On April 27 it was presented at the Committee of Regions “URBIS”, a new dedicated urban investment advisory initiative set up by the European Commission (DG REGIO) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in November 2017 under the umbrella of the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH). It was developed in the context of the EU One Stop Shop for Cities and supports the ambitions defined in the EU Urban Agenda.

As explained by Emily Smith, representative of the EIB, the objective of this new tool is to provide advisory support to urban authorities to facilitate, accelerate and unlock urban sustainable investment projects, programmes and platforms, that means smart, green and socially inclusive investments. The advisory support is tailor made and covers both technical and financial (exploring also innovative financing approaches) aspects during all the different stages of the investment programme/project life cycle to ensure its bankability and high quality results.

Zusana Nehajova, InnovEYtion Center Leader at Ernst&Young in Prague, presented the Slovakia case study with regard to the project 'Developing a smart cities investment platform', carried out thanks to the collaboration between EIB, EY and SZRB Asset Management. After having identified SC&R weaknesses and challenges in Slovakia, the initiatives of the EIB were essential to ensure cities the access to experts in technical, financial and regulatory areas, the attraction of long-term investments and the development of an aggregation mechanism. The work done by the EIB ran in parallel to a process of market assessment and identification and development of a pipeline of projects through the mapping of relevant stakeholder groups and the collection, selection, categorization and aggregation of the projects in a database.

Finally, Torsten Brand, Senior Policy Adviser at EIB Brussels Office, talked about the role of the EIB, as stated in the Pact of Amsterdam, in contributing to the EU policy-design and implementation within the Urban Agenda, supporting the development of better funding approaches in the urban context, financing investments in priority themes of the Urban Agenda and advising stakeholders at all levels about urban projects preparation and financial instruments.




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