#Policy

Topic within Energy
Karlijn de Wit, Communications at AMS Institute, posted

Scientific Conference | Reinventing the City

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From February 16 to 18, 2022 AMS Institute hosts the scientific conference "Reinventing the City". Working on urban challenges requires cooperation on a multi-stakeholder level. This is what we do as an institute, and is also the primary goal of the conference. "To share and discuss multidisciplinary insights and inspire each other to take actionable steps towards sustainable urban transformations."

The conference will bring together over 200 urban innovators ranging from scientists, policymakers, students to industry partners. We will discuss how cities can transform their systems on a metropolitan scale, to become more livable, resilient, sustainable and offer economic stability. Don't miss out on this amazing event, and register now.

This is event is hosted by AMS Institute in collaborations with the City of Amsterdam.

Karlijn de Wit's picture Conference from Feb 16th to Feb 18th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Ethical principles and artificial intelligence

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In the 11th episode of the series Better cities: The contribution of digital technology, I will apply the ethical principles from episode 9 to the design and use of artificial intelligence.

Before, I will briefly summarize the main features of artificial intelligence, such as big data, algorithms, deep-learning, and machine learning. For those who want to know more: Radical technologies by Adam Greenfield (2017) is a very readable introduction, also regarding technologies such as blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, Internet of Things, and robotics, which will be discussed in next episodes.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has valuable applications but also gross forms of abuse. Valuable, for example, is the use of artificial intelligence in the layout of houses and neighborhoods, taking into account ease of use, views and sunlight with AI technology from Spacemaker or measuring the noise in the center of Genk using Nokia's Scene Analytics technology. It is reprehensible how the police in the US discriminate against population groups with programs such as PredPol and how the Dutch government has dealt in the so called ‘toelagenaffaire’.

Algorithms
Thanks to artificial intelligence, a computer can independently recognize patterns. Recognizing patterns as such is nothing new. This has long been possible with computer programs written for that purpose. For example, to distinguish images of dogs and cats, a programmer created an "if....then" description of all relevant characteristics of dogs and cats that enabled a computer to distinguish between pictures of the two animal species. The number of errors depended on the level of detail of the program. When it comes to more types of animals and animals that have been photographed from different angles, making such a program is very complicated. In that case, a computer can be trained to distinguish relevant patterns itself. In this case we speak of artificial intelligence. People still play an important role in this. This role consists in the first place in writing an instruction - an algorithm - and then in the composition of a training set, a selection of a large number of examples, for example of animals that are labeled as dog or cat and if necessary lion tiger and more . The computer then searches 'itself' for associated characteristics. If there are still too many errors, new images will be added.

Deep learning
The way in which the animals are depicted can vary endlessly, whereby it is no longer about their characteristics, but about shadow effect, movement, position of the camera or the nature of the movement, in the case of moving images. The biggest challenge is to teach the computer to take these contextual characteristics into account as well. This is done through the imitation of the neural networks. Image recognition takes place just like in our brains thanks to distinguishing layers, varying from distinguishing simple lines, patterns, and colors to differences in sharpness. Because of this layering, we speak of 'deep learning'. This obviously involves large data sets and a lot of computing power, but it is also a labor-intensive process.

Unsupervised learning
Learning how to apply algorithms under supervision produces reliable results and the instructor can still explain the result after many iterations. As the situation becomes more complicated and different processes are proceeding at the same time, guided instruction is not feasible any longer. For example, if animals attack each other, surviving or not, and the computer must predict which kind of animals have the best chance of survival under which conditions. Also think of the patterns that the computer of a car must be able to distinguish to be able to drive safely on of the almost unlimited variation, supervised learning no longer works.

In the case of unsupervised learning, the computer is fed with data from many millions of realistic situations, in the case of cars recordings of traffic situations and the way the drivers reacted to them. Here we can rightly speak of 'big data' and 'machine learning', although these terms are often used more broadly. For example, the car's computer 'learns' how and when it must stay within the lanes, can pass, how pedestrians, bicycles or other 'objects' can be avoided, what traffic signs mean and what the corresponding action is. Tesla’s still pass all this data on to a data center, which distills patterns from it that regularly update the 'autopilots' of the whole fleet. In the long run, every Tesla, anywhere in the world, should recognize every imaginable pattern, respond correctly and thus guarantee the highest possible level of safety. This is apparently not the case yet and Tesla's 'autopilot' may therefore not be used without the presence of a driver 'in control'. Nobody knows by what criteria a Tesla's algorithms work.

Unsupervised learning is also applied when it comes to the prediction of (tax) fraud, the chance that certain people will 'make a mistake' or in which places the risk of a crime is greatest at a certain moment. But also, in the assessment of applicants and the allocation of housing. For all these purposes, the value of artificial intelligence is overestimated. Here too, the 'decisions' that a computer make are a 'black box'. Partly for this reason, it is difficult, if not impossible, to trace and correct any errors afterwards. This is one of the problems with the infamous ‘toelagenaffaire’.

The cybernetic loop
Algorithmic decision-making is part of a new digital wave, characterized by a 'cybernetic loop' of measuring (collecting data), profiling (analyzing data) and intervening (applying data). These aspects are also reflected in every decision-making process, but the parties involved, politicians and representatives of the people make conscious choices step by step, while the entire process is now partly a black box.

The role of ethical principles

Meanwhile, concerns are growing about ignoring ethical principles using artificial intelligence. This applies to near all principles that are discussed in the 9th episode: violation of privacy, discrimination, lack of transparency and abuse of power resulting in great (partly unintentional) suffering, risks to the security of critical infrastructure, the erosion of human intelligence and undermining of trust in society. It is therefore necessary to formulate guidelines that align the application of artificial intelligence again with these ethical principles.

An interesting impetus to this end is given in the publication of the Institute of Electric and Electronic EngineersEthically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. The Rathenau Institute has also published several guidelines in various publications.

