FiWare

ETSI launches new Group on Context Information Management: the role of FIWARE

 APIs, Blog, FIWARE Foundation, GEs, GSMA, IoT, NGSI, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on ETSI launches new Group on Context Information Management: the role of FIWARE
Jan 132017
 
etsi-logo-620px

ETSIthe European Telecommunications Standards Institute, has announced the creation of a new Industry Specification Group on cross-sector Context Information Management (ISG CIM) for IoT-enabled Smart Cities and also other verticals including Smart Industry and Smart Agriculture.

The group will focus its activities on developing the specifications for a common Context Information Management (CIM) API, Data Publication platforms and standard Data Models, in order to achieve and improve cross-sector interoperalibilty for smart applications, with FIWARE NGSI as starting point. This blogpost offers further information on the role of FIWARE within the works of this new group.

As CIM API, the abstract NGSI 9 and 10 interface specifications from OMA will be the starting point, with a RESTful binding for the protocol based on the FIWARE NGSIv2 API developed under the FIWARE initiative. Specifications of this binding are expected to evolve in order to bring support to Linked Data using JSON-LD for representing the semantics of context information and their interrelationships.

As the press release by ETSI states, “Data without context are meaningless. Every sensor measurement, every entry in a database, every tweet sent and every webcam video watched has its own context.” Information will not be really useful without its own context; a context that should be published and made available with the data. The ISG CIM will specify open standards for the context information management layer that accesses and updates information coming from different sources (IoT networks and information systems) thus enabling to implement a context-aware behaviour for smart applications and extending its interoperability.

“With the rapid development of technologies such as Big Data, semantic web, complex workflow or autonomous decision making, the need for interoperable context information is becoming huge”, says Lindsay Frost, convenor of ETSI ISG CIM.

Lindsay Frost explains how the newly launched group will aid to overcome this problem: “The ISG CIM will specify protocols running ‘on top’ of IoT platforms and allowing exchange of data together with its context, this includes what is described by the data, what was measured, when, where, by what, the time of validity, ownership, and others. That will dramatically extend the interoperability of applications, helping smart cities to integrate their existing services and enable new third-party services.”



These will be the topics addressed by ISG CIM in order to ensure interoperability of independent SW implementations, including Open Source implementations,

  • Definition of a standard API for Context Information Management, enabling close to real-time update and access to information coming from many different sources (not only IoT). Such an API will enable applications to perform updates on context, register context providers which can be queried to get updates on context, query information on current and historic context information and subscribe for receiving notifications on context changes.
     
  • Specifications to be fulfilled by Data Publication Platforms supporting open data publication, data privacy and/or authorization of access, including enablers for multi-party access contracts will be considered.
     
  • Cross-domain Context Information Models that will deal with the definition of the models that are common to several of the domains being targeted, together with the meta models, definition languages and processes needed for the specification, curation, publication and evolution of Context Information Models will be defined and applied.
     
  • Smart Cities Information Models, where the specific models for the Smart Cities domain will be defined.
     
  • Information Models targeting other specific domains besides Smart Cities (for example but not limited to Smart Agrifood, Smart Industry) will also be considered.


The starting members of the new Industry Specification Group (ISG) are Easy Global Market, IMEC, NEC, Orange and Telefonica. ETSI has initiated this new group together with the organisation Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC). Soon, the FIWARE Foundation will also join the ISG as new ETSI member.  Beyond the initial focus of Smart Cities, the cross-sector approach will be transferable to applications developed for other vertical domains, such as Smart Agriculture and Smart Industry. With the goal of interoperate and to re-use as much existing work and knowledge as possible, the group will work closely with the ETSI SmartM2M technical committee and with oneM2M, the global standards initiative for M2M and the IoT (Internet of Things) of which ETSI is a founding member.

The ISG CIM work responds to the EU’s rolling plan on ICT standardisation which is part of its Digital Single Market strategy.
The creation of this group leverages promising results of the collaboration between FIWARE and other relevant actors such as TM Forum or GSMA.


