FiWare

Tera Is Building Beeta using FIWARE to Solve the Fragmented IoT Home Energy Market

 Blog, IoT, NGSI, SmartCities  Comments Off on Tera Is Building Beeta using FIWARE to Solve the Fragmented IoT Home Energy Market
Aug 162016
 
tera

Italian startup Tera is a knowledge-intensive SME that brings together years of expertise in data science and energy efficiency. Now Tera, is making use of the FIWARE architecture to create new products that harness and reduce the use of energy for business, individual households, and ‘prosumers’ (users with a small batch of photovoltaic cells often on their home roof or business).

Tera currently works with business and industry groups to conduct energy audits, and helps create custom solutions for business clients wanting to improve their energy efficiency, implement environmental monitoring or extend their smart industry opportunities.

This has given the Tera team unique expertise in web services infrastructure, hardware, wireless sensor networks and thermography. Tera is now using this expertise to enter the growing home energy management system market, which is expected to have a global market size of $3 billion within the next four years. To enter the market, Tera has built Beeta, a hardware and software product that acts as a ‘trusted advisor’ for managing energy information.

Currently, the home energy automation Internet of Things market is quite fragmented, making it difficult for households to understand what is really going on with their energy usage. Some products focus on smart thermostats and regulating the home temperature, products use different data protocols to process information, and many are unable to connect with each other to provide a global view of electricity consumption.

“When we receive energy bills, often we don’t know where is the point to slow down the bill, to save energy. How can we do it? We don’t know,” says Antonio Sacchetti, cofounder of Tera.

“But it is possible, if we first have the monitoring. And you can have this monitoring by means of a smart gateway, which is in our solution. This is able to communicate with meters, sensors, and actuators. The data is then sent to a cloud system, where we have an app so that we can involve citizens in monitoring what is happening.”

Beeta is a box with a thermostat, sensor for electric consumption monitoring, and PV storage monitoring hardware that links to a user interface with detailed analytics and alerts. Beeta can inform users of how to better manage their household electrics and encourages more responsible energy consumption. Tera estimates this can lead to savings of up to 200€ a year.

Maintaining optimum energy efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cells is a key challenge in renewable energy systems. Households and businesses with their own photovoltaic system — which are typically 6 kW PV systems, for example — on average see an energy loss of 7% annually. This is where Beeta can offer an even greater advantage, helping create savings of an estimated €400€ per year, by more finely tuning a household’s energy consumptions by analyzing their behavior, suggesting new consumption patterns, and recommending energy storage solutions. In future, Tera hopes that Beeta will also link directly to appliances in the home, by automating tasks like switching appliances on and off and powering them into standby mode.

Behind the Beeta hardware, of course, is FIWARE architecture, making use of the Orion Context Broker, NGSI API, Cygnus and more.

Tera
Data to be analysed by Beeta can come from field sensors (e.g. temperature, humidity, presence/movement, air quality, smart meters, contact, brightness) or sent from actuators (e.g. window shutter, smart plug, 3 way valves, thermostatic valve). Beeta can understand a variety of standard protocols (such as ZigBee, Zwave, WiFi, and wired interfaces). This data is then sent (most of the time by 3G connection) to a remote cloud infrastructure (FIWARE GEs by NGSI format) which manages events and data (within Orion Context Broker GE) and allows context event processing based on specified rules and algorithms, and data storage. A graphical user interface providing alerts and feedbacks is available to encourage customer interaction.

Beeta is currently undergoing a pilot phase in Bari city in Italy, where it has been installed in private and public buildings and PV plants. The launch of Beeta on the European market is planned for the end of 2016 and early 2017.

Architecting the City Platform To Create the Data Economy

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Open Data, SmartCities  Comments Off on Architecting the City Platform To Create the Data Economy
Aug 122016
 
blurred aerial image of New york city. concept about traveling and urban life

Anticipating the publication of the next My FIWARE Story, around the collaborative framework between TM Forum and FIWARE, it is time to recall the Live! event that took place in Nice, France, a few months ago.
TM Forum Live! showcased activities from cities around the world, all making use of smart technologies to enable new collaborations between citizens, local businesses, enterprise, and the city authority.

