About CityZEN

CityZEN – Centre for Digital Urban Community Living

The CityZEN project is a national collaboration between universities and industry. Our aim is to provide data sharing solutions which enable smart city innovation, while securing citizens’ personal data.

The goal of a Smart City is to have an over-arching ecosystem of different technologies that collectively improve the efficiency, security, safety, climate and overall sustainability of a city.

However, accelerated smart city innovations are hampered by a lack of solutions for interoperable data sharing and analytics across fragmented services and infrastructures, and data silos. Solutions must resolve issues of data ownership and usage, data quality, data protection and privacy, security and liability considering both proprietary industry data, public sector data, and personal data. This is the problem CityZEN wishes to solve.


The primary objective of CityZEN is to create the socio-technical infrastructure needed for citizen-focused urban innovation ecosystems exploiting extensive and ethical, secure, privacy enhancing data sharing for sustainable urban living.

CityZEN will adopt a citizen-centric approach starting with the needs of people, not technology, to generate value and provide a higher quality of life. The data sharing concept will be based on the principle that data is owned and controlled by the citizens and other subjects of the data collected – and not by the entities that collect the data. We envision a data marketplace with supporting business models in which data-driven businesses can transact with data owners, in compliance with GDPR and future regulation.


CityZEN is led by a strong research partnership (UiS, UiO, NORCE and BI) which will bring industry, public service owners and academics together in a creative process. The Centre touches on several of the UN Sustainability Development Goals, and is – above all – aligned with #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Research and innovation in the CityZEN project will focus on four main themes. Click on the boxes to open a research theme.

SFI application

The CityZEN project is applying to the Norwegian Research Council for status as Centre for Research-based Innovation (SFI).

The overall objective of the Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) scheme is to enhance the ability of the business sector to innovate and create value through a greater focus on long-term research.

For the research groups, the scheme makes it possible to achieve long-term development of expertise through research of high international calibre conducted in close cooperation with companies. The scheme is also intended to enhance quality and efficiency in the public sector.

Centre structure and governance

The CityZEN partners have world leading expertise and established strong strategic positions. In particular, the broad base of participating civil society and industry players and technology providers allows for integrated solutions across value chains at different technology readiness levels and with high societal readiness levels, combining basic research with close-to-market pilots.