Related to its lead theme, 'Integrated Industry – Creating Value',Hannover Messe 2017presents its program and special area around Industry 4.0, pointing out how the digital industry “requires answers and solutions for different topics: Man and labour, business – and strategy examples, how to handle the data-overflow, cyber-security, standards and interoperability, medium sized businesses and users, best practice cases.” The 'Forum Industry 4.0 meets the Industrial Internet' is built upon these topics and how they affect users, industry players and politics.
Organized by Deutsche Messe in partnership with Germany's Industrie 4.0 Platform, the Industrial Internet Consortium and the German industry associations VDMA and ZVEI, this Forum is staged under the auspices of Germany's Federal Ministries for Economic Affairs and Energy and Education and Research.
Big companies like Siemens, ABB, Intel, Kaspersky and Microsoft showcased the latest digital technologies and services. Being part of this Industrial IT display means a chance to showcase the latest technologies available and the most innovative solutions, within a premium exhibition area. We will be bringing four powered by FIWARE companies to the event: Situm, eProsima, Babbler and Wellness.
The poducts displayed will be ranging from the next-generation smart for supply chain monitoring, developed by Babbler, to the lightning (WeLight) and waste (Quamtra) monitoring systems that Wellness will be presenting. Situm will be showcasing their zero-infraestructure, fast configuration smartphone indoor positioning service. And will be demoing it also in collaboration with eProsima robots.
Adding to the more commercial and networking oriented activity, daily panel discussions provide an ideal opportunity to compare notes on IoT standards, data management, cyber security and interoperability, establishing a dialogue between business, science and government.
Digital transformation is leading to significant changes in many areas of German, European and worldwide industries. Evolutionary changes are topped with fundamental, disruptive transformations in business models. Products, processes and services are increasingly digitized and integrated into smart services, available on-demand for the individual customer. These new services and business models are based on IoT platforms. Ahle will be presenting a paper, describing what an industrial company needs to be able to, first, realize the changes mentioned above, and consecuently adapt and profit from them. Not only in theory, but showing and illustrating by examples which industry elements can already be implemented today and which platform approaches are available.
Hannover Messe is the biggest industrial fair in the world, a must for decision-makers both on public and private level. With more than 6500 international exhibitors, 400 industrial applications, 1700 lectures & panels and 2500 journalists from all over the world, and around 250K visitors, the exponential reach is that about 5.6M business contacts will be made in 5 days. Come visit FIWARE at the Hannover Messe 2017, from April 24th to 28th.
The FIWARE Open Day is just around the corner. Next week, we will be meeting in Brussels, in an event focusing not only in reviewing five years of achievements, but also in analyzing the present stage in the development of the platform and community, originated by the FI-PPP. The Open Day will go on about stating the goals, facing the challenges and seizing the opportunities for the near and far future.
The work done by the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership Programme was set up and has unfolded in line with the objectives of the European Commission, towards the creation of a Digital Single Market. In the EC Communication 'Digitising European Industry', FIWARE appears as the main example of the Open Service Platforms that will be leading the global advancement of the Internet of Things and the data-driven society. Also, FIWARE is pointed out as the best example of a “network of Start-up Accelerators”.
The FIWARE Acceleration Programme, now relaunched through IMPACT Growth and frontierCities2 open calls –announced this week– and the FIWARE iHub Programme will remain as living, significant assets for the DSI strategy. The creation of a Pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs is regarded as an important part of the process. FIWARE iHub model, recently illustrated by the FIWARE Zone initiative, is referred in the aforementioned document: "EU actions supporting competence centres such as I4MS, SAE, FIWARE have shown not only an increase of competitiveness of existing industries, notably for SME and mid-caps, but also additional business creation in new digitised products and services."
One of the top level speakers at the FIWARE Open Day in Brussels will be Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General, DG CONNECT, European Commission. Rouhana will be talking about Open Service Platforms as key enablers for the European Industry. In words of Khalil Rouhana, "The FIWARE Foundation is a visible commitment of European businesses to bring more innovative internet services to consumers, citizens, businesses and the public sector. Therefore, the European Commission welcomes the FIWARE Foundation as an important contributor in making the European Digital Single Market a reality, digitising our society and economy, and helping innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in the EU."
