3rd Open Call | New date for submissions, 20/9!

Athens Digital Lab: The 1st municipal tech innovation hub

Digital ideas that change Athens

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ABOUT ATHENS DIGITAL LAB - CITY OF ATHENS

The Athens Digital Lab of the City of Athens is the first municipal, tech innovation hub to support tech ideas that are spun into advanced IoT solutions. To address the real needs of Athens and supply tailored answers to the modern challenges of the city, the development and maturation of these applications is essential. In accelerating Athens’ digital transformation, ADL is upgrading the quality of life for both Athenians and visitors.

ADL is a pioneering venture, at the heart of the Greek startup ecosystem. It introduces and infuses innovation into municipality’s structures, supports youth entrepreneurship and creates the conditions that lead to the development of policy-making tools resulting in economic prosperity and growth. ADL enriches the relationship between the city, the private sector & the startup ecosystem, allowing a new model of urban governance and civic participation to flourish in Athens. Its’ experimental approach and strategy has ushered real change in how we envisage the future of urban planning.

Each year, ADL stages an Open Call that focuses on different themes aligned with the municipality’s strategic plan by inviting young entrepreneurs / startups, university students/graduates and research teams to submit their innovative ideas. After the required assessment, the incubated teams work together with municipality executives, executives of COSMOTE and Nokia’s innovation divisions, and other bodies of the Greek and EU startup ecosystem, to develop sustainable tech solutions.

For at least 6 months, following the development and the maturation of the solutions, the teams test their ideas in the real field, in different locations of the municipality. For the first time, a “smart city” innovation lab of a municipality is prioritising the needs of the city and putting into practical use new technologies, while motivating young people to innovate together with Athens. Open Call presents a rare opportunity for young entrepreneurs to experiment, create and give new impetus to their city.

More about us

ADL is located at the Innovation, Culture and Sports Centre – Serafio of the City of Athens. This modern complex houses tech startups, a fully equipped MakerSpace and other innovative initiatives of the City of Athens related to social entrepreneurship, education and tourism. The initiative is already three years old; it came into life in 2017, in the framework of the implementation of the digital strategy of the Municipality of Athens and with the exclusive donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN), in collaboration with the Athens Partnership, COSMOTE and Nokia.

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3RD OPEN CALL

Athens Digital Lab of the City of Athens is looking once again for digital ideas that will transform Athens! The ADL team invites young entrepreneurs and startupsresearchers and students/graduates, as well as those who have been occupied with technology and innovation, to submit their proposals which will be turned into advanced Internet of Things solutions, for a smart and savvy city.

The proposals are requested to cover these themes:

  • Tourism / Culture
  • Resilience / Crisis prevention & management (covid-19)
  • Public space management
  • “Smart” Education
  • Impact Investment Monitor
  • “Open” theme

Reasons to join:
Up to 10 teams will be selected and they will have the opportunity to work for one year in a specially-designed and fully-equipped lab, made available by the Municipality of Athens, and having at their disposal all their technical and financial resources.
Additionally, ADL will provide to the teams:
1. Pilot applications in the real field in different locations around the city – to include the cost of essential technological equipment (hardware and software) for the implementation of the concept
2. Technical support and guidance from officials of the Municipality of Athens, COSMOTE and Nokia
3. Access to a specialised ΙοΤ platform
4. Advanced network infrastructures

During implementation, the teams may perform field trials, and will have access to the data of the municipality for the maturation of the solutions, which will be implemented in the municipality of Athens for two years. At the same time, teams will have access to international sales channels, with the support of COSMOTE and Nokia.

New date for submissions by Sunday, September 20th.

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Digital ideas that transform Athens
Meet the ADL teams

THEMATIC PILLARS

Tourism / Culture

Athens is an international destination that offers a mosaic of experiences. The vital digital footprint of visitors includes their preferences and behavior. In order to decode and use this valuable information to improve the city's visibility, we require the necessary tools.

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Resilience / Crisis Management (COVID-19)

Cities are dealing with a multi-level crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic, combined with global climate change, has shown how vulnerable societies are. With the use of technology, we can develop solutions that effectively prevent and manage such challenges.

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Public Space Management

Our daily lives have changed rapidly. These dramatic changes have sparked a debate about what urban planning actions should be taken for cities to respond more effectively to new policies, with the help of advanced technology.

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Smart Education

Smart education is a key component of a city's digital transformation and ultimately its development. The benefits of advanced training and certification, e-learning infrastructure, lifelong learning and innovation combined with deep tech, these are all ingredients of a smart city.