Berlin is creating the new housing development Future Living, which has been made possible in part due to the availability of detailed data on housing needs, buildings and plots of land and aims to create a living lab environment that leverages data to improve residential quality of life. The UK’s city of Bristol is modelling traffic flows and installing air quality sensors to reduce pollution risks. China’s Yinchuan city uses sensors in garbage collection units to better optimize waste disposal services. The U.S. City of Atlanta is addressing crime risks at a key intersection in the city, and as initiatives prove successful, are expanding the reach to streets and whole districts.

FIWARE Chief Architect, Juanjo Hierro says these sorts of activities show that “the vision of the smart cities is evolving.” Hierro says that as smart city projects move beyond pilot stage, the notion of smart cities has matured. “So far, the idea of smart cities has been focused on more efficient management of city-provided services. But smart cities have to be something more. They have to be the main enabler for economic development.”

Hierro says the way to do this is “to exploit the value of data that describes what is going on in the city”.

What is needed is an economy of data that facilitates industry growth by fostering new partnerships and creating value sharing models so that actors in this new economy are viable and sustainable.

“This is the fuel of innovation, and the gold mine that the cities need to offer to application developers. But to do that, we need to provide data in a standardized way, all the cities have to use the same mechanisms, the same APIs, the same information models,” encourages Hierro. “This will enable a digital single market, where an entrepreneur can develop one application and replicate that in multiple cities.”

Maturity Levels in the Data Economy

Hierro describes three levels of maturity when cities begin to enable a data economy.

  1. First, cities publish an open data platform
  2. Second, cities start to use those platforms to expose realtime data
  3. Finally, cities offer a way for third parties to enrich city-supplied data and to enable monetization.

1. Cities Publish Open Data

“Most of the cities today are in the process of publishing their open data, but this is static, historic data and there are not too many things you can do with it,” says Hierro.

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2. Cities Expose Realtime Data

“Thanks to initiatives like OASC and using FIWARE, cities are evolving to the next level of maturity and starting to expose real-time open data.”

Hierro points to the use of FIWARE’s NGSI API that makes this possible. He says that FIWARE has contributed an extension to the open source, open data platform CKAN to enable the data platform (used in over 150 locations around the world and a core open data publishing tool for use amongst OASC member cities). “Our CKAN extension lets cities register data resources that are dynamic,” he says. Realtime data that is drawn from sensors and other sources are accessible as datasets on a city’s CKAN open data platform through the NGSI API.

3. Cities Encourage Third-Party Participation and Monetization

“After that, there will be a third maturity level in which the city not just exploits real-time data but also offers an infrastructure for third parties to enrich the data that the cities are providing and that enables the monetization of data by third parties,” says Hierro.

A second extension contributed by FIWARE to CKAN enables “access rights acquisition” within the data publishing platform.

“Data sources that are published to a city’s CKAN platform can have an access right process connected with it. So some data published on the city’s platform will be free (that is, the traditional usage of CKAN).” Hierro says the possibility of adding access rights means that where open data is provided via API, better access permissions will reduce risks of pulling data from a city in insecure ways that can cause Denial of Service risks. Sometimes, malicious bots target open data APIs and keep asking for data over and over until the sheer volume of requests causes infrastructure problems to the whole city platform. In other cases, developers can make mistakes in how they are trying to request the data to cause similar problems. By having access rights processes in place, a city can open up data via API while also monitoring usage to prevent these risks.

Hierro says access rights processes would also enable city’s to embark on a data economy journey. On the same platform as the city realtime, data, cities could host data from third parties and enable access rights processes to enable those third parties to monetize on the platform. “This would also allow for users to pay or subscribe for a fee to some data sources that would be accessible through the API. That is the way to monetize. Third parties would be able then to access the city’s data catalog to offer some of their data resources so they become published in the same CKAN platform that the city provides.”

FIWARE is working with its partners including CKAN, OASC, and TM Forum to create this infrastructure that will serve the emerging economy of data. “The NGSI API is the way the city will be able to exchange data in real-time, provided by the city and by third parties. The data publication platform will have all the necessary extensions to offer NGSI-based data and also to allow billing with access rights management. And the TM Forum APIs allow for those cases where you are paying or subscribing to get access to a particular data source, and to be able to monetize and run revenue-sharing mechanisms.”

The City as Platform in the Data Economy

To grow through each of these stages of maturity will require a city to think through a platform model. A platform model leverages the infrastructure described above to enable producers and consumers to come together, find what they need, and transact with each other.

