On 7 December 2018, in a crowded Breydel Auditorium in Brussels composed of 132 participants and 19 speakers from 35 different nationalities, the launch of three new Building Blocks; Big Data Test Infrastructure (BDTI), Context Broker and eArchiving, took place. Organized by Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the “Meet the New Building Blocks” event offered a unique opportunity to discuss the future of the CEF Building Blocks, the challenges ahead and how the digital revolution can be harnessed to ensure growth and to realize the Digital Single Market. This event clearly showed that there is great interest from key stakeholders, such as public administrations, on how to take part in a connected Europe.

Meet the New Building Blocks

The action-packed day opened with an introduction to the new Building Blocks. Big Data Test Infrastructure (BDTI) helps public administrations experiment with their big data for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic moves. The FIWARE Context Broker enables organizations (including public administrations) to share data in real time at the right time. eArchiving enables the secure preservation, description, and transmission of digital data

The agenda also included a presentation focusing on the success stories of the previous Building Blocks. It provided the perfect opportunity to share an update on the previously launched CEF Building Blocks: eDelivery, eID, eInvoicing, eSignature, and eTranslation.

Digitalization and Standardization – The Future of Europe

Digitalization and the Digital Single Market were both on the agenda. Where we are, why it is fundamental to help the public sector and businesses to invest in better resources, and how we can create a bridge between citizens and public administration were topics for discussion. Digitalization processes contribute to the improvement of the public sector, an important factor for a better future. The creation of a Digital Single Market and standardizations is becoming a requirement and specific roles and laws under the umbrella of a common legislation will help build synergies between public administration and business, thereby resulting in more efficient services for European Society.

Harnessing the Power of Data

In this framework, the FIWARE Context Broker plays a key role. The Context Broker enables organizations, including but not limited to public administrations, to manage and share data in real-time. Smart Cities can share information about what is happening in streets (e.g., traffic status, quality of air data, available parking slots, location) and this data that is collected is referred to as “context information”.

“CEF services such as the Context Broker increase the quality of life of European citizens and operations of organizations.” – FIWARE Foundation CEO Ulrich Ahle

The Context Broker integrations information from sensors and other devices, as well as vertical smart solutions and other information systems, breaking information silos (e.g., the systems managing the different municipal services within a city: waste management, traffic management, air quality, etc.). This enables the implementation of systems supporting overall governance functions and the usage of data from a more holistic perspective. Organizations can choose to share context information they manage with third parties to improve processes across the whole value chain. They can also share it with third-party developers (and businesses) to enable the development of new innovative services upon shared data.

Read more about the CEF Building Blocks launch event on the CEF Digital website