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ECONOMIC-DEV

Impact Investment Monitor

The existence of strong innovation ecosystems has a large impact on the economic growth of a city. They act as guides for the development and preservation of national talent and the creation of new jobs. There are many tools that we can use to develop ideal fintech solutions.

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Open Pillar

Do you have an idea that does not relate to any of these themes? Something that is relevant to a different area of activity? Please feel free to submit it. We would love to hear your innovative proposal!

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FAQ ABOUT ADL

1. The Contest

3rd Open Call | Athens Digital Lab of the City of Athens is looking once again for digital ideas that will transform Athens! ADL team invites young entrepreneurs and startups, researchers and students/graduates, as well as those who have been occupied with technology and innovation, to submit their proposals which will be turned into advanced Internet of Things solutions, for a wise and smart city.

Submissions accepted by Sunday, September 13th.

2. Athens Digital Lab 2nd Cohort

The resident teams of the 2nd cohort (2019-2020) were:

● City Museum, AR tour guide, showcasing the least known monuments, transforming Athens in an open-air museum

 MaGOS, A portable human-computer interaction device, tracking finger movement in a modern AR/VR environment

● Narratologies, IoT enabled walks, an immersive experience of myths and tales that represent the hidden imaginary of the city.

 sCoolSense, creating the “school of tomorrow” with the use of sensors, IoT devices and the active engagement of teachers and parents

 SpaceStudents, in-class engaging game simulating a space colony, educating students to recycling and optimal use of resources and energy, highlighting the value of sustainability.

3. Contest Criteria - Proposals

The criteria for the evaluation and selection of submitted proposals, to participate to the open contest of the Athens Digital Lab, are as follows:

  • Compatibility with the areas of interest that have been set
  • Maturity stage of the proposal and technological excellence
  • Required time and cost for growth in the testing field
  • Innovation of the implementation phase
  • Proposed business model and prospects for growth and sustainability
  • Profile and age of the participant/s
  • Impact of the digital solution in the everyday life of Athenians
  • Ability to create jobs in Greece

The proposals should be integrated solutions/services and they could be: 1 a new idea, 2. an idea in the development phase, 3. a developed project without a finalized solution, 4. a partially developed technical solution with a proposal for the final phase. The selected proposals will be turned, within Athens Digital Lab, into integrated products. After the successful pilot testings, the solutions could be considered for a larger scale. The teams will then be able to cooperate on the commercial development of their products with the support of NOKIA and Cosmote, in order to gain access to international and national sales channels, upon negotiation and agreement.

Participants are free to use any technology that they think would fit in their proposals.

4. Application Process

The application form includes:

a. The personal contact information of your leader or/and team.

b. All the necessary information of your proposal.

More specifically: 

  • Description of the proposal. Briefly describe your solution.
  • The problem / opportunity. Describe the impact of the solution/proposal that brings in Athens and its citizens.
  • Value Proposition. Describe the target audience and the value of your solution/proposal.

Submit your idea here

5. Benefits for the winning teams
  • Hospitality for at least six (6) months in the fully-equipped working area of Athens Digital Lab, housed in the Serafio Athletic, Innovation and Community complex of the Municipality of Athens.
  • The necessary technological equipment (hardware and software) for the implementation of your proposal, the amount of which shall be approved by the Committee, depending on the case.
  • High-speed internet and access to the ΙοΤ platform 
  • Regular/Occasional advisory support from executives of ΝΟΚΙΑ, Cosmote and the Municipality of Athens, as well as other qualified professionals, depending on the proposal.
  • Access to different databases for the maturation of the proposals.
  • Facility for final tests in the field, in the infrastructure of the city
  • Costs, including the cost of transport, accommodation and any other expenses due to your participation in Athens Digital Lab, can be covered after sending an application to the Committee and if, after assessment, they approve it. 
  • Workshops by Greek or foreign leaders/entrepreneurs/executives with themes related to business, product management, marketing etc.

NEWS

Tuesday 07. 28. 2020
3rd Open Call – Submit your innovative ideas before 13/9!
The 3rd open call of ADL of the City of Athens, is calling all young innovators, startups, research teams or...
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Monday 05. 11. 2020
Joining the Women Tech Global Conference 2020
We are more than thrilled to announce that we are joining the "Women Tech Global Conference 2020", June 10 -...
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Tuesday 07. 28. 2020
MaGOS was selected to participate in 3 EU programs & 2 accelerators
Hard work and dedication to vision always pay off. MaGOS (Quanta & Qualia), the team of the 2nd cohort of...
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ALL NEWS
Tourism / Culture

Athens is an international destination that offers a mosaic of experiences. The vital digital footprint of visitors includes their preferences and behavior. In order to decode and use this valuable information to improve the city’s visibility, we require the necessary tools.