The main guidelines that can be distilled from these and other publications are:

1. Placing responsibility for the impact of the use of artificial intelligence on both those who make decisions about its application (political, organizational, or corporate leadership) and the developers. This responsibility concerns the systems used as well as the quality, accuracy, completeness, and representativeness of the data.

2. Prevent designers from (unknowingly) using their own standards when instructing learning processes. Teams with a diversity of backgrounds are a good way to prevent this.

3. To be able to trace back 'decisions' by computer systems to the algorithms used, to understand their operation and to be able to explain them.

4. To be able to scientifically substantiate the model that underlies the algorithm and the choice of data.

5. Manually verifying 'decisions' that have a negative impact on the data subject.

6. Excluding all forms of bias in the content of datasets, the application of algorithms and the handling of outcomes.

7. Accountability for the legal basis of the combination of datasets.

8. Determine whether the calculation aims to minimize false positives or false negatives.

9. Personal feedback to clients in case of lack of clarity in computerized ‘decisions’.

10. Applying the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity, which means determining on a case-by-case basis whether the benefits of using artificial intelligence outweigh the risks.

11. Prohibiting applications of artificial intelligence that pose a high risk of violating ethical principles, such as facial recognition, persuasive techniques and deep-fake techniques.

12. Revocation of legal provisions if it appears that they cannot be enforced in a transparent manner due to their complexity or vagueness.

The third, fourth and fifth directives must be seen in conjunction. I explain why below.

The scientific by-pass of algorithmic decision making

When using machine learning, computers themselves adapt and extend the algorithms and combine data from different data sets. As a result, the final ‘decisions’ made by the computer cannot be explained. This is only acceptable after it has been proven that these decisions are 'flawless', for example because, in the case of 'self-driving' cars, if they turn out to be many times safer than ordinary cars, which - by the way - is not the case yet.

Unfortunately, this was not the case too in the ‘toelagenaffaire’. The fourth guideline could have provided a solution. Scientific design-oriented research can be used to reconstruct the steps of a decision-making process to determine who is entitled to receive an allowance. By applying this decision tree to a sufficiently large sample of cases, the (degree of) correctness of the computer's 'decisions' can be verified. If this is indeed the case, then the criteria used in the manual calculation may be used to explain the processes in the computer's 'black box'. If there are too many deviations, then the computer calculation must be rejected at all.

Governance

In the US, the use of algorithms in the public sector has come in a bad light, especially because of the facial recognition practices that will be discussed in the next episode. The city of New York has therefore appointed an algorithm manager, who investigates whether the algorithms used comply with ethical and legal rules. KPMG has a supervisory role in Amsterdam. In other municipalities, we see that role more and more often fulfilled by an ethics committee.

In the European public domain, steps have already been taken to combat excesses of algorithmic decision-making. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018, has significantly improved privacy protection. In April 2019, the European High Level Expert Group on AI published ethical guidelines for the application of artificial intelligence. In February 2020, the European Commission also established such guidelines, including in the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and an AI regulation. The government also adopted the national digitization strategy, the Strategic Action Plan for AI and the policy letter on AI, human rights, and public values.

I realize that binding governments and their executive bodies to ethical principles is grist to the mill for those who flout those principles. Therefore, the search for the legitimate use of artificial intelligence to detect crime, violations or abuse of subsidies and many other applications continues to deserve broad support.

Follow the link below to find one of the previous episodes or see which episodes are next, and this one for the Dutch version.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #DigitalCity
Jacob Froling, Klimaat en Energietransitie; opleiden en trainen van jong top talent , posted

Jonge talenten maken het verschil

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De jeugd heeft de toekomst en wil een bijdrage leveren aan een duurzamere maatschappij. Ze snappen dat een integrale aanpak en vergaande samenwerking tussen overheden en organisaties uit de energiesector, mobiliteit, gebouwde omgeving en  industrie nodig is om de doelen uit het Klimaatakkoord te realiseren.

Binnen het Nationale Energietraineeship werkt op dit moment een groep jonge ambitieuze talenten iedere vrijdag samen aan projecten. Ze leren op deze manier over grenzen kijken, grenzen van organisaties, grenzen van rollen en functies, hun eigen grenzen. Samen vormen ze een netwerk over de gehele keten.

Hier vind u een overzicht van de projecten waar ze mee bezig zijn. Wilt u een talentvolle trainee inzetten op uw eigen projecten? Kijk dan verder!

Jacob Froling's picture #Energy
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Digital technology and the urban sustainability agenda. A frame

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The eighth episode in the series Better cities - The contribution of digital technology provides a frame to seamlessly integrate the contribution of (digital) technology into urban policy. The Dutch versions of this and already published posts are here.

From the very first publication on smart cities (1992) to the present day, the solution of urban problems has been mentioned as a motive for the application of (digital) technology. However, this relationship is anything but obvious. Think of the discriminatory effect of the use of artificial intelligence by the police in the US – to which I will come back later – and of the misery it has caused in the allowance affair (toelagenaffaire) in the Netherlands.

The choice and application of (digital) technology is therefore part of a careful and democratic process, in which priorities are set and resources are weighed up. See also the article by Jan-Willem Wesselink and Hans DekkerSmart city enhances quality of life and puts citizen first (p.15). Below, I propose a frame for such a process, on which I will built in the next five posts.

My proposal is an iterative process in which three clusters of activities can be distinguished:
• Developing a vision of the city
• The development and choice of objectives
• The instrumentation of the objectives

Vision of the city

The starting point for a democratic urban policy is a broadly supported vision of the city and its development. Citizens and other stakeholders must be able to identify with this vision and their voice must have been heard. The vision of the city is the result of a multitude of opposing or abrasive insights, wishes and interests. Balancing the power differences between parties involved is a precondition for making the city more just, inclusive, and democratic and the residents happier.

The concept of a donut economy is the best framework I know of for developing a vision of such a city. It has been elaborated by British economist Kate Raworth in a report entitled A Safe and Just Space for Humanity. The report takes the simultaneous application of social and environmental sustainability as principles for policy.

