FIWARE at the MWC 2016: championing technology, empowering the community

Feb 26, 2016Smart Cities

A great–if not the greatest- part of our daily actions, already involve the use of mobile technologies. Surrounded by sensors and context-aware devices connected to the Internet, we are able to use our smartphones to secure our houses, check our health and make purchases without carrying money. We can even track a cow which is separated from the rest of the cattle, if livestock is the business in which we are smart-managing.
The Mobile World Congress has become an essential place to present the Internet of Things novelties and for the IoT and Data Industry advancements to be set in motion. For FIWARE, the MWC 2016 has been exciting and fruitful, gathering entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, innovators and their targeted users, and attending a ceremony will remain as a milestone for our platform and the evolution of our ecosystem.

20160223_102942 (1)As we announced in a previous post, FIWARE technology has been present and playing a key role in the SmartAgri demonstrations.
Three products powered by FIWARE were showcased at the GSMA Innovation City. And the three made evident to which extent IoT is boosting the smart agricultural industry: installing Insylo allows one to remotely handle livestock nourishment, based on the 3D level monitoring of feed silos; Agricolus crop management system merges data collection and dissemination to prevent and stop pests; Stepla solution helps to locate farm animals and remotely monitor their health. The three are based in context-awareness and they involve the placement of sensors that can even convert a regular cow into a smart one.

FIWARE was also present as a part of the SmartCity exhibition, where HERE application showcase displayed a virtual GPS-guided drive. The GPS map being enriched with contextual data, generated and shared in real-time by four smart cities from three different countries. This app has been developed by Ubiwhere and Wellness Telecom, the University of Cantabria and Telefonica I+D, as well as HERE Maps.
Although different cities may own different systems for managing information, if the cities are exporting the relevant data in a common way, the diverse systems will be “speaking” the same language, and the data could be shared in the same platform.
The SmartCity demo also demonstrated how data provided by different partners can be consumed and monetized within one open marketplace. TM Forum Ecosystem’s APIs enable such implementation. Those APIs are developed as a part of the collaborative framework with FIWARE that was announced a few months ago.

IMG_0075Another buzz was on about the platform: an important declaration was planned in order to be made at the Mobile World Congress this year. One waited with great anticipation and that may impel a profound movement within the whole ecosystem. After the MWC 2016, FIWARE has changed for good.
On the European Commission pavilion, Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, made the announcement: the Core Idustry Group, with the welcoming support of the European Commission, was launching the FIWARE Foundation.

In brief, the FIWARE Foundation joins in to remain as an independent, small and agile body within the FIWARE ecosystem. It will provide the other actors with its shared resources and the expertise of its members, aiming to empower FIWARE Technologies and the Open Community, and to pursue the accomplishment of the FIWARE Mission: to build an open sustainable ecosystem around open-source, IoT-enabled, smart services platform standards.
FIWARE is now being adopted globally, as those standards are very much needed for the Industry 4.0 worldwide, and for the global Digitising revolution that is already happening. The FIWARE Foundation is here also to push that process of standardization.

As the European Commission has put it; the Foundation will ensure the long-term availability of FIWARE for users, for free and forever in the future. It will also ensure that FIWARE stays at the forefront of the technological trends.
Oettinger also emphasized how the Foundation should not be a closed shop: it is in fact open for new members to enroll, at its due time. More key players are expected to join in at the Founders Forum in Vienna, in May.

Representatives of Telefonica, Orange, Engineering and ATOS –the four actual members of the FIWARE Foundation- were present at the event. After the launch ceremony, we had the chance to talk with two of them: Hubert Tardieu –Personal Advisor to ATOS CEO Thierry Breton- and Pierre Louette –CEO Delegate General Secretariat of Orange-.

Tardieu told us about how his company has insisted on the coming technical decisions being deployed according with the specific business objectives of the FIWARE community, to ensure the future development of the platform; and in what manner openness and meritocracy will continue to guide that path: “there will be a Board and a Technical Committee. Every new member of the FIWARE Foundation –user or Industry member- could be eligible to be part of them”.
Both Louette and Tardieu envisioned the launching of the FIWARE Foundation as the necessary next step to push FIWARE as a technical standard for Smart Cities, Smart Industry, Smart Agrifood and beyond, and as a useful platform that can produce disruptive, effective and profitable solutions for our future. The FIWARE Foundation comes to accelerate “a Cloud-based platform –in Louette words- with a lot of services around. An Open innovation platform with open APIs”.

A new key part of the Community has arrived to grant a better future for the whole FIWARE ecosystem. Let’s welcome the FIWARE Foundation.

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