Frequently Asked Questions

In which city will I prototype my solution?

Mechelen (Belgium), Bruges (Belgium), Delft (The Netherlands) and Saint-Quentin (France) have each formulated their own challenge. Which city you will work with to run your pilot depends on the challenge you apply for. The challenge descriptions indicate which city is running which challenge.

I’m a student – can I apply as well?

Yes, but you need a legal entity. Many universities have a dedicated legal entity for supporting students to start commercial activities. Ask your university what they can offer in this field.

I want to create my startup but I don’t have a legal entity yet – can I apply for a challenge in the open call?

You will need to be a legal entity to participate in the open call. You can either set this up yourself, or get support from incubators/accelerators. Often they have a dedicated legal entity to start commercial activities that can be used by early stage startups.

My solution requires a specific dataset that the city does not yet have. What do I do now?

In your proposal, outline what you would need in order to generate the dataset you need, with an estimation of equipment costs clearly indicated in the budget. If your solution is selected, the city will purchase the equipment if necessary, in addition to your pilot funding of up to €10k (i.e. equipment costs will not be deducted from your funding).

Why must my solution be interoperable?

Your solution must be interoperable by design between cities because we consider that one city is not a market. To assure the uptake of smart city solutions by mid-sized cities and thus to scale-up your market we are looking for solutions that can be easily replicated by other cities. Solutions must be ready to use in any city, regardless of size or capacity. Interoperability will increase the speed and openness of innovation and development, whilst decreasing cost and inefficiency. 

Why are the various stakeholders so important in the various steps of the development of my solution? A working solution should be enough.

We support the creation of an open smart city market based on the needs of cities, communities and citizens. Without engagement of all parties involved a solution cannot be successful.

How developed should the solution be at the end of the accelerator process with the €10,000 budget?

Please mind that during the 6-month accelerator, we do not expect the development of a full-blown solution that is up-and-running in the city. The accelerator is an opportunity to develop and showcase a proof of concept. After the accelerator period, the city, the other SCIFI partner cities and/or cluster cities can decide to go for a full implementation of that solution, at a suitable market price.

The SCIFI accelerator provides direct access to cities and an opportunity to closely work together with the stakeholders in the cities to test your solution in your potential market. It also helps you gain exposure for your solution via the city clusters, project communication and partner business networks.

The SCIFI accelerator programme and funding is designed to be a launching pad for your company’s smart solution.

What is the timeline for the Open Call and the Accelerator Programme?



What is expected in terms of phsical presence at the location of the city partner?

City partners and their solution providers must meet face-to-face at least once. Then it is to be defined between the city partner and the solution provider.

How to apply if we are interested in several challenges?

Applicants can apply for several challenges. They have to fill in an application form for each of the challenge they are interested in.


During the evaluation process, is the interview face-to-face or remotely?

Applicant interviews with the project partners are done remotely.

Considering the context of the Brexit, is it really possible for UK-based organisations to apply ?

There is no restriction for a UK-based organisation to apply.