The first meeting of the ISG CIM is planned to take place at the ETSI premises in Sophia Antipolis, France, on 9-10 February 2017. Regarding FIWARE, by July 2017, a preliminary version of the CIM API is expected. The final version of its specifications will be developed by November 2017. And, by September 2017, the first version of the standard Data Models would be available, thanks to the previous work in projects like CitySDK, or the joining effort of FIWARE and a group of OASC cities in collaboration with GSMA, regarding the definition of harmonized Data Models. This partnership has produced a first batch of Data Models that are fully compatible with NGSI.

Participation in the cross-sector group is open to all ETSI members as well as organizations who are not members, subject to signing ISG Agreements. For information on how to participate please contact ISGsupport@etsi.org
The full list of members and participants in ISG CIM is available at: https://portal.etsi.org/TBSiteMap/CIM/CIMmembershiplist.aspx

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SCEWC 2016: FIWARE at the center of the Smart City innovation

 Blog, events, OASC, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on SCEWC 2016: FIWARE at the center of the Smart City innovation
Nov 252016
 
smart-city-expo-world-congress

Since 2011, year after year, the Smart City Expo World Congress keeps representing and showcasing the leading edge of the smart urban innovation. The SCEWC 2016 got beyond the notable results of the previous years’ editions, bringing near 17.000 visitors to the event. During three days, the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona gathered more than 600 cities and close to 600 exhibitors, 420 top-level speakers, and offered an expanded program with more than 50 side events and activities.

_o3a7037FIWARE was in the middle of such meeting point, as a Global Partner of the main international summit of discussion about the technological revolution happening in our cities. A process that is steadily putting the people on its center, developing the tools to promote the empowerment of citizens and their involvement and greater participation in the decisions that most directly affects them, the ones taken at a local level.

Our focus, as an Open Source Platform and Community, is to power the advancement of an IoT-enabled Framework, providing the de-facto standards to be used in the new digital solutions and services for the Smart Cities. A collaborative and human-centered approach that will enhance the transformation of our urban communities into engines of growth and well-being.

_o3a6600We were present in the Congress area, with three sessions. Starting on the first day of the event with Juanjo Hierro, CTO of the FIWARE Foundation, presenting our value proposition for the IoT-enabled Smart City framework. On the ‘Real-time open data fueling the next generation of urban services’ parallel session, Hierro insisted in the open APIs being the key for new services & business of the cities of tomorrow. And how “to collaborate and define common standards should be a must for our communities. FIWARE is providing standard sets of Data Models and and market-ready APIs”.

On the Plenary session, named ‘Collaborative partnerships to achieve urban common goals’, all the speakers agreed on the urge to keep working together and to achieve the necessary consensus that should enable all the actors of the digital urban development speaking the same language. That pointed again, at a technological level, to de-facto standard APIs an Data Models that are being used by smart cities. A good example would be the OASC initiative –supported now by more than a hundred cities worldwide–, favoring the FIWARE standards.
_o3a6585As our open community is well accustomed to grow by collaborating, Hierro again had the chance to make the accurate remark on how “the success of a partnership should mean the success of each partner. That strengths the commitment for all of them”.

Other idea that was emphasized during that same session was the need for new economic models to emerge, in order to finance the advance of smart communities. FIWARE is also addressing that challenge, enabling the Economy of Data as an innovative business model inherent to the digitalization of cities. A key partner supporting the development of that model would be TM Forum.
The session ‘Open, flexible, scalable city platforms’ that took place on the last day of the SCEWC 2016, had Carl Piva, Vice President Strategic Programs of TMForum, as one of its insightful speakers. That same day, a new collaboration agreement between the two partners was announced.

_o3a6576Also in the Congress Area and after the ceremony that recognized the best projects participating in the 2016 World Smart City Awards, the 'CROMA pixel dance performance’, enhanced by FIWARE technologies, caught the eye of the audience. CROMA is a cutting-edge project, developed by HandMadeDance and Pelayo Méndez. It was one of the winning projects of the Creative Ring Challenge, featured in La Mercè 2016 program.

