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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release27 April 2018Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Final wave of cities chosen for the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge

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The Digital Cities Challenge is a new initiative to stimulate economic growth and social welfare through digital transformation. As part of the challenge, 15 cities with a strong will to change by putting advanced technologies at the service of their citizens have been chosen. These cities will receive high quality policy advice and mentoring from top international experts, as well as numerous networking and collaboration opportunities.

Alcoy (Spain), Arad (Romania), Grand-Orly Seine Bièvre (France), Guimarães (Portugal), Kavala (Greece), Pori (Finland), and Rijeka (Croatia) will join the initiative to receive free coaching and facilitation from high-level experts as they embark on their digital transformation journeys.

They join Patras (Greece), Granada (Spain), L’Aquila (Italy), Ventspils (Latvia), Algeciras (Spain), Thessaloniki (Greece), Iași (Romania) and Sofia (Bulgaria), who are already participating in the challenge.

This second group takes the number of participating cities to 15, coming from 9 European countries.

The selection came after a highly competitive application process in which 92 expressions of interest submitted.

The challenge will create a collaboration network that will also feature well-advanced 'Blueprint Cities' from the initiative that preceded the Digital Cities Challenge, as well as 22 'Fellow Cities' that wish to follow the programme using their own resources.

The Fellow Cities are Antwerp (Belgium), Athens (Greece), Bacau (Romania), Cork (Ireland), Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland), Diputación Provincial De Alicante (Spain), Gelsenkirchen (Germany), Gijón (Spain), Graz (Austria), Heidelberg (Germany), Heraklion (Greece), Idrija (Slovenia), Karlskrona (Sweden), Nuremberg (Germany), Oulu (Finland), Padua (Italy), Reggio Emilia (Italy), Seville (Spain), Sunderland (UK), Terrassa (Spain), Trikala (Greece) and Turku (Finland).

All participating cities, as well as Fellow Cities and Blueprint Cities, will be brought together for the first time in the next 'City Academy' seminar taking place in Brussels on the 16-17 May. At the event, city representatives and high-level experts will come together to discuss and review their vision and ambitions for digital transformation.

You can see all the participating cities’ profiles and follow their journey on the Digital Cities Challenge website.

The high-level experts are already in the field working with cities to assess their digital strategies, and identify challenges and areas where they could be strengthened.

For regular updates and to join the conversation about digital transformation in Europe’s cities follow the hashtag #DigitalCitiesChallenge on Twitter.