If you look at a doughnut, you see a small circle in the middle and a larger circle on the outside. The small circle represents 12 principles of social sustainability (basic needs). These principles are in line with the UN's development goals. The larger circle represents 9 principles of the earth’ long-term self-sustaining capacity. A table with both types of principles can be viewed here. Human activities in cities must not overshoot its ecological ceiling, thus harming the self-sustainable capacity of that entity. At the same time, these activities must not shortfall the social foundation of that city, harming its long-term well-being. Between both circles, a safe and just space for humanity - now and in the future - is created. These principles relate to both the city itself and its impact on the rest of the world. Based on these principles, the city can determine in which areas it falls short; think of housing, gender equality and it overshoots the ecological ceiling, for instance, in case of greenhouse gas emissions.

Amsterdam went through this process, together with Kate Raworth. During interactive sessions, a city donut has been created. Citizens from seven different neighborhoods, civil servants and politicians took part in this. The Amsterdam city donut is worth exploring closely.

The urban donut provides a broad vision of urban development, in particular because of the reference to both social and ecological principles and its global footprint. The first version is certainly no final version. It is obvious how Amsterdam has struggled with the description of the impact of the international dimension.

The formulation of desired objectives

Politicians and citizens will mention the most important bottlenecks within their city, even without the city donut. For Amsterdam these are themes like the waste problem, the climate transition, reduction of car use, affordable housing, and inclusion. The Amsterdam donut invites to look at these problems from multiple perspectives: A wide range of social implications, the ecological impact, and the international dimension. This lays the foundation for the formulation of objectives.

Five steps can be distinguished in the formulation of objectives:
• Determine where the most important bottlenecks are located for each of the selected themes, partly based on the city donut (problem analysis), for example insufficient greenery in the neighborhoods.
• Collect data on the existing situation about these bottlenecks. For example, the fact that working-class neighborhoods have four times fewer trees per hectare than middle-class neighborhoods.
• Make provisional choices about the desired improvement of these bottlenecks. For example, doubling the number of trees in five years.
• Formulate the way in which the gap between existing and desired situation can be bridged. For example, replacing parking spaces with trees or facade vegetation.
• Formulate (provisional) objectives.

This process also takes place together with stakeholders. More than 100 people were involved in the development of the circular economy plans in Amsterdam, mainly representatives of the municipalities, companies, and knowledge institutions.

Prioritizing objectives and their instrumentation

Given the provisional objectives, the search can begin for available and desirable resources, varying from information, legal measures, reorganization to (digital) techniques. The expected effectiveness, desired coherence, acceptability, and costs must be considered. With this knowledge, the goals can be formulated definitively and prioritized. It is also desirable to distinguish a short-term and long-term perspective to enable the development of innovative solutions.

The inventory, selection and ethical assessment of resources and the related fine-tuning of the objectives is best done in the first instance by teams representing different disciplines, including expertise in the field of digital technology, followed of course by democratic sanctioning.

My preference is to transfer the instrumentation process to an 'Urban Development and Innovation Department', modeled on the Majors Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) in Boston. Changing teams can be put together from this office, which is strongly branched out with the other departments. In this way, the coherence between the individual goals and action points and the input of scientific research can be safeguarded. According to Ben Green, the author of the book The smart enough city and who has worked in MONUM for years, it has been shown time and again that the effect of technological innovation is enhanced when it is combined with other forms of innovation, such as social innovation.

From vision to action points: Overview

Below I give an overview of the most important building blocks for arriving at a vision and developing action points based on this vision:

1. The process from vision to action points is both linear and iterative. Distinguishing between the phases of vision development, formulating objectives and instrumentation is useful, but these phases influence each other mutually and eventually form a networked process.

2. Urban problems are always complicated, full of internal contradictions and complex. There are therefore seldom single solutions.

3. The mayor (and therefore not a separate alderman) is primarily responsible for coherence within the policy agenda, including the use of (digital) technology. This preferably translates into the structure of the municipal organization, for example an 'Urban Development and Innovation Department'.

4. Formulating a vision, objectives and their instrumentation is part of a democratic process. Both elected representatives and stakeholders play an important role in this.

5. Because of their complexity and coherence, the content of the policy agenda usually transcends the direct interests of the stakeholders, but they must experience that their problems are being addressed too.

6. Ultimately, each city chooses a series of related actions to arrive at an effective, efficient, and supported solution to its problems. The choice of these actions, especially when it comes to (digital) techniques, can always be explained as a function of the addressing problems.

7. The use of technology fits seamlessly into the urban agenda, instead of (re)framing problems to match tempting technologies.

8. Implementation is at least as important as grand plans, but without a vision, concrete plans lose their legitimacy and support.

9. In the search for support for solutions and the implementation of plans, there is collaboration with stakeholders, and they can be given the authority and resources to tackle problems and experiment themselves (‘right to challenge’).

10. In many urban problems, addressing the harmful effects of previously used technologies (varying from greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution to diseases of affluence) is a necessary starting point.

Back to digital technology

(Digital) technology is here to stay and it is developing at a rapid pace. Sometimes you wish it would slow down. It is very regrettable that not democratically elected governments, but Big Tech is the driving force behind the development of technology and that its development is therefore primarily motivated by commercial interests. This calls for resistance against Big Tech's monopoly and for reticence towards their products. By contrast, companies working on technological developments that support a sustainable urban agenda deserve all the support.

In my e-book Cities of the Future. Humane as a choice. Smart where that helps, I performed the exercise described in this post based on current knowledge about urban policy and urban developments. This has led to the identification of 13 themes and 75 action points, where possible with references to potentially useful technology. You can download the e-book here.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Marjan Schrama, posted

The State of the Region 2021

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Did you already register for State of the Region 2021?

State of the Region is the annual event of the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam , Amsterdam Economy, Amsterdam Economic Board and amsterdam&partners in which we take a look at the joint challenges, the strength and the capacity of our region. The central theme this year is ‘Investing in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area’. Listen to the speech of the Mayor of Amsterdam, the challenging labourmarket and a keynote about the future of the city. See you the 10th of february at 15:45!
(*event is in Dutch, the keynote is English spoken).