It is a new mindset that cities will need to grapple with. For many city departments in the past, they have usually seen their role as providing services for their citizens, visitors, and for local industry. A platform model is changing that worldview.

Cities still have a role to play in providing services, but are doing so in partnership with a wider range of stakeholders. Cities are also needing to enable citizens, visitors and local industry to create their own value by being able to combine the city services and assets they need themselves. For example, citizens are increasingly demanding information about the local transport services as well as realtime parking data, safe walking route information, and ride-hire services. Whereas before a city might see its responsibility as running the local bus service, now its responsibility is to make sure citizens are able to plan and map a multimodal transport journey in the way that they want: to get somewhere by a specific time, to reduce their reliance on a car, or to help them increase their physical activity. Citizens are demanding that cities make the data available so that they can compose their own solutions.

As a city grows in its data economy maturity, its platform model would also grow more sophisticated to enable a greater range of actors to participate.

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“The vision is of enabling multisite markets where different actors can play a role,” says Hierro.

The most basic platform model matches the first stage of maturity: the city publishes open data and third party application providers might be able to create an app using some of this data and sell the application in an app store. For example, an application for local citizens might use city data to map points of interest or community services. Local businesses might use this open data to improve the experience they offer to their customers. A local real estate agent might add a city’s open data about access to services, parkland, or civic complaints data to listings to show the amenity surrounding their sales properties.

As cities advance along the data economy maturity model, the data marketplace platform they provide grows more sophisticated as well. A city could even have an external platform provider manage the data marketplace. Revenue could be split amongst the platform provider, the city, citizens contributing their own crowd-sourcing data, businesses with their own sensors or unique datasets who make their data available for a fee on the platform. App providers might pay for use of datasets in their apps, or be a funnel so that end users pay a subscription fee whenever they access a data source via the app.

“The whole idea is to build the infrastructure that is needed to create multiple business models. You have to find out how to reach sustainability in each business model, but there will be many configurations,” says Hierro. “We can envision business models where there is a benefit for actors that are developing solutions that are aiming to scale across a wide range of cities, but also actors that are just operating locally in the city but are getting some benefit from using local data in their application to improve the local business they are carrying out. This is what would enable the transformation of the city into a platform for the development of services.”

Role of the City as a Data Economy Platform

In Platform Revolution, authors Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne and Sangeer Choudary describe the way businesses around the globe are transforming into platform models. This transformation is also affecting cities, and the same principles apply. Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary explain that a platform model enables the exchange of information, the exchange of goods or services, and the exchange of currency between consumers and producers.

A CKAN listing of what data is available in a city becomes the information that is exchanged. This data is the basic unit of value in the city platform model. Application builders are the consumers who are seeking to use the data in their applications, products and services. The city’s sensor network and open datasets, and the third party providers who make their own data available on the platform are the producers. The role of the city platform then is to connect consumers and producers by hosting the data, allowing app builders to find and use data from city and third party sources. User rights acquisition processes and revenue-sharing APIs enable these “consumers and producers” to buy and sell data, creating a whole new local economy of data.

As cities mature to this stage, they will need to enable application builders to quickly find the datasets that will be useful when they are building solutions. Cities that can help these app makers and businesses to consume the data hosted on their platform will be the ones that are successful in enabling new economic growth.

The infrastructure problem is being solved. FIWARE, OASC and TM Forum have built the components to make an economy of data possible. Now, cities must create the platform models that will encourage interaction, match application builders with data providers, and facilitate new economic opportunity.

“The whole vision is that of providing the tools, and then cities and solution providers will need to come with innovative services,” says Hierro. “We are essentially providing the tools that will enable all of this. Now, cities can encourage entrepreneurs to create innovative services and make use of data sources to enable this economy of data to emerge.”
 

Written by Mark Boyd, Writer and Analyst on smart cities, open data,
APIs and programmable business models at Platformable.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm

FIWARE and the Smart City Focus: Transforming Communities into Engines of Growth

 Blog, myFIWAREstory, NGSI, Open Data, SmartCities  Comments Off on FIWARE and the Smart City Focus: Transforming Communities into Engines of Growth
Aug 112016
 
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Cities keep growing, both as spaces determining the evolution of their surroundings and as the world’s main population concentrations. Being a complex environment and generating a social organization around it, each city can show adaptive behaviors that, taken into consideration globally, will give us the main trends in the development of urban communities for the next years.
Nowadays, being or becoming “smart” has emerge as a strong motto for our cities to follow, as they –and we– want to keep improving the quality of our lives.

