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The 3rd Smart City Exchange Forum

Exchange Forum - place for discussions, dialogues and exchange of ideas!

25 - 27 January 2023

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The 3rd Smart City Exchange Forum takes place on 26th January 2023.

Collaboration drives innovation: City-to-city, research & innovation partnerships

The 3rd Smart City Exchange Forum with the theme "Collaboration drives innovation: City-to-city, research & innovation partnerships" aims to enhance the cooperation and networking between researchers, cities, policy makers, companies and other relevant stakeholders for developing sustainable, resilient, and smarter urban environment.

The Exchange Forum has been an online event due to the COVID pandemics but this year we are pleased to host the event in Tallinn with live audience so everyone joined can meet face to face.

Registration for the 3rd Smart City Exchange Forum is closed! 

Please note that in case of no-show without earlier cancellation FinEst Centre for Smart Cities has a right to charge you 25 eur no-show fee!

FinEst Centre for Smart Cities also organizes two side events for the Exchange Forum:

25th January: PhD School

26th January: Research groups and further funding 

Exchang Forum

Smart City Exchange Forum 26th January 2023

Location: The Old Town of Tallinn in Tallinn Teachers’ House (Raekoja plats 14, Tallinn, Estonia)
Time: 10:00 – 17:00 Tallinn time (EET)

Followed by Networking Reception 17:00  19:00

Smart City Exchange Forum Day is co-hosted by the European Green Capital 2023 - City of Tallinn.

Main focus of 3rd Smart City Exchange Forum "Collaboration drives innovation: City-to-city, research & innovation partnerships" is on the collaboration structures between cities and their research and innovation ecosystems. In the first part of the day, we will cover the concept of twin cities of Helsinki and Tallinn and in the second part, we will zoom into the regional, European and international examples of city-to-city collaborations. 

Event's moderator: Neeme Raud


10:00 Coffee and registration

10:30 Joint opening by Mayors of Helsinki and Tallinn, Juhana Vartiainen and Mihhail Kõlvart

10:50 FinEst Centre for Smart Cities: Greater Helsinki-Tallinn Research and Innovation Ecosystem. Marko Nieminen, Aalto University and Ralf-Martin Soe, FinEst Centre for Smart Cities

11:10 Flagship examples of Helsinki and Tallinn city-to-city research and innovation collaboration:

  • Green Twins pilot addresses the issue of urban greenery and how it can be better taken into account in planning processes for sustainable and more democratic cities. Fabian Dembski, TalTech and High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart and Aija Staffans, Aalto University.

  • Urban Open Platform for cross-border data exchange. Timo Ruohomäki, Forum Virium Helsinki

  • Examples of cross-border development based on IRIS and IOT-NGIN projects. Nikita Akmaikin, Forum Virium Helsinki

  • TREASoURcE aims to initiate systemic change by developing systemic circular economy solutions in cities via setting up exploitation, replication and transferable practices. Anna Tenhunen-Lunkka, VTT

12:00 City Twinnings: Panel of Hellinn, Talsinki and beyond. Moderator: Neeme Raud. Participants: Juhana Vartiainen, Mihhail Kõlvart, Jaak Aaviksoo and Helen Sooväli-Sepping

12:40 Place-Based Innovation in Helsinki and Tallinn. Jaanus Müür, TalTech


13:00 Networking lunch

14:00 Smart City Keynote: Global Review of Smart City Governance PracticesLuca Mora, Edinburgh Napier University & TalTech


14:30 Flagship examples of city-to-city collaboration in Europe:

  • NetZeroCities project helps 100 EU cities to reach net-zero by 2030. It recently launched a 32 million euro Pilot Cities programme where cities will be coupled with twin cities. Will Wade, Climate KIC. 

  • Urban Learning Center for Eastern Partnership cities. The UNDP is setting up an Urban Learning Center for 300 cities in Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova with Tallinn as a potential Nordic Star Inspirational City. Elina Järvela, UNDP. 

  • CityAM project combines 3 larger Baltic Sea Cities (Helsinki, Hamburg and Stockholm) with 3 replicator cities (Tartu, Riga and Gdansk) for developing and implementing joint concepts for urban air mobility, related to landing sites, social acceptance and drone policy development. Jaanus Tamm, City of Tartu.

