NLAB4CIT is a European network, coordinated by the University of Turin (UNITO), consisting of three local authorities, three knowledge institutions, and the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG).
The project has the ambition to make public services, such as the promotion of financial inclusion or innovative welfare services, more accessible. We achieve this in three ways:
- By involving citizens more actively in the design, co-creation and management of public services;.
- By demonstrating the applicability of a number of existing digital solutions in different and new sectors of co-production of public services;.
- By broadening the understanding of their success factor and sustainability.
In other words, the network will work on the question of how, through digital technologies, we can bring citizens closer to public services and involve them more in their creation. Technologies that could be considered include blockchain, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and virtual reality. By experimenting and sharing good practices, the network plans to gain practical insights and tips.
The local authorities in the network are the city of Roeselare, the Italian city of Collegno and the Greek city of Kaisariani. The knowledge institutions are, first, HOWEST from Kortrijk, especially the department of applied computer sciences. The second knowledge institution is Open Lab Athens, an interdisciplinary research bureau engaged in the development of digital citizen science and technology. The third is the University of Turin, where an interdisciplinary team is working on the project. Lastly, the VVSG is the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities.
The strength of this network lies in the diversity of its composition: in addition to social scientists, there are computer scientists, experienced experts and policymakers.