But a single community can’t achieve the Smart City status on its own. The adoption of common standards and information models, as well as a collaborative focus that understands the common nature of the problems and challenges faced by the citizenship and by the administrations, are both cardinal points in the path that leads to a sustainable development of each community, to the deployment of the services that the community require and to keep advancing to reach the goal of turning a city into an enabler for innovation, economic growth and well-being.

In many previous posts, news and events, we have been sharing the strong value proposition that FIWARE is offering for the city representatives and institutions and for the inhabitants of urban communities worldwide. And, even more important, linking both dimensions of the Smart City focus.
FIWARE has been enabling the co-creation of innovative, portable and interoperable digital products and services and engaging public administrations and private developers to collaborate and deliver the ICT solutions and context-aware applications that best suit the needs of each community, moving on towards a Digital Single Market for smart cities.

The support that our Open Source platform has been providing to the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative and the increasing number of relevant partnerships, like the one subscribed with TM Forum, has pushed FIWARE to become not only the “de facto” standard for cities joining the OASC, but also the key for third-party developers and data providers to profit from this smart revolution and to incorporate and stimulate a new and sustainable digital economy which is becoming a reality now.

We are now proudly sharing our digital brochure, presenting our value proposition and important partnerships around and for the smart urban communities. You can read or download it here.

Also, be invited to check out again our My FIWARE Story about the OASC Initiative.

And don’t miss the video showcasing the result of the collaborative framework between FIWARE and TM Forum through a real-time context data enriched car navigation system, with the collaboration of Ubiwhere and HERE maps.

 Posted by at 12:43 pm

ISTMOS: improving wine quality control through smart-storage

 Accelerator Programme, Blog, Cloud, Developers, GCTC, interviews, IoT, myFIWAREstory, SmartAgri  Comments Off on ISTMOS: improving wine quality control through smart-storage
Aug 042016
 
istmos

ISTMOS is a young project, created in Greece and backed by ASN, a company founded in 2015 and specialized in the development of Web applications. The company has been designing, coordinating and monitoring several e-commerce platforms and maturing its expertise in the areas of business recommendation and matchmaking.
According to the current customer demand, ASN has also entered the market around the emerging IoT technologies, concentrating on sensor based monitoring and data analysis.

After meeting in a previous enterprise and noticing the potential for a good cooperation in a further venture, the idea for this new project arose and the team was assembled around it. With the support of the FInish Accelerator in the development of the technical area and the commercial plan, the team now encompasses and provides an interdisciplinary environment, within IT, management, business and agricultural background and long lasting experience with ICT applications for the agricultural sector.

Standing for wIne STorage MOnitoring System, ISTMOS has delivered a monitoring system for measuring and controlling the most critical parameters (temperature, humidity and luminosity) that may affect the quality of bottled wine during storage and until it reaches the final consumer.
ISTMOS solution has the ability for real-time data recording of the above-mentioned parameters and creates alerts when the conditions around the wine are violating a certain combination of pre-defined values. Next challenges in the development of the project include the delivery of reliable data through affordable electronic devices and the production of new smart alerting mechanisms, emerging not only in cases of exceeding critical thresholds but also by combining other factor such as time intervals and environmental values.

ASN decided to use FIWARE since it provides a rich variety of cloud based tools and services, which were needed for the creation and deployment of ISTMOS and, later, for the solution to start and to keep it running. They used a variety of GEs (Orion, CEP, SpagoBI) and the FIWARE Lab nodes and infrastructure to live test the service and improve its functionalities.

Now, ASN is moving the GEs to the Docker host infrastructure for ISTMOS. A further development is also planned, integrating a strong authentication functionality by adding and using KeyRock, AuthZForce and PEP Proxy Wilma Usage GEs. The data recording has been taking place using Orion from hardware stations equipped with several sensors, then feeding the data to CEP –which serves as an alerting mechanism based on specific rules– and presenting the data visually through SpagoBI graphs.

