Sustainable Places 2014 (SP2014) brought on the inclusion of PERFORMER (alongside RESILIENT) to co-organize the second iteration of the annual international conference series. In setting up the second edition, SP coordinators still wanted to foster networking and clustering among the projects funded in the frame of the FP7 EeB PPP (Energy-efficient Buildings Public Private Partnership of the Seventh Framework Programme co-funded by the European Commission), but also wanted to widen the thematic scope. The core focus remained on how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is revolutionizing sustainability and on how ICT complements the improvements brought by the interdependant research domains (e.g. energy, materials, methods and practices, etc.) is still at the core of the conference. However, the co-location at SP2014 of the EIA (Architecture, City, and Information Design) conference, enabled a stronger consideration on the societal dimension of sustainability initiatives. The SP2014 conference program included several thematic sessions – opening session, innovative business models, innovative technologies & modeling, two technical focus sessions, closing session – , several workshops – the 2nd edition of the Key Performances Indicators (KPI) workshop organized under the auspices of the European Commission (DG Connect), clustering workshops –, and the aforementioned co-located conference (EIA14 or EuropIA.14: 14th International conference on the Advances in Design Sciences and Technology). The SP2014 paper proceedings can be downloaded here: SP2014_Paper-Proceedings The EIA14 paper proceedings (Edited by: Khaldoun Zreik, ISBN 979-10-90094-18-5 – 204 pages) can be purchased for 75€ at the following link: http://europia.org/edition/livres/ing/EIA14.htm

Additionally, at SP2014 there were the following 4 tutorials/site visits/private workshops:

  1.  EUROPEAN ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS PROJECT CLUSTERING (Private Workshops)
    • Chaired by Vaclav Smitka, Amires: The purpose of this 90´ meeting was to discuss details of future collaboration between European projects which are focused on Energy efficient buildings. Representatives of the ENERGY IN TIME, PERFORMER, TRIBUTE and DIRECTION projects identified possible areas (dissemination activities, technical approach, business model development, etc.) where projects could cooperate and exchange some experiences and information.
    • Chaired by Andrea Maria Ferrari, D’Appolonia: The purpose of this 90´ meeting was to further discuss clustering between AMBASSADOR and RESILIENT FP7 projects. Both of them were funded as part of the FP7-EeB.NMP.2012-1 call topic “Interaction and integration between buildings, grids, heating and cooling networks, and energy storage and energy generation systems” and were closely collaborating for more than one year. The collaboration was narrowed to two specific topics – optimization and district modelling – where the exchange and sharing of information and results bring the highest impact to further development and progress. Innovation cooperation between European projects helps to achieve better results due to information and data exchange. It also contributes to better dissemination of the gained results and increasing of the public awareness.
  2. DATA MODELS (Tutorial) Chaired by Filip Radulovic, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. This tutorial aimed to provide to people interested in publishing online energy-related data detailed guidelines for the generation of their data as semantic ‘Linked Data’. Besides giving theoretical backgrounds and a detailed theoretical description of the whole process and its steps, this tutorial also actively engaged its participants; they were able to follow on their own all the steps of the generation process. This tutorial was supported by the Ready4SmartCities (ICT Roadmap and Data Interoperability for Energy Systems in Smart Cities) FP7 Coordination and Support Action. lt provided to its participants knowledge about the Linked Data initiative and the necessary know-how in order for them to apply such gained knowledge and produce their own Linked Data. Since, according to research of the chairs, energy companies are mostly not familiar with Linked Data or they don’t have firm knowledge about it, this tutorial helped these companies to adopt and benefit from the Linked Data initiative, which remains a cutting-edge technology in today’s World Wide Web.
  3. IDEAS (Private Workshop) Chaired by Tracey Crosbie, Teesside University. The objective of this workshop was to facilitate a synergy of the different innovative business models to underpin Energy Positive Neighborhoods (EPNs) developed by the projects in different EU countries around the table to inform an understanding of how utility companies across Europe can be profitably engaged in the development and operation of EPNs. The IDEAS project aimed to develop and validate the technologies and business models required for the cost effective and incremental implementation of EPNs. The workshop began by clarifying the approaches taken in the different participating projects to achieve a common understanding and definition of the concept of an EPN. It then moved on to explore the key services and physical infrastructures required for an EPN and the possible revenue streams for traditional utility companies and ESCOs in implementing and maintaining these physical infrastructures and supplying these services. The workshop also sought to inform an understanding of how the current policy and regulatory approaches in the EU impact on the feasibility of the development of financially stable business approaches to the development of EPNs.
  4. European Business and Innovation Centre of Nice Côte d’Azur (Site Visit). On October 3, SP2014 SP2014 delegates were invited to visit the European business & innovation center of Nice Côte d’Azur From 09h30 to 11h30, and were able to meet innovative companies involved in energy efficiency. Activities included 15-minute speed meetings, networking & demos that were scheduled with each of these organisations: QUALISTEO, VULOG, ADVANSOLAR, VERTECH GROUP, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN SCHOOL, and ECOLAB (a Fablab hosted by Nice Côte d’Azur and the Sustainable Design School).