Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

Smart city pilot projects: scaling up or fading out?

Experiences from Amsterdam

10 mrt 2016 16:54 | Urban Management

Urban Management professor Willem van Winden, gave a lecture today about the challenge of upscaling, focusing on urban sustainability innovation projects in which several partners – with different missions and agenda’s and incentives- join up.

Around 30 international companies, researchers and students took part in a small scale seminar at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences about the challenge of upscaling from pilot projects. In many cities, “smart city” pilot projects are set up to develop new solutions for sustainable energy, better mobility, circular economy etc. Typically, these projects are supported by the municipality, funded by subsidies, and run in partnerships. In many cases however, their impact is very limited, as many projects die after the pilot stage, and never scale up.

Urban Management 

The AUAS is helping to find solutions to metropolitan issues by gearing its teaching and research to what is happening in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. The Faculties of Economics and Business, Applied Social Sciences and Law, and Technology are combining their knowledge specifically in the Urban Management focal area of the AUAS.

Urban Management stands for the multidisciplinary approach to metropolitan issues. The programming and implementation of research takes place in Field Labs: geographical areas within which long-term agreements are made with stakeholders on a research and innovation agenda. 

Dr. Willem van Winden


Dr. Willem van Winden (PhD) is an urban economist specialized in urban innovation and policy. He is professor of Urban Knowledge Economy & Strategy at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He has published widely on urban innovation and related topics, in books and international peer-reviewed scientific journals. He leads a research team that focuses on urban innovations, inter-organisational business models for smart cities, campus development, synergy management in clusters and triple helix collaboration.

Smart City Entrepreneurial Lab

The Smart City Dialogue is an initiative of the Smart City Entrepreneurial Lab. Smart city research projects are incorporated in this lab, part of the AUAS’ Entrepreneurship Program. It is a collaboration between two faculties of this university; Faculty Business and Economics and Faculty of Technology. The lab brings entrepreneurs, researchers and students together to do practical scientific research on suitable business models for smart city solutions. Together with partner Amsterdam Smart City we aim to contribute to a smart city where urban stakeholders learn to innovate together, co-creating solutions that enhance urban quality of life and generate new business opportunities.