In a previous session, chaired by Rouhana, with the participation of Ingrid Willems, from CReatiFI FIWARE accelerator, the link between the Digitising European Industry initiative and the network of Digital Innovation Hubs was discussed. He explained why the word “hub” was chosen, a it represents a more dynamic point compared to clusters or ecosystems. “To achieve outstanding levels of digital innovation in Europe and beyond, it is essential to build digital innovation groups that are more dynamic, having the ability to build and sustain many-to-many relationships between the stakeholders involved” The many-to-many relationship give them the sense of a hub and embodies the vibrant, active nature of the FIWARE community and its members.
Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of Regions, emphasized the value of FIWARE for the smart communities and, specially, within the urban domain: "Smart cities and pioneering regions are the cradles for innovation in Europe. By developing an open and sustainable ecosystem, the FIWARE Foundation encourages organisations to become even smarter and take advantage of today's digital opportunities. These developments are crucial for the EU open service platform and the data economy to thrive".
Another noted speaker at the FIWARE Open Day will be Yasunori Mochizuki, Senior Vice President of NEC, who will share his global perspective about the role of FIWARE and Industry 4.0 in Japan. The participation of Mr. Yasunori in Brussels illustrates the extended reach of FIWARE, both into new countries and being adopted within more markets and by prominent industrial actors. "NEC, in the past, has contributed to the community of and around FIWARE to implement advanced technical features of IoT and has also brought the technical outcomes into commercial solutions/products for the Smart City business around the world. Meanwhile, the open and transparent approach of FIWARE is becoming increasingly important and also visible in the global scale, which is also the case for Japan after the government has announced the strategy (Science and Technology Master Plan) of “Society 5.0“ aiming at innovating both society and industry via cross-utilization of data through data-centric platform."
Check out the complete highlights from the opening keynotes:
Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director-General, DG CONNECT, will share the European Commission vision, where FIWARE and the ‘Open Service Platforms are key enablers for European Industry and the Digital single market’.
Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of Regions, will expose ‘Sparking regional Innovation ecosystems’, like the one the FI-PPP set in motion 5 years ago and which is now expanding globally.
Dr. Andreas Goerdeler, Director for “Digital Agenda for Germany und Europe”, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, will present how ‘Open Platforms are supporting Innovation and growth’.
Yasunori Mochizuki, Senior Vice President, NEC, will give ‘A global perspective about the role of FIWARE and Industry 4.0 in Japan’, illustrating the extended reach of FIWARE, both into new countries and being adopted within more markets and by Industry key actors.
After the introductory session, there will be a Launch Ceremony, significantly titled 'Transition from research & innovation program to a commercial product / platform – from the European Commission to industry'. The event speakers will go over a growing ecosystem and will explore the opportunities offered by the open, standardised APIs for the development of the Digital Single Market and the European Industry 4.0. Companies, institutions and individuals attending this half-day event will be present at the first stages of the go-to-market for FIWARE.
The event will also be offering a in-depth session about the FIWARE Innovation Ecosystem, consisting in speaks and panels:
‘The Industrial perspective of FIWARE Open Service Platform’ panel will present the process, originated from the assembly of the Core Industry Group, that led to the creation of the FIWARE Foundation. And will answer an important question: why big ICT and Industry players, like ATOS, Engineering, Orange and Telefónica decided to dedicate big resources to build an Open Service Platform like FIWARE?
Ilkka Lakaniemi, Future Internet PPP Programme Chair, will give an 'Introduction to the FIWARE Open Service Platform', preceding a panel including Hubert Tardieu (ATOS and Chairman of the FIWARE Foundation Board of Directors), Paolo Pandozy (Engineering), François Richard (Orange) and Rosalía Simón (Telefónica).
Pearse O' Donohue, Director Future Networks, DG CONNECT, European Commission, will propose the 'Next wave / future vision' about the development of this Future Internet initiative.
Ulrich Ahle, CEO of the FIWARE Foundation will offer the closing words, reinforcing the focus around the Foundation being the driving force for this new stage, ensuring the long-term availability of FIWARE: for all users, for free and forever.
As usual in other occasions gathering our community, networking will play an essential role: coffee breaks and a complimentary lunch at the end of the event will be the perfect moment to share ideas, to strengthen already existing links and collaborations, and to set up new ones.
The event is organised by the EC FIWARE team in partnership with the FIWARE Foundation. The Open Day will be held in Brussels on the 7th of March 2017 at the European Commission Charlemagne building, starting at 8 am, for completing the registration process, acceding the building and mingle with other participants, enjoying a drink while waiting for the action to begin!