Marjan Schrama's picture Online event on Dec 10th
Raphaela Lark, Researching the intersection between climate adaptation and social inequality at University of Amsterdam (UvA), posted

Looking for community organisations in Amsterdam that deal with climate adaptation!

I am currently conducting research on climate adaptation strategies in London and Amsterdam for the university of Amsterdam. I am approaching this topic from a social justice lens, i.e. understanding how the city is incorporating social justice in its climate adaptation strategies and policies.

I am currently looking for community organisations that are involved in projects that are directly or indirectly involved with tackling the urban heat island effect. This could be projects that seek to increase green spaces, improve how homes perform during heatwaves or even raise awareness on these issues in their community.

Any help is appreciated!

#Energy
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

4th ICC City Lab

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The 100 Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) is an initiative of the European Commission (EC) supporting municipalities in adopting new technologies to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild their economies while steering them in the direction of green, smart and sustainable growth. The focus is on supporting mid-size and smaller municipalities with improving the quality of life for citizens and business competitiveness.

Throughout the 2.5 year challenge, a series of five City Labs bring together ICC cities and stakeholders with the following objectives:
    1. Inspire with state-of-the-art re-thinking of the city of the future and its role amidst new climate change and digital growth ambitions;
    2. Peer-to-peer review of ICC core cities’ implementation plans;
    3. Present initiatives which entered the phase of implementation and exchange of views on maximising impact;
    4. Provide opportunities to explore the possibility of collaboration between cities with an interest in developing joint solutions;
    5. Allow the exchange of knowledge between city teams during interactive thematic sessions;
    6. Provide transversal support on access to finance, public procurement, and open data.

The 4th ICC City lab will kick off on November 30th with public sessions on up-skilling-and re-skilling open both to the ICC community and external participants.

As ICC mentor, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, will contribute to a Thematic Workshop on Green Economy and Local Green Deals on Wednesday, December 1st. During the workshop, Yolanda Schmal, policy advisor at the Province of North Holland will share best practices and current initiatives for accelerating the circular economy on a regional scale, with focus on plastics.

The full program and registration is available via: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/events/4th-icc-city-lab

Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event from Nov 30th to Dec 10th
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Recap of our event ‘Data Centres: Taking the Bitter with the Sweet’ from 28th of October

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On the 28th of October 2021 Amsterdam Smart City and Datalab hosted an international event on the costs and benefits of accommodating data centres. Together with partners we discussed the complexity of the weighing of these aspects and the management by future policies.

The digitization of our society produces an exponentially increasing amount of data, which causes an increased need for data centres and connectivity. In 2030, there is expected to see a twenty-fold increase in data traffic, consuming 5% of worldwide electricity at that point. A recent report in the Netherlands has shown quite some hesitance on whether or not the foreseen rise in data centres in The Netherlands is the right way to go.

Lots of reasons to shed some international perspectives on these issues. What are current datacentre strategies? How are datacenters driving economic value? And how can the digital economy become more sustainable? Check out the presentations and discussions in the video!

Speakers:
• Wout Rensink (Policy advisor Economic Affairs at Province of Noord-Holland)
• Thomas Moran (Technology and Sustainability Strategist at Lumen & techUK)
• Daan Terpstra (Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs · Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA))

Moderator:
- Jeroen Sipman, liaison at Amsterdam Smart City

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

Speakers confirmed for event ‘Data Centres: Taking the Bitter with the Sweet’!

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On the 28th of October, Amsterdam Smart City, together with the Province of North Holland and Datalab, will discuss the costs and benefits of accommodating data centres, the complexity of the weighing of these aspects, and how future policies could manage these. We will put the complexity in an international perspective.

Why would you need data centers in your region? What are reasons to refuse them on territories? What are the dilemmas and how do cities in Europe deal with this? We can now confirm the speakers for the event!

Wout Rensink – Province of North Holland
The Province of North Holland is developing a policy on data centres, with which they try to take a first step in minimizing the impact of data centres. The Province ensures that data centres generate their own sustainable energy, the residual heat (in the environment) is used, circular design is applied in the development of buildings which blend into the landscape and that the data centres are leaders in terms of energy and innovation. The man for the job? Wout Rensink! He is the Province’s policy advisor who will try and achieve these goals with other governmental institutions and the industry itself.

Thomas Moran – techUK
Beside his job as the Senior Lead Technology Strategist for Lumen, Thomas is the vice chair of the Climate Strategy and Resilience Council for techUK, which is the largest European trade group representing the technology industry. They support the UK national, regional and local governments in formulating policy around all things technology related, including data centres and infrastructure. He will provide us with the point of view and insights from another part of the FLAP-region: London.

Daan Terpstra – SDI Alliance
After years of working on sustainable energy projects at Vattenfall, Daan Terpstra has joined SDI Alliance last year to try and move the digital infrastructure sector to sustainability by 2030. As the new Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Daan can provide a view on future international digital infrastructure policies in Europe. SDI Alliance has derived a number of fundamental positions, beliefs and principles with which they hope to ensure the development of a vibrant European digital economy, without consuming unsustainable levels of resources.

The session will be moderated by Jeroen Sipman from Amsterdam Smart City.

Rewatch! Find the video of the event here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2f7q_9UxUM

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #DigitalCity
Innovatie Partners Amsterdam, Facilitating public-private collaboration and innovation at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Introducing Innovatie Partners for innovative entrepreneurs

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The City of Amsterdam launched a platform for entrepreneurs who want to collaborate on innovation with the public sector.

If you want to work with government and other large organisations, you need to apply for tenders and grants. These application procedures are often complex. Using clear information and useful checklists, Innovatie Partners makes tenders and grants accessible for small entrepreneurs, such as startups, scale-ups and MKB.

Find your project and apply!

