European Commission: Funding available for multi-city smart lighting development

ROME - The European Commission anticipates providing up to €70 million to collaborative multi-city LED lighting projects similar to an innovative Genoa-led program that landed €3.5 million in Commission funding for six cities earlier this year.

Khalil Rouhana, director of the components and systems group in the EC's Directorate General for Communications, Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), said the money would be available from the EC's overarching 7-year €80 billion Horizon 2020 research and development programme.

Speaking at the EC's two-day ICT Key Enabling Technologies conference here, Rouhana encouraged funding applicants to demonstrate a collaborative approach that could involve several cities interested in combining forces to advance intelligent lighting schemes. Collaborations ideally would also include industry and academia.

In his presentation, Rouhana identified a 'need to join up more with key actions along the value chain such as digital cities, public procurers, etc, in order to accelerate innovation and better serve societal needs.'

The EC awarded its first collaborative smart lighting round in June, when a group led by Genoa secured €3.5 million in matching funds, divided between:

  • Outdoor LED lighting for Genoa's port and indoor lighting for its aquarium;
  • Outdoor facade LED lighting for Belfast's city hall that can change colours for occasions like holidays and concerts;
  • Indoor LED ighting for a sea museum in Klaipeda, Lithuania;
  • Indoor LED lighting for the CretAquarium near Heraklion, Crete;
  • Indoor LED lighting for the Experimentarium museum in Copenhagen;
  • LED lighting for Rotterdam's zoo.

The EC also spread the funding around suppliers to the various projects, including Philips.

Horizon 2020, launched earlier this year, is the EC's latest 7-year research and development funding initiative aimed at fostering innovation that boosts economic growth. In the previous funding framework, the EC backed the lighting overhaul at the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, which will officially switch on this week (watch for more from Lux, which will be there).

Today's conference addressed a broad set of technologies to support the connected 'Internet of things' including lighting, smart cities, manufacturing, photonics, nanoelectronics, microelectronics and others.

The conference's attention tomorrow turns squarely to LED lighting as a driver for smart cities.

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Photo is a screen grab from one of the EC' s Illuminate videos on YouTube