It is a joy to be entitled to write something like this: the 1st FIWARE Summit was a complete success! And it is not only something that can be done… it’s a must! This is the appropriate time to point out who is responsible for the Summit surpassing our most optimistic predictions: you. We would like to thank you as part of the FIWARE Open Community for making our first Summit an occasion to remember. We are still reviewing the main assets resulting from the event and we are also focusing on what should be improved for our future events.
At this moment, we can already share some figures: during the 3 days of the event, the Trade Fairs and Congress Center in Málaga gathered 300 participants from 18 countries. The summit comprised 39 tech sessions and 13 business sessions, with the participation of no less than 37 speakers and 32 technical experts. Additionally, 11 exhibitors were showcasing their powered by FIWARE solutions.
Keynote speakers, how-to sessions, working meetings, a developers’ primer the first day, high-level panels on each one of the main verticals and programmes around FIWARE… and coffee breaks, lunches and an evening networking event with food, drinks and music! The 1st FIWARE Summit intended to be the most comprehensive experience possible for all and each one of the attendees.
We had the pleasure to be joined by the local and regional authorities, namely the Mayor of the City of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre Prados, and the representative of the Government of Andalucía, José Sánchez Maldonado (Regional Council for Work, Industry and Trade). Both of them spoke at the opening session, emphasizing the importance of the Summit for a smart city like Málaga and for a region that has always bet on the open technology, like Andalucía is.
The FIWARE Foundation was represented by Ulrich Ahle (CEO), Stefano de Panfilis (COO), Juan José Hierro (CTO) and Hubert Tardieu (Atos CEO Advisor) as chairman of the FIWARE Foundation Board of Directors, also including Rosalía Simón (Smart Cities Director at Telefónica), Patrice Slupowski (VP Digital Innovation at Orange) and Dario Avallone (R&D Director at Engineering).
In the closing session of the event, Ahle reviewed the main announcements that were made at the Summit. We will be going over all of them in detail, through a series of individual posts. But let’s summarize now what the different initiatives and programmes were presenting.
In brief, FIWARE announced:
The FIWARE Accelerate programme gets renewed, with two spin-off projects: IMPACT Growth and Frontier Cities 2. With more than 5M € to be distributed supporting powered by FIWARE projects, the new calls are announced to be open by the beginning of 2017. Frontier Cities 2 will be focusing on developing solutions for the urban communities, while IMPACT Growth will be accelerating startups across different sectors, including Smart Cities, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Agrifood and Smart Content Verticals.
The FIWARE Mundus Committee will continue promoting the usage of FIWARE and the set-up of the FIWARE ecosystems at global level. FIWARE Mundus will seek to enlarge international membership, explore common business opportunities and foster FIWARE nodes and FIWARE instances installations around the Globe. With Jacques Magen (InterInnov, FI-GLOBAL) as its provisional chairman, the Mundus Committee presented the ongoing initiatives worldwide and the list of action points to be taken in the short and long-term.
The FIWARE iHub programme, designed to act upon the global FIWARE strategy, but at a local level. With the iHubs as physical meeting points for the community, the programme aims to show the path by example, offering coaching and training for developers and SMEs, organizing hackathons, collaborating with universities, showcasing commercial solutions, etc. Also, the FIWARE Zone initiative was presented, starting with two innovation centers in Málaga and Sevilla.
The FIWARE Marketplace was launched during the FIWARE Summit, as a tool to help finding out who is offering solutions and services based on our open source technology. It comprise a list of Powered by FIWARE solutions, FIWARE IoT-ready device manufacturers and providers of both Training and Consultancy/Integration services. The FIWARE Foundation will soon offer professional certifications for FIWARE trainers and certifiers.
The FIWARE Foundation, that was set in motion by theCore Industry Group members (Atos, Engineering, Orange and Telefónica) is now joined by more Gold and individual members. FundingBox –the public funding platform upholding the IMPACT Growth accelerator–, Smart Cities Lab –the think-tank that is currently running the FIWARE activities undergoing in India– and Zabala Innovation Consulting –formerly leading Finodex, the Open Data accelerator– joined as Gold Members. Plus 37 individual members who also have joined the Foundation.
Finally, the Foundation announced the 2nd FIWARE Summit, to take place in Berlin by the end of May 2017. Save the date in your agendas!