  • CityScape project researches the interplay between security controls and multimodal transport systems in the cities of Tallinn and Genova. Liivar Luts, City of Tallinn.

  • Ediaqi project deals with emerging indoor air pollution in multiple cities across Europe, building onto DigiAudit pilot with cities of Tallinn and Tartu. Alessandro Paciaroni, Lisbon Council.

  • UrbanLIFECircles project introduces adaptive community-based biodiversity management in urban areas for improved connectivity and ecosystem health for cities of Tartu, Aarhus and Riga. Riia Ränisoo, City of Tartu.


15:45 Lessons learnt: FinEst smart city pilots

Focusing on the FinEst smart city pilots with a discussion on how cities collaborate and learn within those pilots, both in terms of peer-to-peer format but also within research and innovation ecosystems.

  • Introduction to the Piloting Program. Külle Tärnov, FinEst Centre for Smart Cities

  • Progress of Well-Being Score pilot. Ivo Fridolin, TalTech

  • Progress of DigiAudit pilot. Martin Thalfeldt, TalTech

  • The mini-piloting programme. Matti Hämäläinen, Forum Virium Helsinki


16:30 Q&A and closing word by Kerkko Vanhanen, Forum Virium Helsinki


17:00 Networking reception in restaurant Maikrahv

Registration for the event is closed!

Please note that in case of no-show without earlier cancellation FinEst Centre for Smart Cities has a right to charge you 25 eur no-show fee!

PhD School

PhD School
25th January 2023

Location: Tallinn University of Technology, Mektory (Raja 15, Tallinn, Estonia). Room: Innovation HUB
Time: 10:00 – 20:00 Tallinn time (EET)

The day is filled with workshops and discussions for all PhD students related to FinEst Centre for Smart Cities, and those interested to share their work and thoughts in fields of Smart Energy, Smart Mobility, Built Environment, Urban Analytics and Data or Smart City Governance.


10:00 Morning coffee

10:30 Smart City Research class: 

  • Going through pre-assignment: short papers “How my research in contributing to Smart City Research” 

  • Synthesis of papers 

  • Discussion 

12:00 Lunch

Afternoon: Data & tools - introductory sessions

13:00 Introduction to Urban Digital Twin (UDT) & Urban Open Platform (UoP). Dr. J-P Virtanen, Forum Virium Helsinki

13:30 QGIS & Data intro. Dr. J-P Virtanen, FVH

  • UoP data sources, OGC API Features

  • GeoE3 data sources

  • Getting started with QGIS -demo

14:00 rOpenGov - processing Geospatial data in R. Markus Kainu, Kela

  • Overview

  • R-language

  • Exercise

15:30 Break

16:00 Python for Geospatial Data. Prof. Henrikki Tenkanen, Aalto University

  • Overview

  • Demo / exercise

18:00 Closing words. Matti Hämäläinen, FVH


18-20.00 Dinner & free form discussions

Contact: Matti Hämäläinen, Innovation Lead,

Further R&D&I funding
27th January 2023


Location: Tallinn University of Technology, Mektory (Raja 15, Tallinn, Estonia). Room: Innovation HUB
Time: 10:00 – 15:00 Tallinn time (EET)

Researchers and Innovators, learn about and work for your further EU funding!


Further R&D&I funding is for research and innovation personnel within FinEst Twins project and FinEst Centre for Smart Cities, including city and company representatives involved in current or planned projects of the FinEst Twins project or FinEst Centre, i.e, within FinEst community.

Focus of the day:       
1) further EU funding options for the current projects;
2) synergy between academic research and development/innovation activities;
3) formation of the FinEst community around FinEst Centre.


10:00 Coffee & welcome ​

10:15 FinEst community. Kalle Toiskallio, Research Coordinator of FT, Aalto​

10:45 Next Horizon Europe calls relevant for smart city themes. Hugo Goncalves, FVH​

11:30 Writing EU funding proposals. Petri Kanninen, Research Liaison Officer, Aalto

12:15 Ideal scenario of a project proposal from the FinEst Centre's point of view. Henry Patzig, FinEst Centre

12:30 Lunch ​(on site)

13:15 GreenTwins Pilot as an example of synergy between R&I. Pilvi Nummi, post-doc researcher, Aalto

14:00 Wrap-up, Q&A. Kalle Toiskallio

15:00 End 

Contact: Kalle Toiskallio, Research Coordinator, 

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