ISTMOS combine FIWARE GEs with the code deployed by ASN plus the ad-hoc hardware infrastructure that includes mini-computers, sensors and RFID antennas. This combination of software and hardware infrastructures that the project is presenting to collect environmental data affecting wine quality is reaching wineries as the main customers, at least at the present stage of the project. At the next stages, the solution will be aiming to logistics vendors, wholesalers and wine retailers.
A major customer benefit from ISTMOS is the acquirement of valuable information during wine storage, which is combined with external analytic data around the beverage composition and quality and a record-keeping of the wine inventory, all through a user-friendly desktop and mobile interface.
By acknowledging all these data, the clients can decide to which extent and time would be appropriate to use heating, cooling and humidity control systems, in order to save energy while they keep tracking of their products and performing the necessary actions, precisely when they are needed and always in order to preserve the product quality by optimizing the bottled wine storage process.

ISTMOS have already one pilot customer with the complete system installed and working. By this autumn the solution will be commercially available and ISTMOS will be ready to hit the market!

This is our story, which is yours?

FIWARE AT THE GCTC'16 – ANASTASIOS OIKONOMIDIS – ITSMOS' solution in a Smart City Context from FIWARE on Vimeo.

Reimagining the City as Platform: How VM9 Are Reimagining What Cities Can Do

 Blog, Developers, IoT, myFIWAREstory, SmartCities, Success Story  Comments Off on Reimagining the City as Platform: How VM9 Are Reimagining What Cities Can Do
Jul 282016
 
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FIWARE is helping power a major new city initiative that is helping one Brazilian city embark on an ambitious city-as-platform approach. The Brazilian startup VM9 is creating a smart cities platform that has already been adopted by the Brazilian city of Nova Friburgo, in Rio de Janeiro.

VM9 are currently working with Nova Friburgo to establish a digital interface for citizens to connect with the local municipality and to carry out tasks like checking and providing feedback on planning legislation, creating their own maps, or making a public service request.

Citizen Portal: Meio Ambiente Digital

“The Municipal Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Urban Development (“Secretaria do Meio Ambiente”) is the organ of municipal government in Nova Friburgo responsible for a great number of activities related to territorial management, including licensing and civil constructions monitoring, supervision of environment preservation areas, and urban planning”, explains Marcos Marconi, Founder and IT coordinator at VM9.

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The Municipal Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Urban Development uses the VM9 Smart Cities Platform to provide better services to citizens and improve internal productivity through the portal Meio Ambiente Digital.

Marconi says the current project for the digital portal has been divided into two phases. He explains:

The first objectives are: 

  • To construct a robust municipal geospatial database to be publish for citizens and provide internal support for technicians of the Secretary during approval process of licensing and others, and 
  • To simplify and improve the services offered for citizens from digital workflows of public requests and enhance internal management.

The second phase will start in 2017 and will be used to monitor air and water quality, environmental conditions, etc and to publish information to citizens through a variety of communication channels.

Marconi says that as a pilot project, Meio Ambiente Digital is already receiving much interest and praise.

Government and City as a Platform

In 2013, media publisher and tech visionary Tim O’Reilly wrote a key paper on “Government as a Platform”. This seminal text summarised the many global initiatives that demonstrate an emerging new approach to how government services are created and delivered. Instead of citizens being receivers of government services — with their main input being to vote every election cycle — O’Reilly envisions a new approach to government where “Internet technologies will allow us to rebuild the kind of participatory government”. O’Reilly describes the concept of Government as a Platform:

There is a new compact on the horizon: information produced by and on behalf of citizens is the lifeblood of the economy and the nation; government has a responsibility to treat that information as a national asset. Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems affecting them locally as well as nationally. Government information and services can be provided to citizens where and when they need them. Citizens are empowered to spark the innovation that will result in an improved approach to governance. In this model, government is a convener and an enabler rather than the first mover of civic action.

O’Reilly’s paper has encouraged the then-fledgling civic tech movement to evolve even further, and while we are still at the start of this journey, there are now many tech startups (like VM9) around the world focused on helping government engage with citizens and help citizens co-create government services and participatory mechanisms.

These ideas of government-as-a-platform are also being thought of in terms of the “City as a Platform”. In many ways, cities may be faster at being able to take up the challenge of evolving into platforms. Government institutions can be huge monoliths that must meet the diverse needs of a geographically dispersed population. Cities, on the other hand, are where we live, work, and play every day and are at a much more human scale of participation. We all want a say over the areas we live in, how accessible is our transport and walkability, our access to resources like schools, supermarkets, and childcare, our local air and water quality, our safety, and our free movement and leisure opportunities. 

