Open Call for European Innovaters

People, Processes & Technology towards the digital transformation of the urban mobility system of Lisbon (VoxPop) is the project that will foster digitalization and collaboration between private and public mobility actors in the Portuguese capital. VoxPop is funded by the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative under the Digital transition topic. The project is advancing well and has generated significant attention, achieving one of its most important milestones, the publication of the Urban Innovators Open Call.

The preparation of the open call has started its second phase with the publication of the call for proposals on the 10th of August. The call will close on September the 25th and then the phase 3 will start, with the evaluation of the proposals. This is an important milestone for the project since it will allow for the development of services to improve the mobility experience of people with reduced mobility and other vulnerable groups, which is one of the pillars of the project. Moreover, the fact that the solutions will be open-source is an important innovation of this call, allowing for additional benefits to the Lisbon community.

The total budget of the call is 1 million euros and it aims to improve accessibility and safety of people with reduced mobility and other vulnerable groups as well (persons with disabilities, elders, children, pregnant women, and others) by creating inclusive people-centred mobility services and to improve decision-making processes. Open-source projects contributing to a more accessible and inclusive mobility Lisbon ecosystem will be funded up to 60.000 euros each.

  During phase 1 a total of 6 co-creation workshops with cohorts of NGOs (30 persons from 22 organizations) were held aiming at understanding their mobility journey and identifying the mobility barriers they face before, during and after their trip.

Open call phases
Open Call phases

Then, once these have been grouped and prioritized, the ones in which information can have a relevant role in their solution were selected and potential solutions brainstormed.

  The main mobility barriers selected were the following:

  1. Seamless Route Planning: Allow for reliable, effortless and immediate route planning for everyone through real-time barrier identification, route "friendliness" information, verified information on accessibility conditions of transportation, services & venues.
    The mobility barriers and the lack of information about them mean that many people are either deprived from any "new" outings (sticking to the routes they know) or are deprived of "spontaneity”.
  2. Autonomous Navigation: Support people who can't see, read, listen or with cognitive impairments, to navigate the city easily, confidently and autonomously (in the public space, inside stations and in transport).
    When on the move, people need "last minute" information about time and service status and for spatial orientation. The city's systems are adapted to literate people with 5 functioning senses. Consequence: disorientation and dependence.
  3. Inclusive Ticketing Services: Provide services so that everyone can easily and independently purchase and access (validate) their trips.
    People with cognitive, visual and hearing impairments - as well as wheelchair users and people with other kinds of reduced mobility (such as people with dwarfism) - depend on others to purchase or validate their travels. Accessible purchase and validation systems are key to promoting autonomous travel.
  4. Safer Journeys: Promoting safe journeys for everyone at any moment in the city.
    Feeling unsafe on the streets and in public transportation keeps several people from vulnerable groups from moving around Lisbon freely. Unsafety arises from several factors - from physical barriers, to harassment towards minority communities, to a feeling of impunity.
  5. Wholesome Liveability of Public Spaces: Allow for blind people to access and enjoy public and green spaces.
    Blind people are currently deprived of enjoying gardens, monuments and other public spaces of Lisbon for lack of accessible information such as miniature tactile maps.
  6. Community Solutions for a more Inclusive Mobility: Promote and enable community intervention towards solving mobility challenges.
    Vulnerable group representatives shared a common aspiration for more community driven solutions to the city’s vulnerable groups’ challenges to mobility.


The above barriers are focusing on the key target groups as presented in the table below:

Table of barriers
Barriers applying to target groups


To further illustrate the needs of the vulnerable road users, several of the examples that were grouped in the six categories are listed below:

  1. Seamless Route Planning: Lack of information about public space barriers and accessible services on the way and at destinations; Lack of consistency of accessibility solutions and of “user friendly” route information for wheelchair users & visually impaired.
  2. Autonomous Navigation: Insufficient tactile information; Knowing when and where to cross streets; Identifying barriers on the spot; Navigating in the rain (street noise increases); Allow for independent transport Identification; Make all route and timing information at bus stations accessible; Support safe navigation and full information inside train, bus, metro stations; Provide accessible current location information.
  3. Inclusive Ticketing Services: Ticket purchase machine written instructions too complex; Ticket purchase machines too high for people in wheelchairs, children and people with dwarfism; Validation sensors in Metro too high for wheelchair users; In buses, the space for ticket validation not standardized - inaccessible for blind people; In the metro, the balance information upon ticket validation is only provided in visual form.
  4. Safer Journeys: Protection from crime/harassment and support effective harassment reporting; Promote psychological safety in travel for people in the autism spectrum.
  5. Wholesome Liveability of Public Spaces: Facilitating the navigation in public spaces through the five senses; devices enhancing senses of sound, touch and smell.
  6. Community Solutions for a more Inclusive Mobility: Involving the community in making travel safer for vulnerable communities; Making up for insufficient public transport for children in big city commutes; Overcoming elders digital literacy gaps; Allowing low income families to access and maintain bikes for children to go to school; Solve people with visual impairments fear of running out of cell phone battery or data when outdoors; Prepare society (and public transportation workers) to help people with visual and other impairments solutions.

Using the outputs of the co-creation workshops the topics of the open call were identified. Due to the COVID situation the workshops were held on-line, which was an important difficulty that was overcame by the consortium. An additional difficulty was the fact that open source was part of the specifications of the open call, thus this could be an important barrier for potential participants. Having support from an external expert, this barrier was also overcame by not limiting the call to solutions based on data (data-driven) but also data generators, i.e. Digital solutions, that could be platforms, apps, or others.Phase 2 ended with the launch of the call.

  • Call opens:  10th  August 2022,
  • Webinar: 13th September 2022,
  • Call closes: 25th September 2022,
  • Proposal ranking: October 2022
  • Selection interviews: October 2022
  • Final ranking: November 2022
  • Grant Agreements Contracts Signing: November 2022
  • Kick-off Event: December 2022
  • Progress monitoring: December 2022 - May 2023
  • Final report submission: June 2023
  • Demo Day: June 2023

For questions regarding the application process, please consult the Bid Toolkit at the VoxPop website or contact at

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Lisbon, Portugal
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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