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The Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform closed its 2013 edition of the Annual Conference after very successful two days full of presentations, panel discussions and focused sessions about best practices, showcases and projects for smart cities coming from all over Europe. The event brought together technology developers, city representatives, high-level financial managers and EU-level policy makers from across the European Union. While reviewing achievements since the creation of Platform two years ago, conference delegates looked at the next steps for mass application of promising ICT innovations in sectors such as urban mobility, housing and power distribution.

Held in the heart of Budapest, in the impressive historical Boscolo Hotel, 5-6 June, the event aimed at getting together the different stakeholders involved in the development of smart cities to exchange ideas and provide new integrated approaches to energy issues and transport in cities. The first day, June 5, followed a workshop format and allowed participants to get acquainted with and vote for the best technological innovations identified by platform members. This informal half-day session layed the groundwork for the next day’s plenary, which included the participation of high-level conference delegates.
 
The Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform representatives and its working group members presented results of the last years` intense work to a heterogeneous audience of stakeholders: city administrators and planners, technology providers as well as policy makers. The Conference also announced the creation of a new working group focusing on ICT for smart cities.
 
That being said, the Annual Conference in Budapest was the first occasion to present concrete outcomes of the Platform:
 
These documents were at the centre of the sessions while offering interesting inputs for comments and further reflections about the future of our cities as well as of the next steps of the Platform. The 10 Year Rolling Agenda is open for stakeholder comments and suggestions until the end of June 2013 on the Platform. 
 
Charlina Vitcheva, Director for Regional and Urban Policy in DG REGIO of the European Commission stressed the importance of the initiative: “The Smart Cities Initiative can be a very important building block for a wider urban agenda.”
 
Marie Donnelly, Director of DG Energy of the European Commission, summed up the added value of the Platform: “The Smart Cities Initiative was born out of the FP7 programme and is designed to deliver excellence. The Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform must input into the strategic implementation plan while maintaining the dialogue with cities and politicians. The 10 Year Rolling Agenda produced by the Platform is a very impressive document and we will use it, build it into the policies as we go forward.”
 
 
Concept
 
The Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform Annual Conference is the annual occasion for all its stakeholders to advance the smart-er city. It matches up Solutions Providers with Solution Seekers to discuss and take forward Key Innovations (KI's), to meet and network with each other, and to discuss perspectives for the Smart Cities 10 Year Agenda.
 
The 2013 edition is the first in a series of Annual Conferences of the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform.  It followed the bottom-up process of the Platform, conceived to allow matchmaking and active exchange between industry and cities as well as other stakeholders on the best Key Innovations, which have emerged from the Platform’s stakeholders.
 
Keys to Innovations were prominently at the core of debate. That is what interests the cities as well as the solution providers. Day 1 has been fully devoted to discuss all KIs between their proposers and cities as users, focused among others on allowing for matchmaking. All KIs have been presented and discussed in parallel sessions. In order to present the best KIs (best in terms of what cities need), the ones presented at the plenary have been democratically selected. Day 2 has provided stakeholder perspectives on the achievements of the Smart Cities Stakeholder Platform.