According to estimations, till 2050, two thirds of the world population will live in towns, consuming more than 70% of energy and emitting just as much greenhouse gases. As the population of cities grows, the demand for services but also pressure on resources will grow. This demand puts a strain on energy, water, waste, and any other services that are major for the prosperity and sustainability of a city.
A Smart City is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects. The global market of Smart Cities is expected to grow from $410,8 billion in 2020 to $820,7 billion by 2025 with 14,8% compound annual growth rate. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for public safety, rising urban population, and growing government initiatives. Smart Cities contribute to the EU objectives towards social fairness and prosperity, empowerment of people through digital technologies, as well as the objectives of the “European Green Deal”.
Smart cities utilize data and deploy services using advanced technologies, such as Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things to offer new and enhance existing services, as well as, to provide context-aware views on city operations. Their development is highly complex and challenging and requires technicians and engineers from the public sector and industry equipped with skills and competences that are currently in short supply. Thus, given the dynamic nature of Smart Cities, their workforce need to be reskilled/upskilled by acquiring new and transferable skills and knowledge.
The SMACITE project aims to address the Smart Cities skills gap by designing and testing a vocational education and training program. The program will use a novel and multi-disciplinary curriculum combining digital skills on Smart Cities enabling technologies with soft, entrepreneurial, and green skills.
The expected project results are:
- A Smart Cities competences map and ESCO-compliant Smart Cities job profiles.
- A Smart Cities curriculum combining both technical and non-technical skills and competences and promoting personalized learning pathways.
- Learning resources for Smart Cities enabling technologies and for building the soft, entrepreneurship and green skills of Smart Cities technicians and Engineers.
- A diagnostic tool to identify personalized learning pathways.
- A MOOC for Smart Cities enabling technologies.
- Virtual Worlds for building the soft, green and entrepreneurship skills of Smart Cities technicians and engineers.
The main project beneficiaries are Smart Cities technicians and engineers, either from the public sector (i.e. municipalities) or enterprises providing Smart Cities solutions, as well as HEI and VET students interested in Smart Cities.
The SMACITE consortium brings together 12 organizations from Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, and Belgium that represent different stakeholders that share a common vision: Higher Education Institutions, Vocational Education and Training providers, Associations of IT and Technology Enterprises, Public Sector Organizations, and a Certification Body.
SMACITE is a 3-years project (01/06/2022 – 31/05/2025) coordinated by the University of Patras (Greece) and co-funded by the European Union (Project Number: 101052513).