On the platform

- Projects from organisations such as Gemeente Amsterdam, the Metropole Region Amsterdam (MRA) and Startup in Residence. Take a look at past and current projects (in Dutch).
- Road maps of how to apply for your tender or grant of choice.
- Explainers on what tenders and grants are and how they work, such as a glossary of unavoidable jargon (in Dutch).
- Detailed instructions and screencasts of how to fill out complicated forms (in Dutch).

Innovatie Partners Amsterdam's picture #CircularCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

International Data Dilemmas - Data Centres: Taking the Bitter with the Sweet

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**Check out the recap of the event here: https://amsterdamsmartcity.com/updates/news/recap-of-our-event-data-centres-taking-the-bitter-with-the-sweet-from-28th-of-october

The digitization of our society produces an exponentially increasing amount of data, which causes an increased need for data centres and connectivity. In 2030, there is expected to see a twenty-fold increase in data traffic, consuming 5% of worldwide electricity at that point. A recent report in the Netherlands has shown quite some hesitance on whether or not the foreseen rise in data centres in The Netherlands is the right way to go.

Some say data centres take up precious space, require quite some of our (green) energy and (drinking) water, and they would not create much direct employment either. The report showed that the connectivity and availability of data centres in The Netherlands at this moment would suffice for the Dutch market, as it only uses about a third of their capacity.

Critics were quick to respond and argued the economic value of accommodating data centres for big data-driven industries. Not only the economic value of high-connectivity data centres is worth mentioning, but also the security and ownership of our (European) data is a factor worth mentioning. While the demand for connectivity and data use is rising, it is necessary to prepare for decision making that takes these aspects into account. And the Netherlands, of course, is not the only country to have to do so!

In this international session of Data Dilemmas we invite you to talk about the costs and benefits of accommodating data centres, the complexity of the weighing of these aspects, and how future policies could manage these.

Program: Online event
Date: 28th of October 2021
Language: English

15.50: Digital walk-in
16.00 – 16.05: Introduction by Amsterdam Smart City & Datalab
16.05 – 16.10: Introduction to challenge
16.10 – 17.00: Presentations + Q&A
17.00 – 17.20: Plenary discussion and wrap-up

Speakers:

  • Wout Rensink (Province of Noord-Holland)
  • Thomas Moran (techUK)
  • Daan Terpstra (SDI Alliance)

**Check out the recap of the event here: https://amsterdamsmartcity.com/updates/news/recap-of-our-event-data-centres-taking-the-bitter-with-the-sweet-from-28th-of-october

***About the Data Dilemmas series***
The increasing need for data centres shows the speed at which the digitalization of our environment is growing, as the possibilities of using data and new technologies to address big transitional challenges are endless. We use the data to make cities safer, cleaner and more accessible. But do we really need the data in all cases? What happens to all the data that is collected? Which choices did people make and why? Which dilemmas can be encountered? These questions are important for everyone; for governments, knowledge institutions, residents and companies. Amsterdam Smart City likes to explore with you which decisions are needed for responsible use of data. Data Dilemmas is a collaboration between Amsterdam Smart City and the City of Amsterdam’s Datalab.

Amsterdam Smart City's picture Online event on Oct 28th
Jeroen Sipman, Liaison of the Province of Noord-Holland at Province of Noord-Holland, posted

Restwarmte Noord-Hollandse industrie kan hele provincie verwarmen

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De Omgevingsdienst Noordzeekanaalgebied heeft in opdracht van de provincie Noord-Holland onderzoek gedaan naar de hoeveelheid beschikbare restwarmte in de Noord-Hollandse industrie. Het onderzoek geeft een eerste indicatie van hoeveel warmte er in Noord-Holland nu nog via industriële schoorstenen de lucht in gaat en hoeveel warmte er via het koelwater op het oppervlaktewater wordt geloosd. Met deze gegevens kunnen gemeenten en warmtebedrijven hun plannen voor nuttig hergebruik van restwarmte verder vormgeven.

Bijna alle relevante bedrijven in beeld
65 bedrijven in onder meer de energiesector, de chemische- en voedselindustrie, en afvalverwerkende bedrijven zijn meegenomen in het onderzoek. Deze bedrijven zijn verantwoordelijk voor meer dan 95 procent van de potentiële restwarmte. Hiermee zijn dus nagenoeg alle relevante industriële bedrijven in Noord-Holland in beeld. Of de warmte daadwerkelijk gebruikt kan worden voor verwarming van woningen is afhankelijk van onder meer de temperatuur en de afstand tot een warmtenet.

Gratis ophalen
Per 2022 komt er met de Wet Collectieve Warmtevoorziening een stimulans voor het gebruik van restwarmte in de gebouwde omgeving: producenten van restwarmte moeten deze dan gratis beschikbaar stellen aan energiebedrijven.

Jeroen Sipman's picture #Energy
Melchior Kanyemesha, Programmanagement + Energy Lead , posted

Samen naar een warmtesysteem

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Het Servicepunt Duurzame Energie organiseert in samenwerking met Amsterdam Smart City twee kennissessies over lage- en middentemperatuur warmtesystemen. Op 5 oktober gaan we van start met een kick-off en op 26 oktober zullen we verder we verder de diepte ingaan.

Tijdens deze sessies zullen we ingaan op verschillende vraagstukken. Hoe realiseer je zo’n warmtesysteem? Welke verschillende strategieën kunnen gevolgd worden? En hoe betrek je de omgeving? We gaan dieper in op wat lage- en middentemperatuur warmtesystemen precies inhouden. Daarnaast komen verschillende ervaringsdeskundigen aan het woord. Waar liepen zij tegenaan en hoe losten ze dit op? Na het volgen van deze kennissessies heeft u de tools in handen om zelf aan de slag te gaan.

Loop je als gemeente, kennisinstelling of als publieke organisatie rond met bovenstaande vragen? Meld je dan alvast aan via deze link.

