Eco Urban Living

In June 2010 the City of Espoo, Fortum, Nokia, Valmet Automotive and Synocus launched the Eco Urban Living initiative. As the first main activity the founding partners organized a participatory future mapping process, carried out during the second half of 2010, the result of which was a scenario report entitled Eco Urban Living 2020. This report offers a source of information regarding the impact of eco-conscious urban development on citizens. It is also a tool for raising awareness of these issues and inspiring officials and citizens to put these principles to use in their own cities.

The scenario report served as a basis when formulating the outline for the next phase of the initiative, the focus of which is how to make the City of Espoo a front runner in implementing new low carbon measures. A decision was made to establish a sizeable demonstration project to rapidly implement the ambitions identified during the scenario work. In spring 2011 Eco Urban Living became a key project in the national EVE-program, a national five-year program supported by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.

The EVE –program will fund five testing and pilot projects in various cities around the country. The programs €100 million budget is comprised of €9.5 million of funding from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in addition to €30 million of funding from Tekes and individual contributions from over 50 participants in the program’s various projects.

The objectives of the Eco Urban Living initiative are:

· Jointly establish a demonstration platform for the development, testing and commercialization of electric vehicles and related technologies.
· Build the ecosystem capabilities necessary to enable the rapid international utilization of the demonstration results from Finland.
· Strengthen international networking with leading cities and universities that may support the rapid commercialization of the demonstration results.

The Eco Urban Living demonstration program will continue from the beginning of May 2011 through the end of April 2015 and consists of three parts: (i) technology research and development, (ii) building the platform for international leveraging of the demonstration results, (iii) establishing the test fleet.

The research will be organized into six streams (3 core areas of EV technology, Customer dialogue, Market making ecosystems, and World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities). Alongside the original founders, a number of additional technology partners, as well as leading universities and research institutes, will also be engaged.

A participating enterprise will benefit from the project in at least three ways:

· Define individual objectives for their respective research streams and gain access to leading research on topics integral to the development of electric vehicle strategy, smart grids and low carbon urban infrastructures.
· Act as a leading party in the most significant Finnish electric vehicle demonstration initiative, thereby strengthening relationships with key players in the electric vehicle industry nationally and internationally.
· Reduce the cost of purchasing equipment by purchasing equipment to be engaged by the Eco Urban Living initiative together with other test bed partners.

Each company will participate through the contributions of their leading experts in electric vehicle technology who will work in collaboration with world class scientists in the field of, both, EV-technology, as well as, the development of a supportive business ecosystem which will enable the rapid internationalization of the demonstration results.