The Joint Research Centre of the EU has identified Utrecht in 2013 as the most competitive EU Region on the basis of an evaluation of issues such as innovation, quality of institutions, infrastructure (including digital networks) and measures of health and human capital.

Researchers of the Smart Governance team are currently concentrating on one of the smart city projects in Utrecht, the Smart Solar Charging initiative.

Smart Solar Charging: a bottom-up initiative for a community-based fossil-free energy and mobility system

Smart Solar Charging entails an innovative technology, which aims to advance the transition towards a non-fossil energy provision: a community-based system of solar energy coupled to the use of electric vehicles. These achievements would contribute to become a climate neutral city with a cleaner air, healthier population and to buttressing the green economy. This bottom-up project  is initiated by a local resident /entrepreneur in the Lombok district of Utrecht and widely recognized as a success story. The allied stakeholders have now entered the stage of implementation and societal upscaling. The role of the municipality and other public institutions have been substantial in both the catalyzing and evolution phase. They previously also launched innovation projects in various neighbourhoods to stimulate citizens and businesses to capitalize on the possibilities of the energy transition and smart grid networks.