Athens is an international destination that offers a mosaic of experiences. With the appropriate technological tools, we will “decode” the digital footprint of visitors and citizens and use this vital information regarding their preferences and behavior.

The technological tools will enable us to utilize data, to its maximum potential, for the best possible promotion of the city. Athens has evolved as a dynamic, multi-faceted and vibrant destination, with a strong imprint of its unique past. At the same time, the city is a modern and thriving metropolis for its inhabitants as well.

The Municipality of Athens recently announced the Great Athens Walk, a project that focuses both on the evolution of Athens as a modern year-round destination, but also as a city that “listens” and respects the daily life of Athenians.

The initiative will greatly impact the diffusion of visitors, taking them to more parts of Athens, and contributing to the national tourist goal. The Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakogiannis, has emphasised the need to record the biggest current data trends of the international market due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as mapping the experience of visitors through multiple new opportunities created in the city centre. More specifically, there are now routes that serve and satisfy every visitor: from “smart” visits to archeological sites to fun-filled walks using IoT technology to discover gastronomic pathways, and explorations of what it’s like to live like an Athenian local.

So, how can we collect and harness key information about visitors to Athens for maximum effect? Data such as the movement of individual travelers, their shopping preferences, time spent in Athens, their most frequent trips and paths, their expectations, the places they prefer and why? The development and maturation of advanced tech solutions will offer us the opportunity to best meet the needs of these travelers and draft effective strategies for targeting and capturing their travel intentions ( the when, where, and why) as a reliable tool for fulfilling their desires.

Links:

http://megalosperipatos.cityofathens.gr/

https://www.thisisathens.org/

https://www.thisisathens.org/partners/

https://www.athensculturenet.com/el

https://sete.gr/

https://www.marketinggreece.com/

https://aia.gr/

 

Resilience / Crisis Management (COVID-19)

Description

The main call and foremost challenge for cities nowadays is to manage a multi-level crisis. Living these past months amid the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with accelerating climate change, has demonstrated how vulnerable societies are, and how dramatically our daily lives can be affected. With the use of advanced technology, we can develop solutions that prevent and manage such situations.

Cities around the world seek to develop strategies and protocols aimed at preparing, adapting and responding immediately to altered conditions and challenges such as a health crisis, which consequently results in social and economic crises.

Cities and economies have been forced to develop more directly, tools and skills to help them survive, adapt and thrive. Conditions are changing rapidly and at the same time, the effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced. Inequalities – social, national and economic – are also increasing while resources are dwindling. This all brings us face to face with an extreme new reality.

The National Development Strategy 2021-2030 will be the next decade’s fair and inclusive roadmap for a sustainable environment.

Therefore, the forecasting and immediate management of all kinds of crises, which require answers to modern problems at every level of administration (with great emphasis on the city level), is becoming ever more imperative. Examples of technological solutions that could offer new possibilities in the post-Covid19 era:

Keywords: COVID-19 / Prevention and Management, Data Privacy / Data Security, Climate Change / Natural Disasters

Public Space Management

Description

Our daily lives have changed rapidly. These dramatic changes have sparked a debate about what urban planning actions should be taken for cities to respond more effectively to new policies, with the help of advanced technology.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly altered urban life, perhaps forever. The changes have sparked a great debate about how cities should rethink their plans on urban development, in order to be able to deal more effectively with the current crisis (and future ones).

Smart cities use information and communication technologies to streamline urban operations on a large scale. Technological ecosystems collect traffic, noise, air quality, energy consumption and movement data in order for authorities and enterprises to make improved and sustainable decisions. Citizens can engage with the smart city in a number of ways.

The Municipality of Athens, with the announcement of the Great Walk, is proceeding with a major upgrade of city sidewalks and the systematic cleaning of squares and facades, in tandem with the creation of a network of charging stations for electric vehicles. These three key elements are an important development message for both residents, visitors and businesses in the city-centre and commercial triangle. Sidewalks, bike paths and a new emphasis on greenery have already given new breath to the city – and they can be utilised to their greatest advantage with the help of new technologies.

The technological developments of Industry 4.0, have a sizable impact on the development of city infrastructure and this includes the role of smart streets, sidewalks and, finally, public space.

Smart Roads / Sidewalks / Squares

Roads are an often-overlooked, but they are an integral part of modern transport infrastructure. We keep hearing about autonomous cars, navigation applications and driving services. But as it turns out, roads can be the perfect “vehicle” of innovation. They can be upgraded with lighting and transmission technologies that improve safety and transform driving conditions, delivering a better overall experience for residents and visitors who want to explore Athens.

