Moving to Phase 1

17 May 2021

Moving to Phase 1

Like the other AI4Cities project cities, the City of Copenhagen has been part of selecting the 20 consortium solutions that have proceeded to Phase 1 of the pre-commercial procurement (PCP) process in the Energy Lot. It has been interesting to read through the many solutions submitted by the suppliers and Copenhagen is looking forward to the further work and collaboration in Phase 1. Here the companies will design solutions in relation to the challenges that Copenhagen and the other cities have raised in the energy sector based on their initial applications.

The many competent solutions and ideas that have been submitted from both big international companies and smaller startups show that the market is in a strong position to meet the challenges faced by the project cities.

Copenhagen is therefore also optimistic and excited for what the collaboration in AI4Cities can entail of new ideas to energy optimization:

“With many of the companies we have talked to, one can sense that they are people who want to create a better, more green, connected, and responsible society. If all 20 companies have that fundamental approach then I am certain that they in collaboration with the competent and professional people we have in the cities can develop some solutions that fit in with the challenges we are facing” says Technical Project Manager Roar Hyldkrog from Copenhagen Municipality.

The need to think of wholesome solutions
An area where Copenhagen has seen the most interesting applications are the companies which have submitted proposals to develop a smart grid and suggestions on how the data infrastructure should be build:

“It is especially the companies that not only make suggestions on what the solutions can be used for, but also make suggestions on how to reach the solutions that have been interesting. To reach the solution a network must be created; we need to link the socket outlet in the kindergarten with the supercomputer in the municipality. And that is a bit of a quantum leap”, says Roar Hyldkrog

It can be extremely difficult to get AI to work properly if you do not know exactly what to tell it. Thus, the solutions that have made the biggest impression on Copenhagen are those that also examine how the information that the AI-solution needs can be pulled out of the city and which infrastructure can be built with this information.

Data foundation is everything
Consequently, many of the selected companies are already aware that a key challenge over the course of the PCP process will be to create a valuable, usable and durable data collection solution and infrastructure.

From the part of Copenhagen Municipality data from the approximately 8.000 properties can be delivered, which the municipality currently is working on making available for the companies. Another part of the data collection lies with other external sources outside the city’s availability. However, the data problems do not stop here as there are also limitations to the consistency, type, and amount of data that Copenhagen can make available for the companies to develop their solutions. This should be seen in the light of Copenhagen being relatively advanced in the use of data to develop technologies. Yet, there is still a long way before reaching a situation where everything is logged, measured and there is modern Internet of Things-based information on all contact point in all properties:

“If you imagine it being possible to link an AI to the city with the information we have now, you have probably skipped three steps; We need an AI solution that can build a bridge between the distorted data situation we have now that is neither streamlined or homogenous, and a durable data collection solution. It is that bridge that will be valuable to develop”, says Roar Hyldkrog.

Copenhagen is therefore pleased to see that many of the selected companies perceive the development of a coherent data network and infrastructure as the foundation for a useful solution and is looking forward to continue the collaboration further and hopefully take the necessary steps before making a quantum leap

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