We have published a video overviewing what happened in Málaga. You will find it at the end of this post. Each one of the activities in the main rooms were recorded in video. The first day developers’ prime and the panels on days 2 and 3 were live-streamed. You can find them now, in a rough edit, on our YouTube channel. Soon, individually edited videos will be shared. Also, we will be publishing each one of the presentations that were shown at the event. Find them linked on the event’s agenda.
After all this, after all the excitement, the good news and the hard work, it is probably the perfect time to think not only about the FIWARE Community: take a minute now and think about all the people in your life. How did you initially meet? What brought you closer together? From shared interests to specific events, from scheduled activities to casual networking. Each occurrence that build upon the trust, the knowledge, the reciprocity and shared best practices that improves the quality of life within a human ecosystem and make a project thriving and resilient.
Personal relationships are built on a day-by-day basis. And a community like ours is worthing a lot more when it manages to reach new contributors, to convince them to join in and, at the same time, the engagement between present and future members is deepened. The 1st FIWARE Summit has accomplished to do that, enriching our social capital. And that should mark the biggest difference between having a good… or a great future ahead!
With events like this Summit, the community members will be able to keep creating their own value. The platform will be strengthening. The technology will keep advancing and being adopted. New partnerships will be started and people new to and interested in FIWARE will find a perfect chance to be joining the community, joining our global ecosystem. In Málaga, during each one of the sessions, there was a sense of great attention and the will to participate, to be enhancing the hands-on learning process about FIWARE, thus greatly improving the direct and institutional communication and the relationship within the Open Community, always based on merit, transparency and trust.
For the 2nd FIWARE Summit we are looking forward to offer an even better experience for the community members. So, please, if you were present at the 1st Summit in Málaga or followed it online, or maybe you have a notion about how to improve the involvement and participation for the attendants… just write us! Send an email to the FIWARE Press Office. We will love to receive your ideas and we are counting on your support to make the encounter in Berlin the perfect place and time to gather and to keep moving forward. Thank you in advance and thank you, again, for making this 1st FIWARE Summit a great success.
Together, we build FIWARE! And the best is yet to come.
Although being a young company, launched in 2007, Tera is the project of experienced engineers with a background of more than 20 years working in the Industry, in fields such as energy efficiency, renewable energies, environmental monitoring, in both R&D and commercial developments. Tera focuses its activities around the concept of ‘efficiency’, implementing this big idea through all its single innovative solutions.
The company is a knowledge-intensive SME that brings together expertise in data science and energy efficiency, using FIWARE to create new products and working within business and industry groups to conduct energy audits, creating custom solutions and implementing environmental monitoring. This framework has given the Tera team a unique vision around web services infrastructure, hardware, wireless sensor networks and thermography. Tera is now using this expertise to enter the growing home energy management system market, with a hardware and software product that acts as a ‘trusted advisor’ for managing energy information: Beeta, a modular and scalable system which allows to overcome the technology fragmentation that has been one of the main barriers for any smart solution to achieve mass adoption within this sector… until now.
Beeta delivers a cheap smart energy monitoring and consumption optimization system, based on an interoperable and easy-to-install physical gateway, a software interface and a innovative mobile app, for tips & tricks and to enhance the user engagement over time. KPIs, suggestions and control technologies are combined into a single solution, to improve the energy efficiency in homes and small buildings, as well as the management of the energy produced by ‘prosumers’ –users with a small batch of photovoltaic (PV) cells, often on their home roof or business–.
Beeta aims to manage and improve the energy efficiency in homes and small buildings. Through the monitoring of user’s energy consumption –or PV production– and the environmental data coming from the installed sensors –gathered in the field from the gateway– Beeta provides custom indexes and suggestions, making them available through the app, in order to increase the awareness about the energy consumption and to improve its efficiency. In a full automation version, the system automatically takes care of the monitoring and control of the energy-related appliances.
The physical gateway integrates the most common resources used into a Smarthome environment, deployed to be ready for additional expansions, integrating new technologies based on the customers’ needs and on future market trends. Specific indexes and suggestions are made following proprietary algorithms that can provide detailed consumptions profiling and classification, alerts for overloads and peak shaving or appliances and devices’ faults and derating. The mobile app is linked to the gateway in order to have both digital and physical engagement of users.