At the Exhibiton area, in our booth, we had the chance to be presenting not less than twelve digital products and services powered by FIWARE. The projects demoing their solutions were:

  • Everimpact, with its cities' climate and pollution monitoring, gathering satellite and contextual data to showcase a real-time 3D map of CO2 emissions of the city of Nantes (France).
  • Outbarriers’ solution to help blind people to move safely around the city offering a service that uses context-aware technology to present automated audio information to the person using its app.
  • Kalliópê presenting their massive interaction suite, a live communication and interaction software tools developed for the performing arts –also part of the CROMA project– and ideal for engaging with the citizens.
  • Tera, with Beeta hardware and software solution, created for the the home energy automation IoT market, offering an ideal product to optimize energy usage and ready to scale up within the smart city framework.

The four aforementioned projects were labeled as 'Enabling new innovative services for the citizens’. There were also another eight demos focusing on’Improving the management of city services’:

  • _o3a6758Adevice and its water quality management system, one of the main assets for the digital transformation of Seville (Spain) and operating now also in the Canary Islands. Advice has developed their own devices, available as part of the FIWARE IoT-ready program.
  • WiseTown suite, developed by TeamDev, a solution able to identify and manage the issues that are affecting the city, delivering one-to-one feedback and geographic analysis for events and emergencies.
  • Telefónica and Geographica, showing a tool used to track waste management resources and utility performance in Guadalajara (Spain), and demonstrating how to build portable smart city dashboards using FIWARE Harmonized Data Models.
  • Engineering, presenting two real-time monitoring systems: a parking advisor app, developed with the city of Ancona (Italy); and a system watching rain and water levels for the city of Genoa (also Italy).
  • ATOS and CityGO, a solution part of a wider pilot project developed in Málaga (Spain) that makes use of already existing infrastructures to create an integrated new smart mobility information system.
  • VM9 Smart Cities Platform, which was part of a real case implementation, on the Global South Award finalist project around Nova Friburgo and its smart development. FIWARE is powering an initiative that is helping the Brazilian city to embark on an ambitious city-as-platform approach.
  • UPM and Telefónica –with TMForum–, showcasing the FIWARE/HERE navigation solution, displaying NGSI real-time open data. This demo also demonstrated how the FIWARE Business Framework, powered by TMForum APIs, can be used jointly with CKAN in order to offer premium services, allowing third parties to monetize their data.
  • And OdinS, presenting an system based on FIWARE in order to monitor and control the different public services of Murcia Council under a single platform, in the frame of RED.Es for Smart Cities.

All the projects, and also the vibrant feeling of being in the center of the urban innovation, are now featured in our video-review of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2016. Let’s meet the solutions and listen to the teams. Let’s watch and share it now!

#myFIWAREstory – OASC: a year enhancing change in our cities

 Blog, interviews, myFIWAREstory, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on #myFIWAREstory – OASC: a year enhancing change in our cities
Apr 072016
 
jarmo

“What does a smart city need?” –the last Connected Smart Cities Conference addressed the debate around the questions that are commonplace for the relevant actors around innovation in the smart urban environments.

By meeting the change makers in cities, and having the chance to talk with some of them and share their perspectives on economic, social and technical development, the key lines of development stand out: the creation of a true global Smart City market and how it should work; the promotion of portability and interoperability, and the free flow of data within and between cities, as the sources for future economy and business; and FIWARE open standards becoming the basis for creating such rich and sustainable ecosystem around smart cities.

The OASC initiative is leading the change around the urban communities, thanks to the Open Source technology and through the creation of a strong open community. Our future growth and well-being is granted if we act now, and under a better understanding that, even if each city is unique, different cities share common problems and necessities. As Jarmo Eskelinen –CEO at Forum Virium Helsinki– explained:  “They are not alone. They should collaborate and create networks of cities, to succeed in their challenges together, and to access to the economic and social benefits that the new era of digitalization has to offer”.

Every day, more cities become aware of this, and that keeps the OASC growing: after the 4th wave launch, at the Smart City Expo Puebla, up to 89 smart cities are now connected, encompassing Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions, as well as Europe. The next wave call is open until May so, after roughly a year, this initiative may have reached its first hundred cities, joining efforts to overtake whichever obstacle that comes along the way, and to seize opportunities that are now at hand.

