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Even before the launch of Horizon 2020, the preparation and implementation of transnational cooperation schemes regarding financing and programming is key.

The European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP SCC), the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), the topics of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020) as well as transnational cooperation and initiatives accentuate the future relevance of Smart Cities and Regions on the European level.

The on-going negotiations of Horizon 2020 show clearly that during the new financing period, the EU Framework Programme will prioritise those initiatives for co-funding that contribute through multilateral coordination to a significant progress with regard to the growth of the European Research Area (ERA). The preparation and implementation of transnational programming and financing cooperation have already become important key issues at the Austrian national level. For the last three years, the Climate and Energy Fund as well as the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology have been working together for a successful international positioning of Austrian know-how regarding smart cities.

Since December 2010, the Climate and Energy Fund's Smart Cities initiative has made crucial contributions to this positioning. During the initial programme phase in autumn 2010, it enabled the formation of consortia with transnational networking for vision and concept development. In 2011 it funded first Smart Cities pilot and demonstration projects in Austria’s cities and urban agglomerations. Due to these preparatory efforts and achievements, Austrian stakeholders are now seen as competent partners for EU research projects throughout Europe, for the initiatives of the European Commission as well as transnational cooperations and networks. In order to build on this success and to further support the Europe-wide positioning of Austrian research institutions and companies, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology is starting the new RDI programme under the name of “City of the Future”, which will feature a strong transnational component from the very beginning and will be coordinated with “Smart Cities Demo” to best integrate Austrian urban-related RDI into the European RDI landscape. Another initiative in this field is the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe, which has a more systems-oriented approach, endeavouring to embrace the complexity of urbanization in all its breadth (see for more information)

smartcities: Europe