The main benefits offered by FIWARE include its flexibility and easy interoperability with other platforms. Being Open Source, FIWARE makes the integration of the tools a lot easier and allows to overcome the usual problem of vendor lock-in. FIWARE technology has been implemented in different steps into Beeta: it is used to gather the data from the gateway and to make it available to the Orion Context broker and related subscribed services and, after being processed by the CEP General Enabler, it is sent back to the Context Broker for further interaction with end users, through desk software and the mobile app.
Beeta allows to maximise the return on investment on photovoltaic (PV) plants and to get real savings by means of the users changing their behaviour, regarding the daily energy usage and consumption. The users will be directly profiting of cheaper bills. The energy savings will lead to a reduction of the CO2 emissions. And, for the “prosumers” –owners of small PV plant, powered under 100kWp–, Beeta will ease to achieve and maintain lower production costs and higher profits. Buildings and houses can save up to 200€ per year on their bills, while the savings would increase up to 400€ per year, in case there is also a PV system.
Beeta is currently undergoing a pilot phase in Bari (Italy), where it has been installed in private and public buildings and PV plants, allowing to test the hardware and to refine the software, based on the feedback received form the first clients and on Tera’s on-field experience. The launch of Beeta on the European market is planned for the end of 2016 and early 2017.
“Open platforms are fully in line with the Digital Single Market objective, and will act as a key driver for the Digitalisation of the European Industry”, stated Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, at the Closing Plenary session of Net Futures 2016. The complete Keynote Speech is a must-read for anyone interested in the upcoming transformation of the European economy, the fourth Industrial Revolution and how FIWARE will be continuing to enhancing it.
The Net Futures event this year was only two days after a very important announcement from the European Commission (EC): a Communication incorporating a set of policy measures, aiming at the digital transformation of the Continent and to its very core. A transformation that will ensure a continuous and sustainable economic growth. This announcement was not only intended to reach the countries representatives and the big companies, but also the SMEs and entrepreneurs, the technology developers, the citizens committed with their own prosperity and welfare… as Commissioner Oettinger said, the message was being delivered to “all the Future Internet enthusiasts”.
Last year, the EC presented its plans to create a Digital Single Market (DSM), a plan to tear down regulatory walls, to support and link national efforts and to unite the 28 national markets into a single and stronger one, a more agile and active market, that eases the creation of new and innovative business. The recent announcement comprises the first industry-related initiative, part of the DSM strategy.
The Communication engages all relevant stakeholders, namely large, mid-size and small companies from all industrial sectors, the digital supply industry, social partners, Member States and regions, putting its focus on actions with a global added value, complementing and ensuring the scaling up of national initiatives. The main Communication is accompanied by three further communications and three staff working documents that, altogether, draw the four main lines of action to Digitise the European Industry:
• The European Cloud Initiative plan for building a world class virtual environment with open and seamless services for research data storage, management, analysis and re-use, across borders and disciplines. An infrastructure that will provide scientists and engineers with wide computing and data handling capacity.
• The Priorities for ICT Standardisation, identifying the essential ICT standards and presenting measures to accelerate their development in support of digital innovations across the economy.
• The E-Government action plan on the digital transformation of public services, focusing on the businesses and citizens need for end-to-end solutions that are online, cross-border and interoperable by default.
• The staff working document on the Internet of Things that highlights the challenges and opportunities of IoT in Europe.
To help the progress following those lines, FIWARE is an open platform that encompasses both technology and a community: firstly, a set of Standards that have been providing the open backbone for the unfolding of the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative, and that are being pushed by the recently launched FIWARE Foundation, to aid in the development of the Smart Industry, the Smart Agriculture and of aforementioned fields like IoT or the Cloud.
FIWARE is also an Open Source community that has been growing through projects like the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, an inter-regional venture that has been reaching out to thousands of SMEs all around Europe, boosting their deployment of new digital products and solutions and incorporating them to the construction of an interconnected market that is building active communities at all levels and that is expanding even outside the Continent. It is the ambition of the Commission to focus 500M€ over the next 5 years from Horizon 2020 budget to continue funding these kinds of actions.
FIWARE also presents itsown network of innovation hubs. The iHubs Programme aligns with the EC objective of spreading the access to latest technologies by creating a string of digital competence centers that will support and make it possible for any industry in Europe to increase its competitiveness, with a global aim to impel a wave of bottom-up innovations across sectors.
Additionally, FIWARE stands out as the existing open service platform that best serves to the goal of achieving the leadership in IoT advancements and therefore profit off the major innovation engine that the Internet of Thing is to become in an era of digitization and connection of everything and everyone.