Check out the complete #myFIWAREstory and share the voice!

This is our story, which is yours?

The Rule of Three at Connected Smart Cities Conference

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, IoT, NGSI, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on The Rule of Three at Connected Smart Cities Conference
Jan 272016
 
Urban Network

They say that good things come in threes. New ideas are easier to understand when they are broken into three components. We are more likely to remember information when it is divided up into three categories. And organising things into threes has a more engaging rhythm that helps us flow along with a new concept.

So it was probably not that surprising to see so many thinkers, city leaders, and urban influencers talk in sets of three at last week’s Connected Smart Cities Conference, organised by the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) Initiative and FIWARE. The Connected Smart Cities Conference brought together over 200 European and international participants working in cities, European governments, businesses, incubators, startups and industry associations to discuss how the smart city agenda is unfolding, and what we can collectively do to support goals happening more effectively and quickly.

The Three Big Challenges for Smart Cities

Jarmo Eskelinen, from OASC started the day by helping us quickly understand three of the greatest challenges ahead for cities, their citizens, and the tech businesses currently building a new generation of smart city solutions.

Eskelinen explained the three challenges as: speed, scale and solutions.

1. Speed: “Cities tend to be slow in changing,” said Eskelinen. He said this was part of the history of building trust and maintaining the confidence and security of a city’s residents which has meant that city management culture has become monolithic and slow to adapt. This is now working against cities, as “Digitisation requires an agile approach”. Eskelinen says to seize the advantage of digitisation and the potential of a smart city infrastructure, cities must learn to harness a speed to act while still maintaining trust with local citizens.

2. Scale: “Cities tend to think they have to solve problems themselves as they have unique challenges, but mostly cities are tackling similar challenges, and no city can support an ecosystem of solutions in itself,” says Eskelinen. While it is true that every city does have its unique and often complex geographical, political, historical and cultural drivers, we must look more for some commonalities across cities in order to help identify the common elements for a smart city solution so that it can scale to other cities.

3. Solutions: “If we have scalable solutions with big vendors, then cities are locked in, we will be hijacked by proprietary software,” warned Eskelinen. He emphasised the need for solutions to be built on open source frameworks so that cities and startups can build solutions that are portable and interchangeable with future technology.

This was a theme that came up repeatedly during the day. Mikael Grannas, Mayor of Sipoo, in Finland, for example, also highlighted the difficulties that cities face when they are stuck with buying proprietary software that they are locked in to and cannot build on top of or collaborate with startups and new civic tech projects. He said vendor lock in was a key example of how technology is preventing cities from providing services. He gave the example of how close to 50% of the work time of a city’s children’s nurse can be taken up by duplicating and copying data from one system to another because vendor lock-in does not have integrations between various proprietary software solutions. This is work that should be automated and would mean that nurses could spend more time with local families.

sort-oasc-logoThe Three Tech Principles of the OASC

FIWARE Chief Architect, Juanjo Hierro, also spoke of a key set of threes: the three technological principles that are shared by the 75 city members of the Open and Agile Smart Cities Initiative.

Hierro outlined the three technologies necessary to drive smart city project development, which also, in a way, responds to the three challenges outlined by Eskelinen.

1. A Common API for getting access to the city on realtime: Hierro said the FIWARE NGSI (Next Generation Service Interface) API enables cities to use a single API to draw in a whole range of realtime sensor and open data and feed it into a format that is machine -readable and can be used to create applications and new product solutions.

2. Standards that enable a platform to be built: Hierro believes that the use of standards and a common API does not prevent industry competition. In fact, he says that in the smart cities space, what is emerging is a “coopetition” where partners collaborate at times, and compete at other times. He gave the example that several competitors could each build their own platform for applications that publishes data from the NGSI API. Standards are at the core of this platform approach, but still allow individual businesses to provide unique, marketable solutions.

Responding to Eskelinen’s ‘scale’ challenge, Hierro said FIWARE’s NGSI API is “essential for being able to help develop solutions that can plug and play in different cities.”