PROGRAMMA:
De eerste bijeenkomst start met een praktijkvoorbeeld van de gemeente
Nijmegen. Pieternel Blankenstein neemt ons mee in het proces dat zij hebben
doorlopen in hun tweede proeftuin. Voor welke uitdagingen kwamen zij te staan
en hoe zijn zij dit aan het oplossen? Daarna komt Martijn van Lier van bureau
Over Morgen aan het woord die meer uitleg geeft over lage- en middentemperatuur
warmtesystemen. Past het wel binnen uw gemeente en wat moet er allemaal
georganiseerd worden? Met de nieuw opgedane kennis gaat u onder begeleiding van
een expert zelf aan de slag met het maken van een stappenplan.

13.30 - 14.00: inloop met koffie en thee

14.00 – 14.10: kick-off

14.10 – 14.25: jullie uitdagingen

14.25 – 14.50: voorbeeld uit de praktijk door Pieternel Blankenstein van
gemeente Nijmegen

14.50 – 15.25: ‘college’ door Martijn van Lier van Over Morgen

15.25 – 15.30: korte pauze

15.30 – 16.05: zelf aan de slag

16.05 – 16.35: feedback van expert

16.35 – 16.50: pitch

16.50 – 17.00: afsluiting

De bijeenkomst zal fysiek gehost worden in Haarlem.

Melchior Kanyemesha's picture Meet-up on Oct 5th
Cameron Watson, Sustainability Innovation Consultant at Energy Tech Meetup Amsterdam, posted

Energy Tech x The Netherlands: Launch Event

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Launching ETM Amsterdam, an accessible event series focusing on exploring the energy transition.

About

Ready to throw yourself into all things energy transition? We’re kicking off the Dutch chapter of the global Energy Tech Meetup movement.

ETM is the global community for energy innovation. Starting out in Tokyo, Energy Tech Meetup events have been bringing together startups, professionals, academics, investors, and students since the start of 2019. And now ETM is coming to the Netherlands and we want anyone and everyone who’s got energy on the 🧠 to be a part of our community.

In partnership with leading energy VC SET Ventures, we’re starting off our series with a special event on what’s shaking up the Dutch energy landscape. You’ll get fresh and varied insights from innovation departments, research gurus, and cutting-edge startups.

Sound good? Then come join our first event in Zoku, Amsterdam – you can exchange ideas, find new opportunities in energy or simply mingle over a beer.

And keep up to date on what's happening over on Instagram and LinkedIn 👀

Launch event

The Dutch energy sector is booming and we’re giving the floor to those who are right in the thick of it. You'll get the inside scoop on all things energy transition during our launch event from EnergyworxGradyentE-Flux BVEnecoSET Ventures, and more.

Here’s what to expect:

7:00pm - 8:00pm: We'll have guest speakers giving a broad perspective of innovation in the Netherlands. With a startup, corporate and academic view, we’ll discover where we should be sitting up and taking notice within the energy transition.

8:15pm - 9:00pm: Those on the ground building cutting-edge startups, will be telling us about the sectors that are core to the Dutch energy transition.

Location – Zoku

We’re over the 🌕 to link up with Zoku for our first event – a trendy, home-office hybrid, Zoku is all about building a community around sustainability, solidifying their commitment with attaining a B Corp certification back in 2018.

Tickets

ETM is run by volunteers and is a nonprofit, so we won’t be pocketing any of the dosh. The €5* gets you a free drink on arrival, so in the words of Wham...‘Club Tropicana, drinks are free. Fun and sunshine**, there's enough for everyone’.

*the tickets are non-refundable

**can’t guarantee sunshine, but yes to the free🍹

Cameron Watson's picture Meet-up on Sep 7th
Herman van den Bosch, professor in management development , posted

Startups: Between the Curse of Becoming a Taker and the Prospect of Being a Maker

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For centuries, entrepreneurship was linked to art and craft and rewarded by personal fulfilment, satisfied customers, and a good life. The term entrepreneur is still associated with giving direction, shape and content to new activities based on personal motivation and skills and thereby creating socially approved value. A description that applies to the self-employed, business entrepreneurs, franchisees or intrapreneurs and includes both commercial, institutional, and artistic activities.
However, there are two problems. Overcoming them opens the way to become a better business.

The plunder of the earth

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the creative power of entrepreneurship can easily become destructive. A 'maker' becomes a 'taker' once creating value becomes making money in the first place. Indeed, for centuries, companies have robbed resources around the world, destroyed nature, traded millions of slaves and exploited domestic workers, creating the divide between rich and poor countries.
The creative power of entrepreneurship can also be aimed at sustainable prosperity, for their employees, the country, and the world. In that case, the “purpose” of a company precedes the pursuit of profit. Unfortunately, still a minority of all companies are moving in this direction while others pretending.

The decline of engagement and passion within the workforce

There is more. In developed countries, the blatant exploitation of labour has disappeared. Instead, the majority of employment relegates into low strain jobs. Research by Gallup and Deloite has shown over consecutive years that over 64% of all employees worldwide are not engaged or passionate. Find John Hagel explain this in a short video. The reason is clear. 20th century companies have organized their production according to principles of scalable efficiency and have top-down planning and control.  Room for initiative is therefore neither expected nor desired. Moreover, detailed protocols and regulations limit employment for people at a distance from the labour market.
In a rapidly changing world, companies must be adaptive and innovative. They therefore need flexible, interdisciplinary teams with a high degree of self-government and less pay differentials. According to recent research in 17 countries, this type of organizations (8%) outperforms in all respects.

Summarizing, to become a better business requires a double challenge:
·  Replacing the dominance of the pursuit of money with a social and environmental purpose.
·  Mobilizing the entrepreneurial and other capacities of their whole work force by forms of self-organization and shared leadership.

Why focussing on startups?

As only a limited number of companies meet these conditions, employees consider starting their own business. In the US alone, approximately two million workers give up well-paying jobs every year and become self-employed. 127,000 starters were registered in the Netherlands in 2018.  Of them, only a minority will become a startup, which means that they will successfully commercialize a promising technological innovation and grow rapidly on an international level.