• A single market for the Internet of Things, where devices and services must be able to connect seamlessly and on a plug-and-play basis anywhere in the European Union, and scale up without hindering from national borders.
• A thriving IoT ecosystem developed through open environments, working across silos to support developer communities to innovate. Such an ecosystem would support IoT innovate in selected vertical markets.
• A human-centred IoT, with the aim to empower citizens rather than machines and corporations, observing high data protection and security standards, notably through a Trusted IoT label.
To build and strength those pillars, standards are needed, to enable interoperability of solutions across Europe and ideally globally. Also clear rules should be determined to mark important issues like numbering and addressing of objects.
Expanding on the content of the Communications, Commissioner Oettinger pointed out FIWARE and open platforms as a key part of the EC strategy: “Open platforms enable faster innovation, facilitate interoperability, allow the reuse of applications and avoid vendor lock-in. In addition, users can fully benefit from open innovation ecosystems of developers and start-ups”. Open platforms, and particularly FIWARE, “will contribute in making the European Digital Single Market a reality, and help innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in the EU”.
“I suggest you explore how you too could join the fast growing FIWARE ecosystem, using it to innovate in your organization” –said Oettinger, and concluded– “if you are already part of the FIWARE ecosystem, consider how you could increase your contribution to its growth, implementing applications and services, disseminating results and attracting more users and developers”.
I’m a civil engineer and when I founded Ecogriddy, back in 2013, the construction market was nearly dead and on a rampant economic downturn. To me that was the perfect moment to innovate: with a lot of free time, many brilliant minds around catching dust and a huge desire to build something from scratch to be proud of. I had no idea what it meant to be an entrepreneur, even less of an idea of what it meant to found a start-up. I was just a highly skilled professional, with experience as a freelancer. I have been always fascinated by technology and the possibilities that modern computing opens up to every industrial sector. Basically, I’m the quintessential of geek. So I knew that my start-up would have involved IT and cloud computing.
As every potential 'startupper' does, I had an idea for a product based on my professional experience with electrical plants and smart grids. I wanted to apply Internet of Things architectural concepts to a smart grid, leveraging on micro scale control opportunities enabled by edge computing and IoT architecture.
At that time I hadn´t clearly figured out how to build a business idea, but I knew from my experience that having a strong skilled team was a good start. I called two dear friends, who are also amazing professionals, Luca Frizzera (a business advisor with experience in insurance and financial products) and Manuel Gubert (an electrical engineer with a long track record in designing and building renewable power plants). Once they had heard about my idea, they were in!
The next step was to incorporate and find a suitable environment to feed my newly born start-up into. The opportunity came from Progetto Manifattura, the first European incubator for green economy related startups. We applied and we were accepted. The first year of Ecogriddy life was spent in building the business idea and learning the concepts and methodologies of lean start-up, validations, business canvas and many other concepts that were totally new to me. I also undertook an intense process of self-teaching in cloud development, state of art in distributed computing and web/mobile development. In that period I was sleeping no more than 5 hours per night, working 7 days per week and experimenting a lot in coding by undertaking side projects to improve my development skills. Oh, and by the way, I was phasing out my previous work as a civil engineer, delivering my last structural projects to my customers.
It was tiring, mentally and physically. But it was one of the best periods of my life, for sure, the most creative and productive one.
The business idea pivoted a lot of time, on product, market, technology. I understood quickly that pivoting is an essential process to develop a successful idea. Around me I saw a lot of startups failing and a lot of entrepreneurs giving up. They had their reasons. I am perseverant and I like to take risks, and even though I rebooted the Ecogriddy business idea several times, I wasn’t discouraged.
2014 was a year that saw a lot of changes: we started to present our idea to several international competitions and we got a lot of honours and mentions. One of the most prestigious one was to reach the final in EIT ICT Labs Idea Challenge 2014 on Smart Energy Systems, getting to the top 10 out of almost 800 proposals EU-27 wide. The team had expanded too, with Ivan Favalezza (a UX / Industrial designer) and Maria Gomes (Social Media Marketing & Communication).
2015 marked a turning point: Ecogriddy was accepted in EIT Digital Business Development Accelerator and was selected up to Phase 3 in Finodex FIWARE accelerator.
