On several occassions, we wrote before of high necessity of strong financial foundation for the EIP to attract most commitments from all the potental smart city stakeholders across Europe, govenment and local authorities, large businesses and innovative SMEs, NGOs and civic associations.

Now the news broke: the European Investment Bank, EIB, together with Belfius Bank, is launching the “Smart Cities and Sustainable Development” Program in Belgium, EUR 400m scheme, thus fousing one small Member State: http://eu-smartcities.eu/content/belgium-believes-smart-cities.

Such a bottom-up approach should be completed with the top-down, pan-European “Smart Cities & Sustainable Development” Program, co-financed by the EIB, together with the EC, and the EIB intermediary banks in the Member States, which major cities properly committed to the Big Cause of Smart Cities of the Future (see upload).

In such ways, the EIB is financially committing to the sustainable urban development investment policy in all Europe, contributing to the EU 2020 for smart, sustainable and inclusive cities and communities. 

Considering the Belgian smart cities budget, the pan-European smart city budget could start from EUR 10bn Europe (see upload).

Still, EUR 10bn EIB-EIP Scheme is relatively modest considering the smart city market projections to exceed $ 1 trillion by 2016 and China’s future “smart cities” allocations of 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) for more than 600 cities nationwide. Again, in Russia, the greenfield intelligent city of Skolkovo, occupying about 360 hectares, is to cost about $ 16 bn, but risking to fail for lack of innovation city strategic planning and urban intelligence platform.

Again, considering Belgian smart cities budget of 0.4bn, the Big Europe smart cities (Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain) could cover half of a smart budget, while the rest – for the smart cities of other Member States.

What is evident, just being limited with the Lighthouse Smart City Horizon 2020 funding will hardly make our cities more competitive on the global smart cities market: http://www.slideshare.net/ashabook/smart-nations-global-initiative (see upload).

It’s alo evident the EIB-EIP smart cities financial scheme is to commit quite different numbers of cities and communities and innovative SMEs, provided the EIB fund application procedure is to start without delay and commitment deadline extended at least till 15 July.

Original author: asha