3. Information models driven by an implementation-first approach: Hierro said the third technological principle of OASC smart city projects is the development of information models. He pointed to Helsinki’s CitySDK as a best practice example of this approach. Each city may have its own data needs and need for subsets of data, but if there is a common core set of data sets that are the same for all cities, then solutions can be built that can be replicated and customised to other city needs.

Hierro said that CitySDK was built by trying to respond to a local need and then this was piloted in several other cities. In this way, it was possible to identify what needs for data the cities had in common, and those were included as essential components in the data model. Hierro said this was a much faster and effective way to build than by starting with a top-down approach where a committee makes all of those decisions.

“This is where we are now,” said Hierro. “We are showcasing examples of applications being applied in cities to solve problems and we are able to extract information to create a model that can be transferred to other cities.”

Three FIWARE Examples

Throughout the day, speakers mentioned how the FIWARE platform was enabling new smart cities solutions to be built and shared across Europe and around the world. Here are three stories we loved hearing about:

1. The City of Eindhoven: Olha Bondarenko, from the City of Eindhoven in The Netherlands said the whole city is a Living Laboratory that uses sensors, LED lights, sound systems, and citizen engagement to create a new level of interaction and place making between residents and the city authority.

For example, in areas that have high levels of activity at night, sound sensors are able to identify changes in crowd speaking patterns to to identify risks for fights so that police can resolve disturbances before they get ugly or violent.

Sensors have also been installed across the city and even included in resident volunteer backpacks so that there is widespread coverage available to measure air quality across the city. It is hoped this data could be used to help the city traffic management work with citizens to redirect traffic in the city to reduce pollution risks and contamination build up.

FIWARE is used as an enabling technology for many of these projects, and the City of Eindhoven is currently embarking on a city consultation to discuss the possibility of applying FIWARE across all the Living Labs sites as a digital layer, after the community agree on a common value base regarding privacy, ethics and the use of technology for the common good of the city.

Bondarenko said the next work will be to safeguard the public interest, stimulate economic development and build support for an organic approach to future proofing the city.

2. CreatiFI: Ingrid Willems, from iMinds and CreatiFI, shared details of some of the 60 smart creative projects funded to use FIWARE products to the market. Amongst the startups using FIWARTE technologies, Willems mentioned Protopixel that uses lighting to create dynamic, interactive experiences in public spaces and Ireland’s Artomatix which is helping build a new local gaming industry by providing design teams and startups with new tools for automated repetitive design for backgrounds and design.

3. Creative Ring: Alain Heureux, Founder of the Brussels startup incubator The Egg, spoke of the work he has done to build a new generation of startups who are inspired to build their own company and work with other startups to create a network of new businesses that stimulate economic development and create new job opportunities for a wider demographic of local citizens. Here has also been instrumental in establishing the Creative Ring Network, which will be hosting the #hack4FI Creative Ring Challenge in Finland, where developers can win up to €50,000 to build a solution that uses FIWARE to create new cultural and heritage-focused products.

The Connected Smart Cities Conference was an inspiring start to 2016, promising another energising year of activity from cities, startups and industry in using FIWARE to create a new approach to smart cities infrastructure so that it is open, enables local economic development, and encourages the participation of local citizens.

FIWARE in 2015: A Year of Products, Partnerships and Platforms

 Blog, GCTC, myFIWAREstory, OASC, TM Forum  Comments Off on FIWARE in 2015: A Year of Products, Partnerships and Platforms
Dec 302015
 
Unitednetworker

As the sun sets on the 2015 year, we celebrate and give thanks to everyone who has contributed to making the FIWARE community what it is today. This year has been about building products, forging new partnerships and stabilizing our platform, and we are excited to enter into 2016 with a string ecosystem and a new generation of smart city apps built using FIWARE technologies and support structures.

PRODUCTS
2015 has been a turning point in the growth of the FIWARE platform. 2013 and 2014 (and even the start of 2015) were often about mentoring startups, funding accelerator and incubator programs, running hackathons, and building a suite of robust and fully-functional open APIs and generic enablers. But more than ever before, the real vision of FIWARE began to take shape this year, as production-ready apps started becoming available, all built on the FIWARE platform.