Thanks to Finodex funds and mentorship we had the possibility to start a real scale testing and development, validating some technologies, invalidating others, and refining our product and market position, making another most needed pivot required by market validations and feedback from both testers and mentors. It was during Finodex that Cortex became what it is today: a cutting edge easy to use energy analytic, end to end deployed on industrial setups, fully integrated with production data insights and pluggable to other industry related cloud solutions.
Now we are launching Cortex on the market. Taking a product from an idea in 2013 to the market in 2016 has been a long journey, definitely the most exciting time of my life.
It tested my courage, my limits, and my strongest points. It made me a better person and an entrepreneur. I’ve learned more in the last 3 years than in the past 20 years, university included. I’ve sacrificed a lot too. It has been tough. It’s not for everyone. But it’s worthwhile. And it has been possible thanks to a great team and group of friends that have always believed in me and supported me along this journey.
If Cortex is successful, I dedicate that success to them!
We live surrounded by smart technology. We can make “a robot” out of almost anything, and robots are also getting smarter. This is an omnipresence that may excite some as well as scare others. As humans, we have always tended to try and reach beyond our physical capabilities and overcome our limitations. Adaptation is an inborn animal ability, it’s even an instinctive urge. Being capable of building tools, capable to implement complex procedures and even to inform our practical decisions on abstract thinking, the Human animals have accomplished some crucial competitive advantages that allow us to reach a lot further that what our physical conditions determine. We try to interact with our environment and make our adaptation to it more satisfactory, by also adapting the environment to us. It is a two way process, deep-rooted in our History, and intrinsic to the development of the Internet of Things. Today as always, we must become as smart and able as possible. Today, for the first time, our tools are becoming abler and smarter too.
The Internet of Things (IoT) embodies such a process of change and improvement. IoT refers to the ever increasing quantity of devices that are being added to our everyday lives, things able to communicate, able to collect, process and exchange data, and to operate following that available data.
According to predictions, by 2020, more than 50 billion devices will embed technology allowing them to collect and exchange data via Wi-Fi. A revolution in the shape of cutting-edge equipment already present in our lives, and also in the form of tools and inventions yet to come. The list expands by the day: wearables –like smartwatches or fitness bands– and there-ables –e.g. smart alarm clocks, smart thermostats or smart doors and windows– are commonly known; embeddables –microscopic computers inserted beneath our skin to upgrade ourselves- and ingestibles still sound a bit like science-fiction for most of us, but the smart pill market is expected to reach figures near $1K million by next year. Maybe terms like hearables or rideables will never be part of our conversations, but we are getting used to listening to smart playlists using some smart headphones, and travel daily in our smart cars.
Development of IoT has meant a significant disruption in the recent years, transforming how we live our lives as individuals, and how companies run their businesses. Internet of Things, combined with information processing and Big Data services on the Cloud, is going to enable a new breed of innovative Smart Digital Services. But nothing can be smart without being context-aware in the first place.
Implementation of Smart Digital Services largely rely on the management of Context Information, about the entities that are relevant to understanding what is happening around us, by different systems and solutions that are able to share that relevant data in a common language: “in order to enable the interoperability of solutions, it’s necessary to have a semantic interoperability of the data” –explains Sergio García, Technology Specialist and Smart City Solutions Leader in Industrial IoT Area, at Telefónica I+D.
Carlos Ralli, IoT, IPv6 and Future Internet expert, also at Telefónica I+D, technically illustrates the need of common standards by giving an example of interoperability of the data between different solutions and different sectors: “key SmartAgri players will also be able to push their data and semantic models by serializing them over NGSI. For instance Tragsa –a company specialized in agricultural development– is working out its MEGA data model for water management over FIWARE NGSI, enabling smooth interoperation with other systems within the SmartAgri sector and others such as Smart Cities or Smart Industry”.
The current lack of ICT platform standards to manage such information means an obstacle for the development of Smart Digital Services. Without open standards those services cannot be developed effectively, once and for multiple customers. Standards like FIWARE’s NGSI API, which proposes a common data model for getting real-time contextual data about cities, and open source data portals like CKAN, to publish the open data.
Providing a simple and powerful set of APIs that are public and royalty free, FIWARE is supporting the development of Smart Applications managing context information, so the FIWARE Open Platform could become decisive for the IoT breakthrough. The launch of the FIWARE Foundation has emphasized the intention of the community and its core members to push the adoption of FIWARE standards and technologies as essential tools for the cost effective development of IoT based services and solutions. Aiming to ease that process, FIWARE currently offers both open-source technical resources –like the Orion Context Broker and other GEs– as well as various IoT-ready commercial devices.
