Missions and expertise
Thanks to its multidisciplinary team and the support of its partners (composed of ULiège, the Walloon Region and private companies), the mission of the Smart City Institute (SCI) is to develop internationally recognised academic expertise in sustainable and intelligent territories management, with the aim of supporting the development of initiatives in this field in Wallonia, Belgium and abroad.
To achieve this mission, the SCI focuses its actions on the following objectives:
Stimulate research in the field of sustainable and smart cities/territories
As an academic research institute, the SCI develops its expertise through fundamental research. Through this, the SCI studies the key issues of the sustainable and smart transition of our territories from a managerial perspective, while being open to other disciplines.
Raising awareness, training and guiding local stakeholders
On the other hand, the SCI puts its academic expertise at the service of the actors of the territory (researchers, cities and municipalities, companies, decision-makers, citizens, ...), through various more applied projects (education, Practical Handbooks and publications, workshops, ...), in order to help them in their approaches of sustainable and smart transitions.
In concrete terms, the Smart City Institute :
- Publishes scientific articles as well as research reports about smart and sustainable cities;
- Studies the Smart City dynamics in Belgium and Wallonia, as well as its evolution through annual barometers;
- Develops educational tools to motivate (Belgian) municipalities to take part in the Smart City dynamic, including a collection of Practical Handbooks and methodological notes to guide them step by step in their approach;
- Organizes a continuing education course focused on Smart City Management, which covers the essential points of the Smart City, in particular through its six main axes while also dealing with technology, new business models, monitoring, strategy and change management;
- Organizes an annual event that brings together scientists and practitioners to discuss and exchange views and their experience on the Smart Cities theme;
- Provides a course in "Sustainabilty and Smart Territories" to students in the 2nd year of the master's degree at HEC Liège, which gives them the opportunity to collaborate with Walloon municipalities on concrete projects;
- Supports innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of Smart Cities;
- Contributes to the Smart Region dynamics in Wallonia, as an academic reference and partner in this field alongside Digital Wallonia.
In terms of its geographical scope, while the Smart City Institute actively contributes to the "Smart Cities" and "Smart Region" dynamics in the Walloon Region, it also carries out national and international projects (in Chile, Texas, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Portugal, ...). It is also involved in various European projects (ERDF - Wal-e-cities Project and INTERREG - GROOF Project).