Climate Day 2022 & Urban Mobility Startup Competition
A one-day conference organized by CIVITTA Slovakia as a part of Slovak Climate-KIC, Climate Day, took place on November 30th, 2022 in co-working space the Spot, Bratislava. This year, the main theme was “Urban Mobility and green innovations” and the auspices over the event were taken by the representation of the European Commission in Slovakia. After the conference, we hold a competition for pre-seed startups in urban mobility.
The event was the ideal opportunity to learn about the activities of actors engaging in smart, sustainable urban mobility, network, and share and discuss ideas on current mobility trends. Roughly 100 people attended the conference as spectators, among whom were people from business, the public sector, the investment sector, and enthusiasts for innovation and urban mobility.
The conference was split into three-panel discussions:
- Mission Cities: an opportunity for Slovak climate-neutral cities?
- Opportunities for cooperation in urban innovation
- How can innovations help us to achieve sustainable urban mobility?
The president of the representation of the European Commission in Slovakia, Vladimír Šucha, stressed the importance of addressing climate change and articulated a warning that if needed steps are not taken, then the consequences of climate change will not be reversible in his opening speech.
The “Mission Cities: an opportunity for Slovak climate neutral cities?”, was chaired by Anna Brzniakova (CIVITTA SLOVAKIA), who invited Kateřina Chajdiaková (Slovak Climate Initiative), Michal Hudák (City of Košice), and Juraj Revický (Association of Energy Services Providers) to debate about climate neutral cities. At the beginning of the panel, the main objectives and elements of the mission were presented, followed by a fruitful discussion on how cities can become a driver of innovation, how to move towards climate-neutral cities, and what technologies have the highest impact
The second panel, “Opportunities for cooperation in urban innovation”, was hosted by Peter Kolesár (CIVITTA Slovakia) accompanied by Christo Balinow (Ecosystem developer), Petra Dzurovčinová (City of Bratislava), Michal Hladký (CIKE). The panel covered multiple topics, such as how to improve collaborations to deliver innovation in cities, how EIT can help cities and innovators, and how to mobilize and earn citizens’ trust and motivate them to participate in urban innovation initiatives. The panelists agreed that collaboration not only with the citizens but also between cities and with the central government is one of the key elements in success. The overall message of the foreign guest Mr. Christo was to focus more on small things, simplify the communication, and keep it as simple as possible.
“How can innovations help us to achieve sustainable urban mobility?” was the title of the last panel led by Michal Laco, and discussed by Ján Mazúr (Metropolitan Institute of Bratislava), Juraj Hošták (Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic), Jan Hauser (EIT Urban Mobility), Jozef Vernarec (ZSE). The discussants focused on how different stakeholders can collaborate to target city mobility challenges. Some of the areas where actors can work together are joint definitions of problems and strategy, running innovation pilots and scaling them, financing cooperation, and improving legislation & regulations. Besides, the current problems of the city of Bratislava were raised as well as successfully implemented projects in Bratislava and Ostrava were introduced.
Once the panel discussions passed off, a startup competition took place, where pre-selected startups from the field of Urban Mobility had a unique opportunity to pitch their solutions. The jury consisted of four members, Martin Bansky (Venture to Future Fund), Jan Hauser (EIT Urban Mobility), Marek Macko (CB Investment Management), and Michal Laco (CIVITTA SLOVAKIA). The winner of the pitch competition became BikeUP, which rents kids’ bicycles. As the contest was very competitive with high-quality participants, the jury decided to award a special prize to David Pilarčik with his startup IsItHere – a mobile-app monitoring all shared mobility options in the city. Moreover, all the competing startups gained fast-track access to investment and grant funding opportunities from the EIT Urban Mobility up to €500K.