A recent research report by David Bollier for the Aspen Institute says that implementing the vision of cities as platforms is underway, but, again, still in its initial stage:

Historically, cities have been governed through nineteenth and twentieth-century ideas of civic organization and social norms. Much revolves around representative governance and centrally directed bureaucracies overseen by experts using strict, formal rules of procedure. Conceiving of cities as platforms represents a significant shift in how cities might function. An open platform honours self-organized, bottom-up participation in the style of open source software, for example. It regards rigid and complex rule-sets and non-transparency as irksome impediments.

VM9 as a City Platform Hub

Startups like VM9 are leveraging FIWARE to help cities implement this new platform model.

To make the ambitious project achievable, the VM9 team has divided its scope into 5 interconnected project areas, with each also able to operate as independent services.

VM9Marconi lists these five areas as:

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

This module — called FI-Guardian“is totally based on FIWARE GEs”, says Marconi. “It is being developed in partnership with the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) with a grant provided by National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) under the Human Resources in Strategic Areas (RHAE) initiative. The FIWARE components are deployed in the FIWARE Lab infrastructure hosted by UFU”.

Marconi shares an early iteration of how the IoT Module makes use of FIWARE to create an IoT module for use by the city and its partners:

FI-GUARDIAN.jpg

2. Web Geographic Information System (WebGIS)  

 

“Here we have a WebGIS module which manages a GeoSpatial Database to deliver interfaces to citizens as interactive maps, geospatial searches, and geoinformation publishing”, Marconi explains. In this way it can be used completely independently, but Marconi also says as part of the platform it is integrated with the business process management project to “create a powerful Territorial Intelligence System which helps analysts and technicians to conclude analyses about processes related to urban planning and city growth".

3. Business Process Management (BPM)

This is at the core of the first phase of Meio Ambiente Digital and is an excellent real world example of what city-as-a-platform can mean in practice. “It lets citizens make administrative requirements for the government, monitor the progress of processes, printing payslips, make online payments, and fulfil desired requirements. This could include building approvals, obtaining environmental licenses, any procedures that need administrative interaction between governments and citizens. It is based on an smart motor of logical workflow controls, dynamic and configurable forms, notifications panels, permission rules, and level of authorities. With this module, institutions can become more efficient and, at the same time, deliver comfort and simplicity to citizens and customers”, says Marconi. 

4. Electronic Content Management (ECM)

This delivers an advanced system to create interrelationship between contents (photos, videos, sites and documents in general) and geographic data, in order to structure rich computerized geographical information databases to be published to citizens or used for technical teams, in order to qualifies digital workflows”.

5. Digital Communication Management (DCM)

This area will connect the IoT module — for example, for measuring air and water quality and environmental conditions — with communication channels that share the information in an accessible format to citizens and business.

In stage one, the focus is on the WebGIS (project 2), automated workflows for citizen engagement with planning and service requests (project 3) and content management that supports these areas (project 4). 

Marconi says modules 2, 3, and 4 are all now working and available to citizens, having been deployed on April 18th this year.

In early 2017, VM9 will focus on the IoT (project 1) as document communication (project 5).

FIWARE generic enablers, such as the GIS Data Provider GE, are being used to power the current work in stage one to enable citizens to create their own maps through the Meio Ambiente platform. “We also have the strong intention to use Kurento GE in the project related to Digital Communication Management”, says Marconi.

A true smart city platform solution goes beyond efficiency of public service delivery to look at local economic development opportunities, and Marconi is excited about the work that VM9 has planned in this regard:

"Combos IOT is the next challenge for VM9. These will be pre-built packages of hardware and software, integrated with the VM9 Platform and focused on specific needs of the market, such as: environmental monitoring, health, urban mobility, etc. The objective is to simplify and accelerate the IoT adoption for our customers, through the delivery of complete solutions (plug-and-play) for specific IoT vertical markets".

VM9Team

The VM9 team is now racing to complete all module work by March 2017.

