David Cunha, Senior Adviser for IT and Digital Transformation, City of Lisbon
Oana Buzatu, Spokesperson for the City of Cluj Napoca
Duarte Fondo Quiroga, Head Of Business Development EMEA at NEC
Professor Nicolae Urs, Vice-Dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babes Bolyai University

Stakeholders, technology and the right framework are vital: sustainable and high-quality city living results from innovative investment in mobility and infrastructure; connectivity and digitalisation; education and work; government and governance; real estate and the environment.

But how to design an ideal ecosystem? Who should lead its development? What is the role of the private and public sectors? Why is it important to be involved in urban tech development and how does that translate to smart future investment and opportunities for both cities and businesses?

Key takeaways — Vision versus reality: How the ideal is restricted by practical constraints

Practical examples of how to create a coalition of stakeholders to help build a developed urban tech environment

How to incentivise urban tech development — introducing helpful regulations and eliminating red tape

How to attract creative talent to facilitate development

How to differentiate in order to stand out from the competition

Key technologies and resources required for successful urban tech development


David Cunha
Senior Adviser for IT & Digital Transformation
City of Lisbon

A degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s in Transport and Infrastructures, over a decade of experience in public administration, combined with a keen innate interest in everything technological, all blended together to make an unconditional ICT and Smart(er) Cities enthusiast and Urban Intelligence supporter.

In his current role for the City of Lisbon, David is responsible for Information and Communication Technology and Digital Transformation Portfolios:

  • Policy and Strategy research, design and development;
  • Building and management of strategic partnerships;
  • National, City & private stakeholder management;
  • Advisory to Vice Mayor on portfolio issues.

Supervision of ICT department and Lisbon’s Urban Management and Intelligence Centre:

  • Coordination with General Managers, Directors and Section heads;
  • Budget allocation and execution supervision;
  • Programme / project design, implementation and management;
  • Procurement and tendering supervision;
  • Contract supervision.

Public Procurement (Sourcing and Tendering).

Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, has a smart city strategy that places its citizens and their needs at its core. Technology is just a means to an end. The city aims to become smart, sustainable, competitive, participatory, creative, innovative and citizen-centric. Lisbon has drafted an urban development strategy for the coming decades, and has committed to invest EUR 307 million in related projects (Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa 2020). The strategy’s main objectives are to attract more inhabitants by improving the quality of housing, and offering smart living services and smart ageing opportunities; to boost the economy and increase employment by investing in research and development, attracting more entrepreneurs and broadening access to higher education; and improving the quality of life in the city through measures for energy efficiency, mobility and social cohesion. Local regeneration and citizen participation are also priorities.

The demonstration area chosen for the SHARING CITIES project spreads over 10 km2 and has 100 000 inhabitants. This strategic location stretches from the riverfront to the centre of the city, and includes the main historic and tourist districts. The area poses several challenges, ranging from its particular orography to the historic nature of its buildings, and its ageing population.

Oana Buzatu
Spokesperson for the
City of Cluj Napoca

Oana Buzatu has worked for the City of Cluj Napoca since 2011. She is communication manager of Cluj Future of Work project financed by Urban Innovative Actions involved in urban tech and smart city strategy and is Spokeperson of the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca and the Chief Service of the Citizen Information Centre of the institution, in charge of the local administration’s interaction with the citizens. From this position she has been involved in most of the municipality’s processes of becoming more friendly and involved with the citizens, enhancing transparency and also better understanding and updating the needs of public services. She has a bachelor degree in Journalism, a Master in Communication in the Public Sector and she is interested in public policies processes as ways to achieve the increase of life quality for communities.

Located in northwestern Romania, Cluj-Napoca is considered the unofficial capital of the Transylvania region. The country’s fourth-most populous city is the economic hub of the region, home to a half-million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, as well as 12 universities and 80,000 students. In an effort to solve public problems and promote sustainable development, Cluj-Napoca is boosting “economic engines” in the creative industries and university sector. As a technology hub, the ultimate goal for Cluj-Napoca is to improve the quality of life for citizens by focusing on five main areas: transport and mobility; citizen engagement; energy; infrastructure; and Internet access.The city is now looking to give the IT industry a boost of creativity to help strengthen innovation and the development of new products, creating the Transylvania Industries Cluster—the first in Romania—that works alongside local universities. Through these types of collaborations, the city hopes to create a cluster effect that allows competitiveness growth through information exchange, business partnerships, and economies by using shared resources (spaces and equipment).

Duarte Fondo Quiroga
Head Of Business Development EMEA at NEC

Duarte Fondo Quiroga is Business Development Director for Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities at NEC Europe. Industrial engineer expert in digitization and optimization of industrial processes. For the past ten years he has been collaborating with companies in the IT sector, combining new technologies and traditional engineering, both in the public and private sectors.

He works directly with the CTO and Deputy Head of the Cloud Convergence Business Unit of NEC Europe, responsible for the Cloud, Big Data and IoT product areas, and for Smart Cities initiatives.

NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company’s experience and global resources, NEC’s advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society. The NEC Group globally provides “Solutions for Society”​ that promote the safety, security, fairness and equality of society. Under the company’s corporate message of “Orchestrating a brighter world,”​ NEC aims to help solve a wide range of challenging issues and to create new social value for the changing world of tomorrow.

Nicolae Urs
Vice-Dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Nicolae Urs is Vice-Dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babes Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is interested in everything related to technology. More specifically, he has been studying and researching the way in which public institutions employ new technologies, the changes that the new social networks brought about in communication, the opportunities provided by “big data” and the way in which visualising statistical data can help understand social trends. He has a PhD in online communication, to which he added an internship in the United States focused on e-government. He teaches courses related to e-Government, to the use of new technologies, and to online communication. He is actively involved in public institutions’ digitisation projects, both at the level of the city of Cluj-Napoca, as well as at a national level; he also coordinated or took part in a number of strategic development plans for municipalities around Romania. He is a member of Code4Romania and co-chair of the Central and Eastern European e|Dem and e|Gov Days, as well as a member in the editorial board of two scientific publications.

Babes-Bolyai University, commonly known by its abbreviation, UBB, is a public university in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. UBB has the longest academic tradition among the Romanian universities (starting as Academia/Universitas Claudiopolitana in 1581), is the largest Romanian university (with about 45,000 students in 2020 and an academic community of almost 50000 people).

The University offers study programmes in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English, and French (and some programs in Italian, Chinese, Japanese, etc.). The university was named after two prominent scientists from Transylvania, the Romanian bacteriologist Victor Babeș and the Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai. It is one of the five members of the Universitaria Consortium (the group of elite Romanian universities).

UBB is affiliated, inter alia, to the International Association of Universities, the Santander Group, the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie and the European University Association. Likewise, UBB signed the Magna Charta Universitatum and concluded partnerships with 210 universities in 50 countries, and it is widely considered as one of the most prestigious in Eastern Europe. The Babeș-Bolyai University is classified as an advanced research and education university by the Ministry of Education.