale, Head of International Affairs at the Uusimaa Regional Council

11:30 Smarter Together - Smart and Inclusive Solutions for a Better Life in Urban Districts, Waltraud Schmid, Head of Energy Center at Urban Innovation Vienna

11:40 Sonderborg – Getting to zero by 2029 the smart way, Iben Nelsen, Senior Project Manager, City of Sønderborg

11:50 #brno2050 as a Smart City Brno Strategy and Framework towards the next generation of Innovation Cities, Jiří Marek, Manager of Events and Projects of Smart City, City of Brno

12:00 Sharing Cities, European Leadership in Smart Cities, Bernadett Köteles-Degrendele, Smart cities project coordinator, EUROCITIES

12:10 Keynote address. Scientific Evidence-Based Policy-Making for Cities, Maria da Graça Carvalho, member of European Commission's Scientific Advice Unit

12:30 Debate

13:00 Closure


Maria da Graça Carvalho

Jens Bartholmes

Antanas Čenys

Bernadett Degrendele

Brigita Serafinaviciute

Cristina Murillo Gomez

Gotzone Sagardui Goikoetxea

Iben Nielsen

Janette Gilder

Krista Taipale

Marcos António Nogueira

Jiři Marek

Paula Peiró

Pirita Lindholm

Mindaugas Pakalnis

Ricardo Costa

Ricardo J. Machado

Dr. Rolandas Urbonas

Rolandas Urbonas

Sergio Sanz

Tatiana Pasquel Garcia

Waltraud Schmid

Farah Fahim

Pieter Faber


October 11th

Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union
41-43 Rue Belliard || 1000 Brussels, Belgium

How to get to the venue from Brussels Airport
How to get to the venue from Midi/ Zuid Railway Station

October 12th

Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union
12 Avenue de Cortenbergh || 1040 Brussels, Belgium

How to get to the venue from Brussels Airport
How to get to the venue from Midi/ Zuid Railway Station

Guimarães, Portugal

Guimarães is a city and municipality located in northern Portugal, in the district of Braga.

Its historic town center is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guimarães is regarded as the birth place of Portugal and this extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city.

The city still has a harmonious, well-preserved heritage that is evident in the graceful iron verandas, granite balconies and porticos, mansions, arches connecting the narrow streets, paving slabs smoothed by time, towers and cloisters.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius is located in the southeast part of Lithuania and is the second largest city in the Baltic states. Vilnius is also known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

Vilnius is the major economic center of Lithuania and one of the largest financial centers of the Baltic states. There are growing local advanced solar and laser technologies manufacturers centers, such as photovoltaic elements and renewable energy producers, high performance lasers manufacturers, biotechnological manufacturers which successfully supply their products into global markets.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has a population of over 626,300 inhabitants and greater Helsinki does even count up to 1.4 million.

Helsinki is Finland´s major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre as well as one of northern Europe´s major cities. Helsinki is continuously at the top of comparisons and evaluations of the European and global smart cities.

The smart city development is determined by the strong role of the city where the staff actively works directly with the citizens and other stakeholders. In areas where the city owns the land this offers a good opportunity to directly influence the integration of smart home solutions in new buildings.

Secondly, the city owns a utility company which is in charge of the electricity as well as district heating and cooling grids and is also main provider of electricity for these grids. These facts allow the city council to make independent decisions on the energy development of the city.

Finally, as a complement to this, the city has strongly invested in open, digital technologies for smart city developments.

Brno, Czech Republic

Brno, with 378,000 inhabitants, is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and is situated at the centre of the South Moravian Region. It has a strategic geographic position within Central Europe with excellent transport accessibility. Brno is a modern, dynamic and fast-growing centre of industry, research and innovation. In addition to being a city of universities, Brno also claims a high quality of life as a cultural, sporting and historical centre, complimented by a beautiful natural environment.

The Smart City Brno Concept was approved by Brno City Council in October 2015. The motto is that Brno is “a city which cleverly, sensibly and effectively uses modern technology and approaches, leading to an improvement in quality of life, supporting effective governance, preserving natural resources, and enhancing energy sustainability.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria’s capital, lies in the country’s east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence.

Vienna has a well-established Smart City Framework Strategy putting an emphasis on citizen’s participation and life quality in addition to more “traditional” technology driven approaches. Vienna has a strong governance tradition with well-established structured dialogue with citizens, including a series of institutions dealing with the dialogue. This participation dialogue (beyond democratic elections etc.) goes from simple information up to co-creation processes.

Sonderborg, Denmark

The 76,000 citizens of the little-known Danish municipality Sonderborg act, while politicians talk and climate change is accelerating. The city shares the vision of Project Zero and have committed themselves to take Sonderborg zero carbon by 2029.

Sonderborg is a picturesque municipality close to the water and the German border, and it wants to prove that climate neutrality is achievable when cities take decisive action and ensure citizens and companies participate in finding new solutions and retrofitting society’s energy consumption and generation.

Bilbao, Spain

Bilbao is a city in northern Spain, the largest city in the province of Biscay and in the Basque Country as a whole. It is also the largest city proper in northern Spain with a population of 345,141. The Bilbao metropolitan area has roughly 1 million inhabitants making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in northern Spain.

It is a city that is an example of urban transformation at a global level and has maintained a number of hallmarks that make it singular and unique.