Innovate4CITIES initiative

Research & Innovation

Innovate4Cities identifies and tackles the data, information, and technology gaps that cities and local governments are prioritizing on their climate action journey. If addressed, this knowledge would drive science-based, technology-driven, replicable sustainable action and implementation at the scale the world needs and cities demand.

As GCoM’s city-focused research and innovation initiative, Innovate4Cities also leverages local and regional insights to advocate for increased resources to support innovative solutions, and cultivates cross-sector partnerships critical to meeting – and exceeding – the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Guided by GCoM’s Research and Innovation Technical Working Group, Innovate4Cities encourages alliance partners to contribute, collaborate and co-design projects – involving cities, local governments, and cross-sector stakeholders – to meet the gaps identified in the City Research and Innovation Agenda.

City Research and Innovation Agenda

Inspired by the 2018 Edmonton Declaration – and galvanized by the Innovate4Cities 2021 Conference – the City Research and Innovation Agenda seeks to fill local-level knowledge, information, and technology gaps at every stage of the city climate action journey. Sourced directly from local policymakers, city leaders, and practitioners, it highlights today’s critical urban climate needs, outlines the necessary cross-sector partnerships and actions for successful delivery, and charts pathways to drive action implementation.

Research and innovation priorities are built on four priority city-focused questions:

  1. How do we build the evidence base for climate action?
  2. How – and for whom – should we prioritize?
  3. What should we do?
  4. How do we finance and scale climate action?

Innovate4Cities Conference

The Innovate4Cities Conference (I4C Conference) is a global and regional event that convenes science, innovation, policy, and practice united by a common objective: enabling cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action. Underpinned by key themes from the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science (GRAA), the I4C Conference is focused on urban solution-oriented discussions across sectors and levels of government.

The 2021 edition of the conference saw key evolutions to the GRAA, including ‘history and cultural heritage’ as a thematic approach in the updated research agenda.

Mission Innovation’s Urban Transitions Mission

No single organization, initiative, sector, or level of government, however innovative or impactful, can accomplish all the transformational change required to meet the challenges of tackling climate change. To help address this – and building on priority local needs outlined by Innovate4Cities – the Urban Transitions Mission was launched at COP26 as part of a new wave of missions under Mission Innovation.

Co-led by GCoM, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), and Joint Programming Initiative – Urban Europe (JPI Urban Europe), the Urban Transitions Mission aims to catalyze global action behind ambitious innovation goals that lead to tipping points in the cost and scale of energy solutions – and leverage multi-level and cross-sectoral partnerships to close the gap between research, development, and deployment on systemic transition pathways to net-zero, climate resilient, and just cities to accelerate systemic transformations at local level.

Consult our resources

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