Smart Skills for Smarter Cities (Skills4Cities)

International business school is a partner in an innovative European project for defining and certifying competencies, required in the management of smart cities.


Programme: ERASMUS + КA2

Duration: 02.11.2020 г. - 01.11.2022 г.

Leading partner: Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, Bulgaria

Partners: ARIES Transilvania, International business school, Bulgaria, IDEC, ECQA GmbH  и GAIA.


The context of this project is that the new era smart cities need staff with new or upgraded competencies. The smart city competencies are specific, identifiable, definable, and measurable knowledge, skill, ability and/or another deployment-related characteristic, the professionals in the city government or related institutions need to possess in order to perform effectively the activities of governing the smart cities. Undoubtedly, taking into account the emerging technologies and digital transformation of cities the governance of cities requires new competencies that the education systems provide currently quite fragmented.

Target groups: Those who can become agents of change in cities. They can participate in different types of urban projects as experts or can be members of the urban and regional administration, representatives of the urban economic environment, architects, engineers, as well as technicians who work in the field of planning and implementation of smart IoT solutions, economists, geologists, cartographers, lawyers, among others. This group includes graduated with an engineering background who should upgrade their skills and competences in the design, managing and servicing smart cities. It includes those trainees who are either already employees of the cities or are yet to be appointed after the training. In addition, this package also includes knowledge for managing innovation, managing urban processes and implementing innovative business models to achieve the goals of the cities of the future.

Objectives: The main objectives of the Sills4Cities project, led by 6 partners from five European countries, are to define a map of competencies that will serve as a reference for managers and people working in the field of smart cities and to define curricula and specific training material to train professionals in the skills needed to effectively manage smart cities. The last step of the project will be the certification of professionals trained, characterized by promoting the use of technologies to improve the life of citizens, as well as the livability and sustainability of the city.

The project, which will be developed throughout 2021 and 2022 with the participation of 60 organizations, is part of the European Erasmus+ Program, in its KA-2 section of cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices and KA202, related to strategic collaboration in Europe for vocational and educational training.

The Skills4Cities project has been structured in two phases:

PHASE 1: Definition of the Smart Cities Competency Framework Toolkit: competency map, reference competency framework, curriculum and user guide for implementation.

PHASE 2: Validation of competencies for smart city management: the basic characteristics of the validation will be clarified and the reference phases will be identified. Likewise, the rules for the Certification of smart city roles will be established. In this section, the process of examination, certification and recognition of the competencies acquired in the training of the target groups will be established.

The methodology for carrying out the project will be as follows: all six partner organizations will work together but everyone will respond for the production of at least one output or deliverable, which are most relevant to its expertise. Every one output or component will be evaluated under common quality assurance rules and a set of indicators. All components will be tested and verified with the involvement of representatives of the associated partners, the stakeholders, and the target groups at specialized focus groups.

The project impact envisages a rise of awareness on the new roles of the cities' staff regarding the smart city-related challenges and increasing the efficiency of the cities as a result of improved competencies of the HR of the cities. The last will be a result of a certified training based on the new competencies framework and the training curricula and materials, elaborated under the project. The potential longer-term benefits of the project will be described in the exploitation strategy. It is presumed that the reference competencies framework and the validation mechanism for recruitment, training or retraining personnel working on smart city projects will be linked to the national and European qualification systems and recognized on national and European levels.

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