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Smart Cities

Smart Cities is all about the specific approach – implemented in and with cities – to tackle diverse urban challenges through the development of smart and innovative solutions. It injects digital tools, services and processes to improve the city’s mobility, sustainability, public services, retail, culture and more…

Some example projects:

CoGhent ensures we can make great strides in the short term regarding the digitization and opening-up of both museum collections and the city archive. The ambition is that this project lays the foundation for a participatory platform that can benefit all heritage organizations within the city.

  • DITUR - Digital twins for upscaled retrofits (Flux50.ICON project - 2020-2023)

This project will explore the potential of advanced data and data analytics to support the renovation challenge of the existing building stock by focussing on the digital twin concept. The digital twin concept is investigated as an enabler to support informed decision making, stakeholder participation and upscaled retrofits through process efficiency, opportunity profiling and more interesting business cases. The digital twin is a virtual representation of the building stock, established based on innovative top-down and bottom-up data analysis and for the purpose of analysing, optimising and communicating upon city and portfolio climate actions plans in the built environment. The Techno-Economic team is responsible for performing a detailed cost breakdown and allocation, as well as a quantitative business model evalaution.

  • 5G-Blueprint - Next generation connectivity for enhanced, safe & efficient transport & logistics (H2020 project, 2020-2023)

The overall objective of 5G-Blueprint is to design and validate a technical architecture, business and governance model for uninterrupted cross-border teleoperated transport based on 5G connectivity. The Techno-Economics team is responsible for the description of the business cases, business modelling and techno-economic evaluation.

  • RENergetic (Energy Islands) - Community-empowered Sustainable Multi-Vector Energy Islands (H2020 project, 2020-2024)

The goal of the RENergetic project is to demonstrate the improvement of efficiency and energy autarky, the community involvement in and the socio-economic viability of three urban energy islands: The New Docks in Ghent (BE), the Warta Campus in Poznan (PL) and the Hospital and Research campus in Segrate-Milan (Italy). RENergetic will consider technical, socio-economic and legal viability, ensuring easy integration with existing energy management systems and cooperation with external utilities networks without burdening the higher level grid, safe-guarding economic viability with respect to both the local and commercial stakeholders, and by proposing mitigation measures for identified legal hurdles. The Techno-Economics team is responsiible for the identification and quantification of the economic valuation of the benefits for stakeholders, and the development of a methodological framework for assessing community-empowered energy islands, as well as its application.

  • 5G-CARMEN - 5G for Connected and Automated Road Mobility in the European UnioN (H2020 project, 2018-2020)

5G-CARMEN addresses the societal (e.g. emission, accident reduction) and economic (e.g. vehicles as smart-living environments) challenges in order to push large-scale collaborative cross-border validation activities on cooperative, connected and automated mobility, by the concept of “Mobility Corridors”. The work of the Techno-Economics team is setting up a process to elaborate the cooperation models and cooperative future business models for connected mobility in 5G-CARMEN, between all stakeholders (i.e., vehicle manufacturers, telecom operators and public authorities, road operators, service providers, etc.).

  • SERVO - Secure and Economically Viable V2x solutions (Flemish innovation project, 2018-2020)

The SErVo project (by IMEC and KU Leuven) investigates two essential features of connected and automated driving: (1) security and data protection, and (2) cost and business modelling. The task of the TE team is to develop a reliable cost comparison for different technologies (LTE-V, IEEE 802.11p, etc.), given different situations: (1) no V2I & V2V, (2) both V2V & V2V and its hybrids applied in a highway context.

  • CONCORDA - Connected Corridor for Driving Automation (European CEF Transport project, 2018-2021)

The CONCORDA project contributes to the preparation of European motorways for automated driving and high density truck platooning. The main objective of the project is to assess the performance of hybrid communication systems, combining meshed and cellular connectivity, under real traffic situations. CONCORDA will have test sites in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and Spain. Interoperability and continuity of services will be applied on all test sites, aiming at EU-wide interoperability of services. The work of the Techno-Economics team is to perform a cost-benefit comparison of the different Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication technologies.

  • Smart Multi-Energy district ‘De Nieuwe Dokken’ (2017)

As Flux50 member, imec-IDLab took part in the feasibility study of the smart multi-energy district ‘Nieuwe Dokken’, together with industrial partners ABB, DuCoop, Enervalis and SF1. De Nieuwe Dokken is a new residential district that is being built in Ghent. The general goal of the study is to achieve a design for next generation smart multi-energy districts. We looked into the economic viability of possible business models for the establishment of such a residential district, based on technological, legislative, social and economic challenges and opportunities assessed in the specific case of the Nieuwe Dokken. Load shifting on residential level has currently not proven to be profitable, but net supporting activities with the district battery, on the contrary, is lucrative. However, because of the high uncertainty on a number of legislative topics and decreasing battery prices, a delay of such battery investment is recommended. Future research should address the appropriate energy capacity and power, based on flexibility market, investment cost and production and load curves of the common electrical installations. More information can be found on here and here.

  • Bilateral project with VIM - Governance of mobility data (bilateral project, 2015-2016)

This project tackles two core questions about big data in the mobility sector. First, it investigates how the multitude of mobility data can be handled, stored and accessed, while in a second step, the value of this data for the relevant stakeholders is quantified. You can find the final project report here

  • SWIFT - Smart Wind Farm conTrol (iMinds ICON project, 2014-2015)

The SWIFT project looks into different techniques to transform an existing distribution network into a smarter, more flexible system, in which wind turbines can optimally be integrated. Within this project, we have looked into the business cases of both the windmill park owner and the distribution net owner and the long-term financial effects of the different smart-grid techniques.

  • CODAM - (IWT bilateral project, 2014-2015)

In the CoDAM project, the individual planning of different utility providers (gas, water, electricity,…), are optimally aligned to obtain one synergistic planning for all utility providers. During this transformation, the original planning and possible budget constraints are respected as much as possible.

  • Linear+ - Naar wereldleiderschap in hernieuwbare energietechnologie en elektrische infrastructuur (iMinds ICON project, 2009-2014)

The Linear project studies ways in which households can tailor their electricity consumption to the amount of solar and wind energy available, both in terms of technology and user interaction. The techno-economic workload in this project primarily consists of analyzing possible market models for the introduction of smart meters on the Belgian market.

  • GreenWeCan - Green Wireless (iMinds ICON project, 2011-2013)

iMinds’ GreenWeCan project investigated the development of a ‘green’ dual wireless city network infrastructure—a wireless sensor network and a cooperative Wi-Fi access network. These support advanced communications services and aim towards a smart, sustainable city.

  • SmartE - Smart Energy ICT (iMinds ICON project, 2010-2012)

This project focused on the definition and proof-of-concept demonstration of underlying ICT architectures and technologies for smart energy applications. Socio-technical studies evaluated the user interactions and behavioural response to the developed systems (esp. in terms of energy consumption), and business modelling studies investigatde the market models enabled/driven by smart energy ICT.

  • SPARC - Smart Energy – ICT for Energy Efficiency (iMinds ICON project, 2010-2012)

Within SPARC, a project focusing on bringing smart battery charging services for electric vehicles to the market, techno-economic researchers conducted an investment analysis on deploying the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.