Mobility

Public space is supported and directly related to urban mobility. In this area, there are several parameters that can evolve with the contribution of new technologies:

Mobility centres / connection points of various transportation options – walking, cycling, public transport and cars, etc.

Car-free belts

Electric vehicles

Autonomous driving

 

Traffic management

Roads are now becoming “smarter” with the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to make driving safer, more efficient and greener. Smart roads combine tech infrastructures such as sensors and solar panels with software infrastructures such as AI and data management. Smart road technologies are integrated into roads and can improve visibility, generate energy, communicate with autonomous vehicles, monitor road conditions and more – while also collecting important data on traffic and weather, which can be utilised by the city.

Electricity 

The European Union’s mandate to tackle climate change through “green growth” and strict environmental benchmarks is the driving force behind the necessity to transition our energy delivery model. We are therefore called upon to lay all the foundations for the development of environmentally friendly energy infrastructure.

The Municipality of Athens, in the framework of the national strategy for energy, climate and sustainable mobility, intends to procure electric vehicles and build a network of charging stations, in cooperation with HEDNO, in order to determine the location of these charging stations.

There are several parameters that can change with the contribution of new technologies, such as:

Charging stations

EV parking

Electrification / emission reduction technology of buildings

Public spaces are defined as: streets, sidewalks, squares and common areas. Local authorities issue permits to occupy public space and these may relate to the development of table seats, or other related commercial activities. These permits are given to encourage the economic and social life of the city, but should not be abused because free public space in the Greek urban environment is a relatively rare resource which must be protected. For this reason, the administration of a city must not only grant these permits in moderation, but also methodically monitor the correct observance of the conditions of their issuance.  Historically, this has not always occurred in Greece and has resulted in intrusion on narrow sidewalks or sidewalks in the center of Athens.

Keywords: mobility, public space management, ev parking, charging stations, electricity, smart roads, sidewalks, squares, the great walk athens

Smart Education

Description

Smart education is a key component of the digital transformation of any city, and ultimately, its evolution into a “smart” city. The benefits of basic education, advanced training and certification, universities, e-learning infrastructure, lifelong learning and innovation in education technologies are all part of what defines a smart city.

The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of education. In a very short time, we saw the national education system adapt and use the new tools that technology offers. Electronic platforms and programs not only plugged the educational gaps (to a large extent), they also kickstarted an intensive “collective training” in these modern methods.

Smart cities recognize the need for educational programs that equip their residents – regardless of age, educational level and familiarity with technology – with modern knowledge, practical skills and collaborative attitudes.

This relates to the citizens and professionals of the municipality, as well as its own employees and executives. Municipality executives, in particular, must supplement their regular training by the National Center of Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA) with working knowledge of global technological developments and international best practices.

The Municipality of Athens also supports the START Project, a modern educational hub hosted in a dedicated space at the Serafio Complex, and open to all those who wish to acquire the skills required by the new digital age. The program gives life to the local community and acquaints participants with technological education and entrepreneurship. It also strives to reduce digital illiteracy and social inclusion of people over the age of 50 by training them in the use of computers and digital tools. The START Project began in 2017 with free educational activities. Since then, it has trained more than 3,000 people – across nationalities, gender and age – all seeking to develop digital skills.

Keywords: education, life-long learning, smart services, e-learning

Links:

https://www.startproject.gr/

https://www.ekdd.gr/

https://www.cityofathens.gr/node/34362

Impact Investment Monitor

Description

The existence of robust innovation ecosystems in a modern city is a major indicator of economic strength. They are guides for the development and creation of many jobs and the preservation of national talent.

In recent years, we have seen a significant strengthening of the Athenian ecosystem. A number of start-ups have been launched and are growing with the substantial support of institutions – both public and private – who are providing unprecedented available investment funds. The tourist sector of the city is moving in the same direction, with large investments and consistently upward statistics.

It is therefore very important for a city to develop tools that record the impact of these investments on an economic and social level. Armed with this data,it will be possible to formulate appropriate policy, conduct comparative analysis, and, of course, provide potential investors with access to more nuanced snapshots.

Cities play a critical role as drivers of the economy through their involvement in areas of connectivity, creativity and innovation, as well as in the provision of service centres for their surrounding areas.

Sustainable development – a primary goal of the Municipality of Athens – also concerns economic development, the creation of new jobs and healthy competition. When based on a variety of data, this economic growth can consolidate and hasten the synergies between the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, economy).

Keywords: ecosystem, economic growth, investments, development, fintech, real estate