Companies like 3D internet-focused startup Cyberlightning is using FIWARE’s generic enablers to enable a self-learning industrial Internet of Things network.

Cities like Porto are using FIWARE technologies to enable a new generation of context-aware, smart mapping and mobility apps: app that let you reduce your contribution to air pollution and that guide you around traffic congestion all the way to a vacant car parking space.

Apps like Outbarriers that bring a TripAdvisor-like experience to travelers with visual impairment.

Apps like MejoraTuCuidad that bring city governments closer to their residents and enable a single, seamless process flow from citizen engagement around an amenity issue (like a pothole or graffiti) through to asset maintenance (like the city’s roadworks or graffiti removal departments) and back to the citizen (to inform them of the outcome). Using technology to enable a new communication and engagement with local residents builds trust in our city governments and uses the best of tech business’ user experience focused approach to how we manage our civic society.

There are now a wave of new apps emerging that make use of FIWARE, and it can be easy to miss out on everything that is happening. So in 2015, we launched myFIWAREstory to share those apps and experiences with you and between our community members.

#myFIWAREstory is a story made up of stories: start-ups, small to large companies, public and private organizations, end users and other stakeholders. All together they are building relationships within a sustainable, open and innovative system. All those voices are important and will be heard as MyFIWAREstory grows. It is a story of community openness, full of opportunities, not locked into any vendor. It is a story of context-aware behavior, of sustainable efforts and infrastructure, of providing an enhanced user experience. A story of market-building with straightforward and simple standards, of growing a sizable market based on the development of portable and interoperable applications, a market that attracts investors and users. It is a story of innovation and support towards our shared goals. It is your story. It is MyFIWAREstory.

PARTNERSHIPS
Throughout 2015, we welcomed new partnerships into the FIWARE ecosystem and created a map to visualize the growing community of SMEs, iHubs, and accelerators that make up FIWARE in action.

One of our key partnerships with the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative saw rapid growth this year, now reaching 75 cities from 15 countries across Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with cities participating in OASC. Together, we use a bottom-up, real world problem-solving approach with participating cities. First we focus on solving urban challenges and offering the FIWARE platform to cities to build tech solutions. Once those solutions are being built, we look at how that can scale to other member cities, and where standards might be able to help speed up the replication of successful initiatives. We believe this model, based on lean business methodologies and recognizing the pace of change of technology today, is the most appropriate way to ensure a citizen and community-centric design of our new city technologies.

A range of our other key partnerships this year included:
●    Working with the U.S. Global City Team Challenge and began working on a new round of projects for launch in mid June 2016
●    Partnering with TM Forum, a global IT business association, to bring a new range of APIs to FIWARE that will enable developers to create new business models for their civi technologies
●    Collaborated with the European Data Portal to make open data available to FIWARE developers
●    Participating in the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona
●    Partnering with Civity, Deloitte, Elba-Rec, Onetrail and Xcellent to create the first FIWARE Lab node in The Netherlands
●    Partnering with Infotec in Mexico to create the second FIWARE Lab node and bring smart city technologies to Mexican cities
●    Participating in The Mobile World Congress’ 4YFN event.

Perhaps most significantly, as 2015 concludes, we have announced a Core Industry Group initiative with Telefonica, Orange and Atos aimed at creating agreement to push common standards in designing smart cities solutions using the FIWARE platform. This industry-wide collaboration sends a message to startups and businesses of all sizes that they can trust in building on the FIWARE platform. It allows developers and cities themselves to be confident that the tech solutions they build on FIWARE will be replicable and can be scalable as potential businesses and community solutions.

PLATFORM
Throughout 2015, the FIWARE platform continued to expand, empowering more use cases and enabling integration with a wider range of services. In July, we introduced a Governance model for the FIWARE community, enabling greater transparency and a clearer, community-driven roadmap for our work. We have also continued to partner with challenges and accelerators to enable new apps and tech solutions for urban agriculture, quality of life, tourism and cultural heritage (amongst other themes) to be built in faster time and with more scalable opportunity, as apps can be replicated in a variety of city locations using the same platform infrastructure each time.

