CITIES2030 Horizon2020-CITIES2030 Yleinen

Performance Assurance (PA) in the Research and Innovation Action (RIA)

I’m in the process to write my share into the Horizon2020 periodic report. The aim is that we – project consortium partners – look backward and assess what went well and what didn’t go so well. What was the performance and progress in the research and innovation action compared to the grant agreement?

While writing I reflect on good Performance Assurance and Monitoring (PA/PM) practices that are in use in the best organizations e.g. in industrial organizations, public institutions, and companies. How do they assure and monitor their performance?

In Horizon2020 research and innovation projects, the purchaser of the action, i.e. European Commission, defines that the project coordinator’s responsibility is to monitor the project performance and progress.

However, it may happen that EC’s command rules the project practices. The project coordinator puts all efforts into Performance Monitoring (PM), and neglects Performance Assurance (PA). If the project coordinator doesn’t implement Performance Assurance (PA) practices into the project, it gives an unofficial mandate to all partners to comply same questionable example.

The efficient, right directed and timely Performance Assurance (PA) measures are key variables in the project execution, progress, and performance.

Performance Assurance (PA) measures build the conditions that all partners have an opportunity to succeed and carry out good work.

High-class performance in the project regarding quality, delivery, and cost (value v.s. working hours) is a result of the project culture.

A world-class high-performance culture calls for leadership, communication, values, work teams, structures, human capital, performance assurance, and performance monitoring.


Lean-Agile Research Project Management

What does a balance between transparency and privacy mean to performance and progress in the research project environment?

Does enhanced transparency cause a burden for researchers or project leaders?

Does increasing privacy lead to self-managing teams?  

CITIES2030 Horizon2020-CITIES2030

Change factors of the City Region Food System

The correlation matrix maps and prioritizes change factors of the City Region Food System. 

The conclusion is that the food system transformation calls multiple stakeholders into action. Also, the municipality’s role as a policy and strategy maker is crucial. 

The matrix is a summary of brainstorming sessions arranged in Finland with food system innovators and developers. The organizers represent two Horizon2020 projects: Fusilli and CITIES2030


The renaissance of cities’ food market halls

Finland lives a renaissance of food halls, at least if the example from Joensuu, Turku, and Seinäjoki mirror a general development.

Food halls are a visible and important element of the City Region Food System (CRFS). They support local food producers and promote a short supply chain.

City policymakers and local authorities have a key role in the management and development of food halls. They decide if the tradition of the food hall will continue in the city.

The city of Joensuu has approved that a new food hall can be constructed in the center of the city, by the marketplace. Construction work on the hall could begin as early as next fall.

The plan for Joensuu’s new food market

The city of Turku renews the entire market hall block. Turku’s food hall which was opened in 1896 will be the center of the renewed block.

Turku market hall

Arctic Food Market won an architect competition launched by the City of Seinäjoki. . The old locomotive garage in Seinäjoki got a new shape and function in the hands of architecture students.

In Finland, there are 15 food halls. Joensuu’s new market hall will be number 16. Source: WIKIPEDIA

CITIES2030 Horizon2020-CITIES2030 Yleinen

City of Lahti – a potential follower of CITIES2030?

This is my home city – Lahti. It is located in southern Finland in the province of Päijät-Häme. Lahti is the biggest city in the province.

Looking down to centre of Lahti from the top of the ski jump concrete hill. Author=Pasixxxx |Date=2009-07-26 |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

12 front-runner cities and regions

10 cities and 2 regions are currently engaged in the CITIES2030. The project incorporates diverse cities and regions as stated in the below table. These 10 cities and 2 regions are called front-runners.