Start-ups are potential engines of growth and innovation. In the US, their steady growth is compensating for job losses in the rest of the economy. Dutch startups created 20.000 of jobs in 2018 and 2019. A recent reportoffers excellent documentation of the identity, growth and potential of the 4,311 Dutch startups in 2019, most of which have fewer than 10 employees. 34% of Dutch startups can found in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.

The hope is that start-ups will rise to both challenges by nurturing their social and environmental purpose end fueling the commitment and passion of each employee, and thereby become a better business.

Yet, like any other businesses, startups risk becoming takers rather than makers, trading their social and environmental purpose for the pursuit of money and losing the engagement and passion of their employees. Fortunately, they can prevent this.

Eleven ways to become or stay a better business

1.  Embrace self-organization and shared leadership.
2.  Involve all employees in the continuous strengthening of the social and environmental purpose of the company.
3.  Enable all employees to become shareholders or even better co-owners.
4.  Cherish diversity within the employees.
5. Secure shares in a foundation while enabling shareholders to support the purpose of the company.
6.  Cap the profit to a level that guarantees the continuity of the company.
7.  Ban greed, cancel bonuses, or at most pay a limited and equal allowance to all employees.
8.  Place surplus profits in a foundation that spends money in accordance with the purpose of the company.
9.  Being a fair taxpayer who refrains from tax avoidance practices.
10.Create a supervisory board to monitor the purpose of the company.
11.Focus the founder/director/CEO role on monitoring the purpose of the company and the commitment of all employees and on fueling the discussion on how to deal with changing external conditions.

Rapid societal changes require a reinventing the concept of entrepreneurship. Because of their flexibility and commitment, startups are apt to embrace the dual ambition of pursuing a social and environmental purpose and of mobilizing all employee’s engagement and passion.

My next post will look at how cities can help start-ups to settle, grow and become better businesses. The history of entrepreneurship, its growing distance from ‘makership’ and its possible revival by start-ups is documented in chapter 4 of my e-book Humane cities. Always humane. Smart if helpful. The English version of this book can be downloaded for free below.

Herman van den Bosch's picture #CircularCity
Christiaan Elings, Strategy & Collaboration for Sustainable Transitions at Royal Haskoning, posted

Vacature: Samen impact maken op transities in de leefomgeving

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Als SMC| Strategie en Management Consultants van Royal HaskoningDHV zijn we op zoek naar mensen die 'samen' impact willen maken op de transities in onze leefomgeving. Niet omdat ze weten hoe het moet, maar omdat ze anderen kunnen begeleiden in hoe het kan! 'Gedeeld Eigenaarschap' noemen we dat in onze visie op samen werken aan maatschappelijke veranderopgaven.

Voor de volgende vacatures na de zomervakantie komen we graag nu al met je in contact:

→ Proces- en programmamanager nationale en regionale energiestrategieen en PPS (circa 10 jaar ervaring);
→ Senior-Consultant Bestuur, Programma’s en Organisatie (circa 10 à 15 jaar ervaring)
→ Proces-professionals Klimaat, Energie, Ruimte, Mobiliteit en Landbouw (circa 2 à 7 jaar ervaring).

Voor een eerste 'teen in het water', bel of mail al gerust met pascal.lamberigts@rhdhv.com / 06 – 22 37 86 65. Dan passen we onze vacatures graag aan op jouw kwaliteiten en meerwaarde.

→ Voor een kijkje in de keuken bij ministeries, provincies, gemeenten, waterschappen en - steeds meer - ook bedrijven;
→ Voor strategisch mensenwerk in de voorfase van nieuwe ontwikkelingen, met 6.500 collega's als inhoudelijke sparringpartners in een groot, internationaal bedrijf;
→ Voor samenwerken in een cultuur gebaseerd op de principes van de netwerkorganisatie – veel vrijheid, veel verantwoordelijkheid;
→ Voor een eigen SMC Academy gericht op samen leren en ontwikkelen in proces- en programmamanagement en organisatieontwikkeling;
→ Voor de snelste leercurve in opgavegericht werken voor young professionals als springplank naar een volgende uitdagende baan bij ministeries, provincies en grote gemeenten.

Christiaan Elings's picture #CircularCity
Amsterdam Smart City, Connector of opportunities at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

DRIFT and Amsterdam Smart City find each other in partnership

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Research institute DRIFT, the Amsterdam Economic Board and Amsterdam Smart City have been working together for some time now. So it only seemed logical to make this union structural.

DRIFT develops and shares transition knowledge with innovative methods and academic training sessions and gets involved in the public debate. ‘Both at DRIFT and within the network of Amsterdam Smart City, we see opportunities and the necessity to change towards a sustainable society. We are happy to enrich this network with our specific knowledge and experience. But also to learn how to shape these kind of new collaborations. The open, learning approach really appeals to us,’ says Gijs Diercks, senior researcher and advisor at DRIFT.

Leonie van de Beuken: 'We are very happy that DRIFT is structurally committed to the Amsterdam Smart City network. We share a passion for empowering others to actively engage in transitions. From residents to entrepreneurs to governments. This way we can achieve tangible results. The knowledge and experience that DRIFT brings in this area is a wonderful addition to our network.'

Wicked Problems; the underlying barriers within transitions

For some time DRIFT has already been part of the team with partners that is developing an approach to tackle so-called 'wicked problems' better together. An approach aimed at revealing and breaking down underlying barriers within transitions. We use new methods for this and connect what we encounter in the implementation with the strategic level.

Picture credit: Edwin Weers

Amsterdam Smart City's picture #CircularCity
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

3rd Intelligent Cities Challenge City Lab: Green Initiatives

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During the 3rd ICC Lab, this session will bring together city relevant European Commission initiatives promoting the green agenda, with a view to depict the bigger picture, present their objectives, how they contribute to advance the EU policy priorities, show complementarities and discuss cross-fertilization among them.