The FIWARE platform has also been able to integrate with more external services this year. SigFox Internet of Things devices, for example, are now easily able to be connected to the FIWARE platform. GIS and mapping leader ESRI has built a connector to enable integrating ESRI map products to the FIWARE platform.

2016 will see many more new connectors and integrators built that extend the use cases for the FIWARE platform and more easily enable developers to build value chains for their city and IoT solutions that bring new solutions to the lives of residents around the world.

WHAT WILL BE COMING IN 2016?

One of the major pieces of groundwork completed in 2015 was our consultation process around a governance model for the FIWARE community. This was an important stepping stone for building a truly open source project basis for FIWARE. The FIWARE Community is an independent open community whose members are committed to materialise the FIWARE mission, that is: “to build an open sustainable ecosystem around public, royalty-free and implementation-driven software platform standards that will ease the development of Smart Applications in multiple sectors”.

Early in 2016, this work will take the next step: the launch of the FIWARE Foundation which will be the open source organization that oversees the FIWARE project. To date, we have bootstrapped an organizing body, and in early 2016 will be announcing the initial members of the Foundation that will help steer our FIWARE open source community.

In addition to this organizational work,  if 2015 has been about building products, extending partnerships and consolidating our platform, we hope a major theme of 2016 will be about bringing an equity dimension to how FIWARE is used around the globe. This has been a part of our core mission from the very start, and as we continue to grow, we do not want to lose sight of this focus and opportunity.

Already, the Open and Agile Smart Cities initiative meeting on January 21 during European Smart City Week in Brussels will have the theme of “empowering the change makers within cities”, and from February 16 – 18 in Puebla, Mexico, FIWARE will participate in the Smart City Expo with a focus on leveraging innovation to create equitable solutions across the Latin American region.

We will be working in 2016 to not only extend the FIWARE platform and to support our partnerships around the globe, but also to incorporate an equity dimension into the way we all work to build the next generation of smart city technologies.

#MYFIWARESTORY: A SMART CITIES STORY

 Accelerator Programme, Blog, myFIWAREstory, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on #MYFIWARESTORY: A SMART CITIES STORY
Dec 182015
 
IMG_4691

Cities are almost as old as society itself, their birth being surrounded by mysteries and legends such as the one of Romulus and Remus and the foundation of Rome. Since then, since the times of Roman urbanism, our urban environments have changed a lot. Not only in terms of distribution or legislation, but, especially, in terms of city management. And now, the new trend in city management is the creation of smart environments. We have already spoken about the smartness of devices, but now we can speak about cities that can manage their own information for the benefit of citizens.

And, for FIWARE, these urban environments, which are generally called Smart Cities, have been essential, as some of our enablers are meant to deal with the traffic of information that only places such as cities can generate. Apart from that, the Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative is now modeling a standardized procedure to cope with data, so that the solutions created for one city can be adapted for others.

Some of the most interesting projects that have been founded and funded thanks to the FIWARE Accelerator Programme are actually destined to develop solutions in this field. That is why it is now the time to give them the floor and listen to the voices of those really working to improve the places we live in. Because their voices are our own.

Because this is our story… Which is yours?

Apps Speak Louder Than Words

 APIs, Blog, OASC, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on Apps Speak Louder Than Words
Dec 022015
 
Smart Applications

It is hardly possible to remember when the word “smart” was first used to describe a service, or some kind of technology, or a city. Shortly after we heard someone speak about smartphones for the first time, we were speaking of smart televisions, smart washing machines or even smart houses. But none of them were showing what we understood as smart behavior. Or maybe they were, ‘cause, in the end, what do we mean by “smart”? Smart means context-aware, i.e. able to receive and analyze all of the data that is generated and transmitted around a particular device. So, maybe a fridge will never quote Plato by heart or get touched by a sonnet, but it can already count the number of, say, eggs it contains and, in case they are less than expected, tell you that you should go to the supermarket before you run out of them.

If that happens with just an appliance, imagine which the expectations were for a whole city. The whole urban area could be translated into data that, once interpreted, could be used for the benefit of citizens. You don’t need to go that far to see that, because, even if we did not notice, smartness has come to stay. When FIWARE was born, it offered a set of APIs that were supposed to fulfill those smart functionalities that developers may want to implement in their applications. After a while, they proved to be quite useful for urban data and environments.

