SPARCS Maia City Lab Innovation Workshop
26 may 2021 | Location: Maia

As part of the SPARCS Task 5.3. Fellow City Replication Strategy, a half a day workshop was held from Maia on the 13th of May in remote mode, with the aim of discussing and improving the first ideas for innovation projects and measures developed during the on-site assessment, with the stakeholders involved.

The workshop was organized in a collaborative effort between the Fraunhofer Research Centre and an internal multidisciplinary technical team, accompanied by the Portuguese SPARCS partners SPI – Portuguese Society of Innovation and NEW R&D.

A group of stakeholders was organized within five working groups addressing the previously defined main project ideas: Improve the Competitiveness of the Public Transport System, Integration of New Local “Eco-Neighborhoods”, Pilot a Smart Grid and VPP at a City District, considering an Energy Community, City Digital Transformation and Smart Waste Heat Valorization.

This event was fortunate to have a wide range of key local actors, deeply committed to collaborating in achieving the goals for this SPARCS initiative.

The opening session highlighted the importance of the City Lab co-creative methodology and the main results of the on-site assessment held in Maia.

The co-creation sessions between city managers, industries, SME’s, entrepreneurs, educational community, and citizens, gave the participants the opportunity to discuss the main components of each project idea, in order to help the city to identify the ones that could be worked in a more detailed manner, towards implementation.

In the broad debate that took place throughout the event, guided by a strong practical component, the participants, where challenged to think prospectively and formulate problems, solutions and specific situations related with each one of the discussed projects.

Finally, each group shared their work among all participants, promoting the collaborative sharing of experiences and facilitating a close and fruitful dialogue between all the people involved, which are the faces of the various partners involved in SPARCS.

In conclusion, we believe this initiative was successful and of extremely importance for the upcoming activities regarding the Maia Replication Strategy as well as for a solid and fruitful collaboration between the city and all of its stakeholders.