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Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for urban energy transitions, ID: LC-SC3:SCC-2-2020
Proposals will mobilise networks of national (and/or regional) research, innovation and demonstration programmes in the field of smart and sustainable cities and sustainable decarbonised integrated energy systems. They will pool the necessary financial resources with a view to implementing a joint call for proposals resulting in grants to third parties with EU co-funding in this area, and for related programme management, synthesis and dissemination of the results. Activities funded through the joint calls should focus on a circular, resource efficient and low carbon integrated system perspective. The joint calls should include the following three formats, which should be interlinked and integrated to achieve highest impact.

The joint calls will firstly include applied research, strategic innovation and demonstration projects to develop specific innovative approaches and solutions for the planning, implementation and operation of PED/PENs, which are relevant in many European cities and urban areas. Strategic innovation projects resulting from the joint calls should create opportunities for cross-linking and collaboration and target more than one of the following aspects:
- increasing energy efficiency of neighbourhoods and reduction of performance gaps, reducing climate impact and facilitating energy transition at urban scale promoting integrated and holistic approaches
- integrating renewable energy production and transformation technologies to support and optimize storage, including flexibility and resilience of PED/PENs
- support integration and development of integrated and smart solutions for sector-coupling in PED/PENs
- streamlining and alignment of the spatial planning processes and developing digital planning strategies and optimization tools
- developing societal innovation, social entrepreneurship and citizen participation
- developing business models for implementing and operating PED/PENs on full

The joint calls will secondly include the establishment of transdisciplinary and transnational innovation labs, innovation platforms and experimental areas for PED/PENs that facilitate the testing of prototypes, the co-creation and piloting of new concepts, approaches and urban designs, innovative formats and services in the planning, implementation and operation and replication phase of PED/PENs covering TRL 3-7. This should enable feasibility studies, field testing, sharing of test facilities, development of use cases and replication profiles for different PED/PEN types (e.g. new construction and retrofitting of neighbourhoods) to speed up the technology and service learning curves over the whole value chain. Particularly the PED/PEN innovation labs, innovation platforms and experimental areas shall bring together city administrations, PED/PEN business and industry, service developers/providers, and research organisations tying together actors bridging the whole value chain in different countries and regions.

The joint calls will thirdly include the development of formats to build local capacity and institutional learning in PED/PEN planning, development and operation with the aim to replicate and mainstream PED/PENs in a local, national and European environment. It should take into account the need to develop new public services and public innovation governance, in particular concerning effective public participation and challenge driven approaches in practice. This should enable sharing of experience, development of standardised packages, adaptation of regulations, human capacity building/trainings etc.
Proposers are requested to include other joint activities including additional joint calls without EU co-funding.

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