The Smart City Institute is an academic institute dedicated to the thematic of Smart Cities. It is founded on an original partnership between six private companies (Belfius, Proximus, Schréder, Strategy&, Vinci Energies and Total), a University and its Management School (HEC Liège) and Wallonia.

This new academic institute aims at stimulating research, teaching, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of the “Smart City”. The SCI proposes to approach this thematic from a managerial angle (not a technical one) while collaborating with other disciplines (necessary multidisciplinary approach).

This academic institute consists of:

  • Professors and scientific researchers;
  • Public and private partners;

Private partners

Belfius will contribute, as a gold partner, to the initiatives of the institute by sharing its expertise in finance with the actors of the project.

o As a digital partner, thanks to the solutions that the company develops and offers, Proximus particularly supports innovation and entrepreneurship;

o Schréder is fully committed to developing innovative technologies that help cities to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Therefore, it works alongside cities, research centers and technology start-ups to develop solutions which meet the needs of future generations;

o Strategy & (part of PwC) provides expertise in strategic consulting and Smart Cities;

Vinci Energies contributes to the development of the institute by sharing its expertise in numerous areas for Smart Cities (transport, energy and communication networks, Smart Grids, etc.)

o As part of its “Committed to Better Energy” ambition and as a major player in the electricity, gas and fuel cards markets, TOTAL joins the Smart City Institute to jointly seek solutions related to the challenges of intelligent management of energy, but also of mobility.

Public partners

  • Wallonia supports the institute and more specifically the plan Digital Wallonia.
  • The Institute is also one of the stakeholders in the Wal-e-Cities project (European funding FEDER) to support the development of Smart Cities initiatives throughout the country.
  • The city of Liège also supports the institute.
  • The Institute is also working on the “GROOF” project (European INTERREG-NWE funding), an innovative project aimed at reducing CO² emissions through the installation of a roof greenhouse system.
  • Experts in the development of the “smart cities” (experts in technology, real estate, infrastructures, financial services, energy, project management).

The mission of the Smart City Institute is :

“to contribute to the general development of smart cities by training future managers, developing research, entrepreneurship and innovation as well as facilitating sustainable value creation between actors of smart ecosystems thanks to networking and thanks to an access to multidisciplinary skills and to the most innovative technologies”

To tackle its mission, the Smart City Institute is developing three complementary activities (three pillars of the SCI): research, teaching and entrepreneurship. These activities are supported by traversal activities of awareness.

From its beginning, a real national and international perspective will be given to the activities led by the Smart City Institute. Nevertheless, in a first time, the Smart City Institute, and more particularly its “City VentureLab”, will focus on the territory of Liege in order to contribute to its economic, social and ecological development.

Finally, even if it is true that the issues and challenges of smart cities need to be analysed under the angle of various disciplines, management is clearly a crucial axis which has been little investigated, as proposed by Smart City Institute.