Foodko: Empowering Food Producers & Allowing Smart Logistics

 myFIWAREstory, Smart Mobility, SmartAgri, Success Story  Comments Off on Foodko: Empowering Food Producers & Allowing Smart Logistics
Jul 152016
 
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Since food is a relatively low added value segment of the fast-moving consumer goods, food businesses are immensely sensitive to any additional costs that might arise from maintaining logistic capacities, be it transportation or warehousing, with cold chain capabilities or involving too many middlemen when distributing food products. Some food producers have to face increasing costs while bringing their products to the market if their logistic capacities are not fully loaded. In fact, KPMG estimated that one-quarter of food transport trucks on the road in 2011 were traveling with an empty cargo.

Consequently, the food producers have to face a difficult decision: they can make their deliveries less frequent and therefore make fewer sales, or they can absorb higher delivery costs that can turn any business into a less profitable one.

On the other hand, having to maintain the cold chain throughout all the delivery process raise a significant barrier, hard to overcome for many producers of perishable goods, artisanal food producers and farmers with little or no logistic capacities of their own. As a result, small scale food producers are usually kept out of entering relatively distant markets.

Foodko sets off to solve this problem in a unique way: it enables perishable food producers and distributors to share temperature-controlled supply chain assets –such as transportation and cold storages– in order to attain mutual benefits by sharing and therefore diminishing logistics costs. As a consequence, Foodko enhances the sales outreach and a better profitability. It facilitates collaboration between companies and farmers that, while not competing directly, are marketing and selling their products to a common pool of consumers.
Foodko is directed both towards B2B collaboration between groups of producers through a seamless dashboard and directly to the final customers and end-consumers, as it also includes web and mobile functionalities.

EquipoFoodko has been developed by Prospeh d.o.o., a young company based in Ljubljana (Slovenia). The team already had plenty of experience solving challenges within the food industry: they launched OriginTrail SaaS platform, partnering with three large food producing companies from the meat, dairy and vegetable sectors. The platform allowed its users to unveil the origin of each raw material for any particular batch of processed food they have produced.
Adopting Foodko as a complementary solution was the logical next step both for Prospeh and for their partners.

The mission of the passionate team behind Foodko is to empower the producers and allow them to establish a positive difference among themselves in the market, based on the origin of their products, while eases the creation of a direct and authentic relationship with their clients, also fostering buyers which want to support a more ethical consumption of food by bringing the products straight and efficiently to the final customers, picking the shortest and quickest transportation options through a shared delivery distribution network, reducing costs and lightening the carbon footprint.

Foodko is powered by FIWARE. By using the latest ICT technologies, the solution accomplishes a uniquely optimized minimum waste intelligent food delivery system.
This delivery intelligence is built on top of the fast geo-searching Point of interest Generic Enabler (GE), in conjunction with the Orion Context Broker GE, which enables Foddko to find and point out the optimal ways of creating distribution channels on-the-fly, connecting the final consumers to the local farmers and food producers and keeping the system always on the move! Those two main Generic Enables are used along with other 6 GE's that aid in the development and delivery of all the functionalities that Foodko  is offering, and make them available through both Web and mobile interfaces.

Foodko solution is already being used both by prominent corporations producing perishable food and by local farmers. Currently 3 big food producing companies, with over €50M of yearly revenue, are Prospeh’s clients. At the same time, around 30 smaller local producers are also employing Foodko to improve their businesses. By selling products directly to those who consume it (be it shoppers or B2B buyers), Foodko users not only saves costs but also earn a higher profit margin, as they avoid middlemen.

The key value proposition for all of them is the ability to deliver their products through a shared distribution network and straight to their final customers in an economically and environmentally sustainable way.

This is our story, which is yours?

Presentation of FIWARE Lab Multi-Region Cloud Reviewed by OpenStack Superuser

 Cloud, Conference, Developers, events, Experimentation, OpenStack  Comments Off on Presentation of FIWARE Lab Multi-Region Cloud Reviewed by OpenStack Superuser
Jul 142016
 
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A few dates ago Fernando López Aguilar, Technology Expert at Telefónica I+D, shared an article summarizing the participation of FIWARE in the OpenStack Summit, through the presentation that Silvio Cretti, from CREATE-NET, delivered at the event, about FIWARE and its experimentation environment: the FIWARE Lab.

Now an extensive review around that presentation has been published by OpenStack Superuser, a comprehensive reference site for the OpenStack users, external to ours. Finding out new links and a growing mutual interest between two innovative Open Source communities is always exciting.

yf5ghoqw9rblbvfigyvnMeaningfully, Fernando presented it to the FIWARE audience with the following words: “I would like to share with you an important milestone that was obtained for our FIWARE Cloud, FIWARE Ops and FIWARE Lab teams. An external and important site, OpenStack Superuser has just written an article about our FIWARE Lab Federation Monitoring solution based on our changes in OpenStack Ceilometer and Monasca services taking our presentation in the past OpenStack Summit”.

