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Edinburgh-based expert in smart city innovation joins €32 million international research project

Posted: 8th December 2020

Luca Mora, Associate Professor of Urban Innovation at the Edinburgh Napier Business School, is to collaborate in the €32m FinEst Twins project. It will explore solutions for ‘smart cities’, a term that covers innovations supporting user-orientated built environment design; smart transport; digital services; data and cybersecurity; and renewable energy solutions.

This project establishes the new Smart Cities Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, which will test proposed concepts and solutions before they are scaled globally. The Centre’s goal is to develop an open research and development ecosystem, which can support both public bodies and commercial businesses as they introduce new technologies and services to benefit communities around the world.

Luca Mora delivering a keynote at the European Week of Regions and Cities event in 2018

Funded with €15 million from the Horizon 2020 programme and a further €17 million from the Government of Estonia, the FinEst Twins project is a cross-border collaboration between Estonia’s Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) – where Luca Mora has been recently appointed Professor of Urban Innovation – and Aalto University in Finland; along with Forum Virium Helsinki and the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Over the next seven years, the FinEst Twins project will test ideas in real-life environments in both Tallinn and Helsinki. The Centre’s own research will also help Forum Virium Helsinki, TalTech and Aalto University to design and trial their own joint pilot projects.

Smart cities both generate, and make use of, a huge amount of data. It is this aspect of smart city innovation that Luca will support. Over the course of his professional career, Luca has established an international reputation for improving knowledge production and dissemination processes in the field of smart city development projects and strategies. His research is interdisciplinary and spans urban studies, innovation studies, and computer science.

“I am delighted to be joining colleagues across Europe to help expedite the benefits of smart city innovation for communities around the world,” says Luca. “This project represents a unique opportunity for building bridges between Estonia, Finland, and Scotland, by combining their shared interest in how digital technologies can become a tool for boosting urban sustainability.”

Luca will also continue working with colleagues from Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Engineering and Built Environment and School of Computing on smart city technologies.

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