10 cities and 2 regions GeographyDemography*)
Bremerhaven (DE), flat, temperate oceanic 1.200
Bruges (BE), flat, temperate oceanic 850
Haarlem (NL), flat, temperate oceanic 5.461
Iaşi (RO), uplands, humid continental 3.092
Quart de Poblet (ES), flat, Mediterranean,dry/hot summer 1.300
Murska Sobota (SI), flat, temperate oceanic 806
Seinäjoki (FI), flat, subarctic 44,26
Troodos (CY), mountainous, Mediterranean, hot semi-aridN/ap
Velika Gorica (HR), flat, temperate oceanic 190
Vejle (DK), flat, temperate oceanic 400
Vicenza (IT), flat, humid subtropical 1.400
Vidzeme region (LV), highlands, humid continental N/ap
* Density Number of inhabitants per km2. Source: CITIES2030

38 follower cities and regions

Cities2030’s aim is to engage a total of 50 cities by the end of the project covering a spanning diversity of scales, climates, and terrains, from continental to coastal settings. At the end of the day, Cities2030 will engage 12 front-runners and 38 followers.

Lahti locates in the province of Päijät-Häme being the biggest city in the province. The three strategic RDI target fields in the Päijät-Häme province are sports, food & drinks, and the manufacturing industry. The RDI strategy is updated in November 2021 (link)

The province’s and accordingly Lahti’s strategic orientation to focus RDI efforts too on food & drinks sounds like a good idea from Cities2030 perspective. S&L will be following the next acts in Päijät-Häme province and in Lahti waiting for an opportunity to initiate cooperation between the city of Lahti and Cities2030.

CITIES2030 Yleinen

Extended Innovation Pattern (EIP)

We, in the CITIES2030 project, have a hypothesis: 12+ pilots carry out an Extended Innovation Pattern (EIP) to deliver innovations to capitalize, best practices to share, and improvements to enhance processes. The innovation environment is built upon a multi-actor approach and open innovation. CITIES2030 project contributes to the transformation of Urban Food Systems. 

The platform to generate innovations, novel practices, and process innovations is Living Lab. Each of the 12 cities i.e. 12 pilots establishes a Living Lab that engages and activates regional and local multiple stakeholders to assess, study, develop and innovate new attributes on CITY REGION FOOD SYSTEM (CRFS). The aim is to foster the Urban Food System transition towards 2030.

Eventually, by the end of the project, CITIES2030 has engaged 50 cities all over Europe. These multiplier’ cities follow and learn from the pilot cities’ achievements, and initiate their own transition pathways towards 2030.

The description of the implementation of Extended Innovation Pattern is in the technical report D5.2 CRFS Living Lab facilitators, and guidelines for development and innovations.

Transition needs system innovations among other things, hence we delivered a technical report at WP3 – D3.3 Systems Thinking Methodology.

Blue Wings Composting CITIES2030 PoliRural

Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori – again

Blue Wings Composting – Toukkakompostori – has won 16.4.2021 the national Finnish STEM – StarT competition, together with 9 other projects. See the results.

Thanks to all participants and stakeholders, particularly Länsiharju primary school’s 4th class and their teacher. In the below picture the class and teacher forward the well-fed and fat larvae back to nature at Vesijärvi-lake for fish food. Thanks greatly also to the CEO of Blue Wings Composting, Saverio Danubio from Italy.

CITIES2030 PoliRural Yleinen

PoliRural meets CITIES2030

H2020 PoliRural project develops an innovative text mining application called SemEx – Semantic Explorer. SemEx pilot is addressed to analyse unstructured data which is related to rural development and rural attractiveness.

CITIES2030 implements System Thinking on City/Region Food System transformation.

CITIES2030 conducts a “literature review” on System Thinking, but not in a traditional manner, but using a text mining application which is developed at PoliRural project.

One example of the SemEx visualizations

CITIES2030 PoliRural Yleinen

Rural Systemic Transformation

PoliRural aims to model rural attractiveness system e.g. responses, factors, loops and weights. See below one well known situation of Häme (FI) based on the data from the years 2009-2019. What kind of policy measures are needed to change the trend?