Connectivity Alliance is a project born as a commitment made by Derrick Pisani to the European Commission as part of the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities back in 2014. Derrick’s wanted to share his decade of experiences leading projects in a public sector setting with small cities and communities, which are otherwise unable to translate need into political will, and into implementing projects. And which when successful, will result in a resource that needs to be managed to address the original need. Derrick is also very passionate about sustainability and the curation of the environment, and thus Connectivity Alliance draw a link between these values and urban life.
The mission of Connectivity Alliance is to sustain cities, particularly the smaller ones, to do more than just address the everyday challenge of being a home to 78% of people in Europe. ‘Home’ must be where there is security that we can have an enjoyable life, and where that enjoyment is sustainable to the whole community of the city, and scalable to those who as yet do not have the pleasure.
As a project today, the ambitions go beyond defining public service architecture to cause replicable projects. The project works:
- to provide a trustworthy home to the wealth of city knowledge that comes from so many city projects in Europe and beyond. And in this initiative, we are at work with those who understand city needs and the industry’s solutions, while keeping in mind that scalable projects must be bankable. A white paper about this will be published soon and linked from here in the coming weeks.
- closely with the likes of Investor Confidence Project Europe as we recognise that what started off as a project in the USA in 2011, has reached new heights in Europe as it standardises the way energy efficiency projects are developed, documented and measured in order to facilitate private investments and enable project aggregation.
- already with a number of (mostly European) city and city-stakeholders – ones which are complimentary and also overlapping at times to have the capacity to deliver concrete resource in the following areas:
- Several cities, as we have given invaluable advice to those who want to learn from each other and either adapt existing industry solutions or develop home-grown ones, and to those who wish to connect around EU-funding or some form of investment. We remain industry-neutral and, in-as-much as we have very good connections with solution providers, our focus remains on facilitating city-needs (within planetary boundaries!)
- Players with Financial advice and business models. Financiers who have a long-term investment vision are keen to develop city projects into valuable financial assets with long-term value derived from business models that benefit the community.
- Experts insightful of EU-funding, be it Horizon 2020 / Europe or Structural and Investment Funds. This funding can be one of the most influential motivators behind standardise approaches, which can develop the city market — making it easier and more affordable for cities, a level playing field for industry and also a good investment.
We are proud to be an independent outfit that catalyses thought-leadership with city players. We aspire to an ecosystem of sustainable, innovative and open services inspired by city needs.
- We work with cities to understand their needs and help transfer knowledge from successful case-studies. We look for opportunities to join up demand from multiple cities, structure deals and drive investment.
- We work with industry to understand the market, shape solutions that address the real needs and finally address the cities who ready.
- We work with finance to alleviate the pains of investments in urban projects, be it in the conviction of the political leaders that would need help to formulate certain policy aspects and direction; or in the capacity of administrators who will implement projects, procure systems and maintain city assets.
- We work with the European institutions to shape policy that will help support the development of a smart cities market which improves quality of life in European cities, jobs in people’s hometowns and economic growth.
Derrick is now one of the members of the Board of Administration of AISBL Politech Institute, an independent, non-profit organisation registered in Belgium (organisation number 0871.481.256) and headquartered in Brussels, and although “Connectivity Alliance” has somehow become synonymous with the organisation’s current existence, it and its members are busy working on several other related projects:
- Since 2016, as part of a consortium involving also PwC, MCI and UrbanDNA, Politech Institute was awarded a three-year contract to manage the European Innovation Partnership Smart Cities and Communities Market Place (2016-2019) This projects aims to facilitate a billion euro worth of investment in cities across Europe by 2020. An inner core of about 150 professionals representing cities and industry from across the EU develop professional content, and the matchmaking platform facilitates encounters between projects and financiers.
- The Humble Lampost – an open affordable component-based city lighting solution that enables other smart city initiatives; delivered collaboratively between cities & Industry to speed integrated valuable delivery.
- The Urban Platforms open reference architecture for smart cities.
- Designscapes – a H2020-funded project which works on the generative potential of urban environments in the highest possible number of European Cities to encourage the uptake and further enhancement and up scaling of Design enabled Innovations.
- Sharing Cities – a “lighthouse” H2020-SCC1 project that draws on €24 million of EU funding to trigger €500 million in investment and to engage over 100 municipalities across Europe, starting with London, Milan and Lisbon, following up with Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw and then hopefully the rest of Europe.
We are continuously looking for projects which are aligned with our values. If you would like to get in touch, please use the form below.