Registration is possible via: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/events/3rd-icc-city-lab

12:00 - 13:00 Tech4Good Marketplace
The Tech4Good Marketplace is an exchange of technology-powered solutions and business models designed to advance social, environmental and economic causes. Showcasing operational services from innovative European SMEs, start-ups and enterprises, the marketplace is a space where cities, regions and rural areas, businesses, technology entrepreneurs, social economy actors and civil society can get inspired and find solutions to the challenges they face.  Join this session to find out why this marketplace is here to stay and why you should sign up, too.

  • Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Iordana Eleftheriadou, Head of Cities and Proximity Team, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Davor Meersman, OASC

13:00 - 14:00 Break

14:00 – 15:30 Initiatives at European Level on the Green Transition of Cities – Panel Discussion
Bringing together city-relevant European Commission initiatives promoting the green agenda, with a view to depict the bigger picture, present their objectives, how they contribute to advance the EU policy priorities, show complementarities and discuss cross-fertilization among them.

  • Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Marek Teplansky, Head of Unit, Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development, DG REGIO, European Commission
  • Philippe Froissard, Head of Unit, Future Urban & Mobility Systems, DG RTD, European Commission
  • Eddy Hartog, Head of Unit, Technologies for Smart Communities, DG CNECT, European Commission
  • Xavier Troussard, Head of Unit, New European Bauhaus, JRC, European Commission
  • Helen Mccarthy-O’ Kelly, Policy officer, Environmental Knowledge, Eco-Innovation & SMEs, DG ENV, European Commission
  • Luana Maria Bidasca, Policy officer, Innovation & Research, DG MOVE, European Commission
Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Jun 3rd
Cornelia Dinca, International Liaison at Amsterdam Smart City, posted

3rd Intelligent Cities Challenge Lab Public Event

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During the EU Green Week, the 3rd Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) City Lab will bring together global thinker urban development experts and city leaders across the globe to issues climate-neutral and socially responsible industrial future.

The event is open to the public and registration is possible via: https://www.intelligentcitieschallenge.eu/events/3rd-icc-city-lab

Program

11:30 – 13:00 Public session 1 – Zero pollution city: Leading the green transition of local businesses

  • Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Tadashi Matsumoto, Head of the Sustainable Development & Global Relations Unit, OECD
  • Michael Koh, Executive Fellow, Centre for Liveable Cities - City of Singapore, clean and green environment
  • Victor Dimoulis, Scientific Advisor to the Mayor on Waste management and Circular Economy affairs - City of Corfu, industrial waste management
  • Geertje Pronk, Researcher and Programme manager at KWR Water Research Institute - City of Mechelen, water management
  • Rosa Väisänen, Specialist, City of Espoo, Sustainable Urban Development

ICC Cities’ experts to present initiatives on zero pollution:

  • Sharing reflections and work done to overcome pollution at city-level
  • Inspire others with ideas on how digital tools can be used to prevent intense pollution, monitor status, or warn citizens of high levels of pollution
  • Provide insights into key lessons learned

13:00 – 13:30 Break

13:30 – 15:00 Public session 2 – City of the future: New urban trends for a climate-neutral and socially responsible industrial future

  • Dana Eleftheriadou, Head of Cities and Proximity Team, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Valentina Superti, Director of Proximity and Tourism, DG GROW, European Commission
  • Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, European Parliament
  • Carlo Ratti, Director, MIT Senseable City Laboratory – ICC advisory board member
  • Gesa Ziemer, Head of CityScienceLab, UNITAC Innovation Technology Accelerator Centre, Hamburg – ICC mentor city
  • Michela Magas, Chair, Industry Commons Foundation
  • Nicolás Rivillas Hincapié, Deputy Manager of Design and Innovation, Urban Development Company (EDU) of Medellín - ICC mentor city
  • Daniel Gonzalez-Bootello, Director of Smart City Cluster - ICC advisory board member

Bringing together global thinkers, urban development experts, city leaders from across the globe to showcase how intelligent cities will lead the way to a sustainable, productive, zero-pollution future:

  • What will the urban future look like after the Covid-19? How can cities prepare?
  • ­How can cities reconcile population growth and local industrial production with the European Green Deal?
  • ­What can city leaders do to ensure a new City model that is sustainable, resilient, socially just and knowledge intensive?
Cornelia Dinca's picture Online event on Jun 1st
Innovatie Partners Amsterdam, Facilitating public-private collaboration and innovation at Gemeente Amsterdam, posted

Subsidies voor duurzaam economisch herstel in tijden van Corona

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De Amsterdamse economie is zwaar getroffen door de coronacrisis. Daarom heeft gemeente Amsterdam extra geld beschikbaar gesteld om de economie juist in deze moeilijke tijden aan te jagen.

De subsidies zijn bedoeld om vernieuwing en werkgelegenheid in onderstaande sectoren te realiseren:

• circulaire economie
• energietransitie
• schone en slimme mobiliteit
• digitaliseren
• gezondheid

De steun zal in de vorm zijn van twee subsidies. Hieronder lees je meer over de subsidies.

Subsidie om een projectvoorstel te schrijven

Amsterdam stelt extra geld beschikbaar voor ondernemers die bijdragen aan duurzaam economisch herstel in tijden van corona. Heb je een idee dat niet van de grond komt tijdens de coronacrisis? Ontvang tot 25.000 euro om een projectvoorstel van tenminste 2 miljoen te ontwikkelen voor een Nationaal of Europees coronaherstel- of stimuleringsfonds.

Kijk op de website om te zien of jij in aanmerking komt voor de subsidie of om je direct in te schrijven.

Subsidie om een project te realiseren

Amsterdam stelt extra geld beschikbaar voor ondernemers die bijdragen aan duurzaam economisch herstel in tijden van corona. Heb je een project dat niet van de grond komt tijdens de coronacrisis? Krijg 100.000 tot 500.000 euro subsidie om jouw project te realiseren.

Zie de website om te kijken of jij in aanmerking komt voor de subsidie of om je direct in te schrijven.

Innovatie Partners Amsterdam's picture #CircularCity