75 cities from all over the world have already joined what we have called the Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative, an effort to standardize the procedures that cities use when coping with data. Some of them, such as Porto (Portugal), are making such a great use of these standards that have become an example of what a smart city must be, while also fostering its existing entrepreneurial tissue with collaborations such as the one with Ubiwhere. The common incentive shared by both cities and initiatives is the drive to form a collaborative network and to deploy strategies with a common objective to promote cities. This ecosystem provides the standards to integrate data, where the FIWARE platform offers endless opportunities to work with other entities in order to achieve this goal. It allows the collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and the integration of data in order to create application and advance smart cities.  This is the fuel that engines the applications making cities become smart cities.

The focus on real-time data is something that the European Open Data Portal has also considered when making its agreement with FIWARE. From now on, the data that is contained in that portal will not only be part of the archive, but will also be shown in real time. That update offers a wide range of possibilities. Not only is the offering of data important, but also the treatment that we, as users, make of them; an aspect that has also been considered in the joint effort of TM Forum and FIWARE to improve the management of data. TM Forum’s Ecosystem APIs, including Product Catalog, Product Ordering and Product Inventory, will be incorporated within the specifications and open source reference implementation of the FIWARE Business Framework. This Framework enables the management and the monetization of different kinds of digital assets involving multiple partners.

And now, looking back on all that has been done since the FIWARE adventure began, the trace that we have left behind is not only that of agreements and intentions, but a group of applications that are already offering smart services. Hostabee, MejoraTuCiudad, BatSharing, TalkyCar… The list seems almost endless. And their success has turned out to be ours, ‘cause the real goal of our work has always been making them able to manage data from cities to build real applications for real users. It is true, we can hardly remember the first time we heard someone using “smart” to define a service, but we are so glad and thankful to have become part of that trend, that it is our commitment to keep on working to create the smartest of places for citizens.

 

Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities

 Blog, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities
Nov 302015
 
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Amersfoort – Six Dutch cities signed the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) letter of intent to join an initiative that will create smart cities based on the needs of cities and communities. Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Rotterdam and Utrecht declared to join forces and accelerate the smart city wave by adapting the FIWARE Lab NL platform.

The Dutch Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative aims to create an open smart city based on the needs of the market. Cities need interoperability and standards to boost competitiveness by avoiding vendor lock-in, comparability to benchmark performance, and easy sharing of best practices. But most of all, they need practical solutions.

The Dutch OASC cities achieve their vision by adopting four simple mechanisms:

1. Disclose data

To ensure that all cities and developers can disclose the already existing data, FIWARE Lab NL created a CKAN environment in which data will be free to use, but the ownership will remain at the person responsible for delivering the data. In addition to the CKAN environment a CITY SDK solution will enable developers to connect several datasets with each other.

2. Implementation attitude

The participating OASC cities, interested companies and developers also have the opportunity to hand over specific projects and problems that include the use of data for integrated smart city solutions. The lab aims to deliver solutions that will lead to practical implementations within the OASC cities for governments, companies or other developers.

3. OASC cities and their communities

The OASC cities will support regional, national and international open data events like IT Smart Cities at Amersfoort or Amsterdam Smart City. The FIWARE Lab NL will also organise several OASC challenges. These meet-ups will challenge application developers to develop open and agile application for the smart cities by aligning different projects and to create a successful data platform.

4. European connection

FIWARE Lab NL will coordinate open smart city activities in the Netherlands with a connection with the OASC cities. Every city will create alliances with different projects within their city to ensure the local and regional commitment. Amersfoort will remain to be the coordinating city for all the OASC cities. This project will also explore the European potential of the data platform and share results on regular meetings and events.

About FIWARE Lab NL

Fiware Lab NL is the initiative of a consortium with members Deloitte, Civity, Elba-Rec, Onetrail and Xcellent. The Province of Utrecht supports this investment in this innovation infrastructure. Fiware Lab NL is located in Utrecht and Amersfoort.