After so much work, the year 2014 is now coming to an end –a year full of great moments and memories for the FIWARE team. If we were to summarize the last twelve months in just one phrase, it would definitely be “constant growth”.  Growth in almost every level, but especially in terms of international presence and participation. In the last FIWARE blog post of the year 2014, we will see why 2014 has been a milestone for FIWARE and will analyze this year of great events, great development and, above all, great people. Come with us and let’s discover together what FIWARE has already achieved and the many pursuits that are still to come.

At the very beginning of the year, FIWARE was present at Campus Party Brazil, where the awards of both the Smart City and Smart Business Challenges were given, while also new challenges for developers were launched: the Smart Society Challenge, which promoted initiatives pursuing benefits for today’s society, and the FIWARE Excellence Challenge, which promoted those apps making the most of the FIWARE technology. As for the first challenges, the best apps received a total amount of 290,000 €, the winners of the first prizes being FI-Guardian and Foodloop. Campus Party Brazil was but the first evidence of the great wave of innovation that FIWARE was about to bring, making new space for development and entrepreneurship, as the founder of Girls in Tech said.

But, apart from attending international events such as CeBIT 2014, this year has been the year of the FIWARE expansion, with the creation of FIWARE nodes all around the world and the setting of nodes in cities like Seville, Málaga, Santander, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Valencia, Trento, Torino, Espoo or Lisbon. But this effort went beyond the European boundaries, and soon countries from other continents announced their implementation of FIWARE nodes, such as Mexico or Brazil.

After months of hard work, the winners of the challenges launched in Campus Party Brazil, Smart Society and Excellence Challenges, got their awards in an event which was held in three different Spanish cities at a time, Seville, Valencia and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In this multisite event, a total amount of 190,000 € was delivered among the best apps using FIWARE; Cares was chosen as the best solution for today’s society, while both FI-Guardian and Fonesense were chosen as the apps making the best use of FIWARE technologies.

However, if 2014 was the year of something, it was the year of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme. It aims to pave the way for developers and entrepreneurs longing to create their own digital business by providing mentoring, support and a total amount of 80 million euros in funding for innovative solutions. After only 3 MONTHS, the programme has already received 1,842 proposals of 36 different European countries. “The Internet is an amazing opportunity for any kind of innovator”, said Neelie Kroes, former Vice-President of the European Commission. This European initiative was also presented at international events such as the European Conference on Future Internet and Smart City Expo 2014, the latter taking place in Barcelona and with a wonderful stand designed by the artists of Boa Mistura, a work of art that shocked everyone passing by, as it offered different perspectives while walking around (anamorphosis). FIWARE was then a step closer to transforming cities into engines of innovation.

And although FIWARE reached many countries through events, startup weekends, challenges and workshops, it is not the only growth that we have witnessed. The FIWARE community keeps growing all around the world, let’s now have a look at our social media! More than 1,300 people have joined our Facebook page since the beginning of the year, while in Twitter, that amount climbs up to 3,885!

For 2015, we only hope a bit more of this “constant growth”, more developers, entrepreneurs, cities, public administrations and active actors of development to join our ecosystem, so that we can make development easier and accessible to all. And meanwhile, let’s see what 2015 holds in store for us!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!