At the Mobile World Congress this year, up to four showcases were demonstrating IoT based solutions powered by FIWARE technology. Three of them took place at the SmartAgri stand, and the other one was part of the SmartCity exhibitions. The potential of FIWARE goes beyond one concrete vertical domain. It actually shows potential in any domain where management of context information is relevant. Smart Industry, Smart Logistics and Smart Home are three examples, and the Internet of Things would be present at –and be transverse to– all of them.
Let’s learn more about another three startups, part of the FIWARE community, that have produced commercially-ready products and services that make use of and belong to the Internet of Things advancements.
Ecogriddy´s main product is called Cortex, an IoT based solution that gathers energy data in real time from any source. It provides to its users solid energy analytics, as easy to manage as a consumer application. It's designed for energy hungry manufacturing companies that manage more than one production site and that want to run their processes in a more data-driven way, achieving costs reduction, both energy related and maintenance ones.
Ecogriddy provides a full-fledged solution, integrated with a network of sensors and with a powerful gateway, always connected to the cloud backend. Modularity, resiliency, compliance to open standards and edge computing capabilities are keystones of its architectural design. The scalability is granted both by the cloud infrastructure, and by the fact that collecting and analysing energy data is a well defined scope that can be managed with standard equipment and a flexible software.
HOP Ubiquitous´s main project is called Glue & Blue (GnB), a mobile-oriented marketplace that brings 3D printing and IoT to the consumers market. It provides initial kits and modules to allow people to start building an IoT ecosystem, composed of customizable modules and sensors, upgradable over the air with a mobile phone and connected to Internet. Via the marketplace, artists and designers can interact directly with consumers.
It aims for the home automation market, for companies in sectors such as logistics or retail —where monitoring needs shouldn’t be impacting the look and feel at their stores—, or for the financial services market —personalized automation kits have been developed in collaboration with companies such as Fujitsu and Alliaz.
WIIM is a project by Hearing Software, created in order to develop solutions supporting the needs of deaf people. With a smartwatch that connects to a pack of wireless sensors, distributed around the adapted public or private space, deaf people can receive useful information from their environment. In public buildings, like hotels or councils, deaf people will be able to receive notifications: a knock on the door, incoming messages from the reception, the fire alarm going off or the activation of a smoke alert.
The solution has been presented to several associations that helped to understand how to improve it and add new features, and they have been doing tests in deaf people homes. WIIM product is already developed for commercial use and aims to be not only an alarm-system, but an integral way to link people and spaces, by connecting with any other IoT device nearby.
The team of AEInnova was expecting to spend the 13th of November 2015 like the previous days, facing the challenges that any entrepreneurial initiative brings, especially in the R&D field. However, everything changed when they got to know that AEInnova was one of the 15 European Energy Startups to be invited to the Generate 15 Semifinals in Groningen on the 22nd and 23rd of November. The Generate 15 was the first Startup Event promoted by the Energy Academy Europe and it was built as an acceleration program to support Energy Startups from all over Europe to build scalable and innovative businesses, faster than they would be able to do on their own.
All the finalists then had to prepare for the Finals on 22nd and 23rd of November with a two-day customized programme. Together with a team of experienced business coaches, the top-facilitator and expert coach Neil Sheridan provided an intensive programme to sharpen the skills of the Energy Startups. As a representative of AEInnova, Gerard Altayó, AEInnova’s Business Developer, attended the two days event. After that, all Startups were ready to give their best and pitch their business ideas. Raul Aragonés, AEInnova’s CEO, did not want to miss the opportunity and joined Gerard in the semifinal pitch. Both presented their idea to a reputed group of business experts and, at the end, AEInnova was selected as one of the Final Five Energy Startups who had the chance to pitch in the Finals of Generate 15 on the 24th of November.
On the 24th, the Finals took place at the Energy Convention and five innovative Energy Startups had the opportunity to pitch in front of a high-profile jury of investors, scientists and established entrepreneurs; the winner receiving €15,000. Unfortunately, the prize stayed in the Netherlands but AEInnova’s opportunities brought to Barcelona a huge learning experience, some interesting contacts and the conviction that AEInnova’s business idea has an enormous potential. That is just the beginning. This is their story…
FIWARE Cookies Policy