The complete article could be read here:
http://superuser.openstack.org/articles/monitoring-a-multi-region-cloud-based-on-openstack

The OpenStack Foundation created the Superuser site to facilitate the knowledge sharing and the collaborative problem solving, among individuals who are running OpenStack clouds and work within the cloud-based infrastructure across all industries. Usual topics could range from how-tos and case studies, to broader issues like organizational culture and vendor management.

“I do not want to finish this message without a recognition to our team” –López Aguilar pointed out– “especially to Silvio Cretti, Daniele Santoro, Pablo Rodríguez Archilla and José Ignacio Carretero Guarde for their effort to achieve this landmark”.

#myFIWAREstory – FINODEX, the Accelerator of Open Data

 Accelerator Programme, Big Data, events, myFIWAREstory, Open Data  Comments Off on #myFIWAREstory – FINODEX, the Accelerator of Open Data
Jul 072016
 
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A few months ago, after coming back from the FIWARE Roadshow organized by FINODEX, we asked Miguel García if it was really possible to create new opportunities for entrepreneurs –within and outside Europe– and doing so upon a free material, as the Open Data is.

The success of FINODEX acceleration process illustrates that it is indeed quite likely to build a business around Open Data. Starting by having a disruptive idea and a passionate and versatile team, plus the support and expertise of mentors and tutors and the appropriate tools at hand, Open Data can be not only arise as the free raw material to use, but also as the mark that will distinguish a good project from the great, unique one that investors are always in the search of.

For Manuel Fandiño (Isetic), by incorporating it to the solutions that Isetic was developing, they reached a turning point for their company: “That was something not so clear on our business plan” –Fandiño explains. Although they already knew they were needing to offer their clients a specific type of data, the advent of the Open Data turned out to be decisive– “we have found a lot of new possibilities to improve our service, thanks to the implementation of external Open Data in it”.

“Open Data is a resource that is free for entrepreneurs and for everyone on Earth”. Miguel García makes it clear: “It can provide an innovation source for many companies”.
A source of change for good and for the better then. An open and innovative focus has proved to be the key to succeed in the ICT sector, particularly for SMEs and startups: “The successful ones are contracting people, creating new jobs and fostering the economy… so yes: we are changing people’s lives” –asserts Garcia.

But the value added that this kind of data can provide is not always on the surface, as Hendrick Luuk clarifies: “You really have to be creative to extract value from Open Data”. His company, Xpressomics was one of the top three from the accelerator first open call. “We drill down to the bottom and extract all the meaningful information that we can” –continues Luuk– “the data certainly has value, but if its lying in these data silos in a raw form, nobody is able to extract value from it”.

Angel Martínez, from Fruitwatcher, expand on how the data can be used: “We get Open Data sources, we get that data and match it with ours and we create value added services for free, we might say” –he then shares his vision of the forthcoming impact of the Open Data– “in the future it will be even greater. And the more sources of data there will be, the multiplied more services that will exist”.

FINODEX has now reached the last phase of its acceleration process. But that is not stopping them or slowing down their activity, not even a bit. Recently they been promoting the startups from their second call and, within the Demo Day in Trento, the best three “pitches” were chosen and prized. By the end of the summer the winners of the second call will be made public ending the process of acceleration which started in June 2014.

The International Open Data conference will be the last milestone of this open data accelerator. The next 4th of October FINODEX and its top startups will guide a pre-conference event in which final results of the acceleration will be shown together with the success stories from the accelerated companies. 

The support from FINODEX is continuous and has been going all the way, from the first business idea and the stages when each project starts working with Open Data, to the final moment when each solution and service is completed and ready to enter the market.

The moment is now: “Having a set of tools that are free to use and reuse… that gives a lot of value to the project” –Miguel García says. And such value is enriching not only the particular projects, but the complete community, the technologies and the trusted brand that FIWARE is becoming: “FIWARE is here to stay and Open Data is going to be an enabler to that” –concludes Garcia.

The complete #myFIWAREstory about Open Data and FINODEX is now ready to be shared.

This is our story, which is yours?