A sure sign of autumn’s arrival in Norway is the commencement of Arendalsuka (14. – 18. august in Arendal). It serves as an important arena for dialogues among decision-makers, politicians, institutions, and organizations, fostering the exchange of thoughts, experiences, and insights. This platform enables the identification of challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Hafenstrom will of course be present this year as well.The focus of our participation revolves around delving into the potential presented by EU-funded projects. However, it also addresses the hurdles encountered when translating project outcomes into societal benefits and encouraging initial stakeholders to embrace them. Throughout the week, we will spotlight horizon projects centered on smart communities, whether they are compact rural locales or bustling urban sectors. Amidst the array of projects showcased, our attention will be directed towards results from initiatives like the health pilot from VICINITY, the energy flexibility platform GIFT, the search-and-rescue/preparedness pilot within the AURORAL project, as well as drone-assisted situational awareness and observation exemplified by both AURORAL and SPADE. Furthermore, we aim to share valuable lessons learned over the course of this event. Among our intriguing observations is the absence of public data pertaining to incidents. In instances where incidents occur beyond the beaten path, law enforcement and the Red Cross possess access to historical data. However, a distinct lack of a Norwegian or European database exists, detailing points of interest where hikers or visitors should exercise caution due to terrain-related hazards or other factors impacting personal safety. These encompass simple concerns like areas with a history of slips on trails, spots prone to fog-induced disorientation, as well as locations particularly icy during winter or prone to drowning incidents. Such insights prove invaluable for determining optimal routes for hiking, sailing, or even navigating private roads. Arendalsuka provides a fitting forum for raising such subjects. In the latter scenario, Digitaliseringsdirektoratet emerges as the appropriate recipient for these discussions. Matters of preparedness find resonance in conversations with present municipalities, while energy flexibility resonates with the needs of smart communities reliant on a stable power grid, given the surge in electrification across all tiers of society. We hope to meet you all at Arendalsuka, both to tell you our story, as well as learn from you and perhaps partnering up for new projects.