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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 – TM Forum partnership: creating the data economy infrastructure

 APIs, Blog, Conference, events, myFIWAREstory, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on #MyFIWAREstory – TM Forum partnership: creating the data economy infrastructure
Aug 312016
 
tmforumlogo

FIWARE and TM Forum have been working together since November last year. Following the announced collaboration agreement, we have been partnering in order to create the infrastructure that will serve the emerging Economy of Data.

The FIWARE Business Framework is being developed and has been shared as part of this ongoing partnership. Powered by the TM Forum APIs, the Business Framework is enabling the management and monetization of diverse kinds of digital assets and involving multiple partners.

This aims to be used in the creation of a Smart City digital single market, materializing as a marketplace that will include open datasets and data from paid sources, where data services from different partners can be exposed, priced, monetized and consumed within a single platform.
A more in-depth approach to this process can be found in our recent post, following the interview in which Juanjo Hierro –Chief Architect of FIWARE at Telefonica– reviews the successive maturity levels that the cities would be reaching when they enable a data economy.

Captura de pantalla 2016-06-06 a las 17.12.49The idea behind that –the top level of maturity starting when cities offer a way for third parties to enrich city-supplied data and to enable monetization– was already explored at the TM Forum Live event that took place in Nice this year, among other aspects around the aforementioned partnership and how it is enabling an Economy of Data in the smart cities.

In Nice we had the chance to assist the Open Hack, where FIWARE was providing the platform to be used by the participant teams. We were also at the Live event, spreading awareness about data interoperability, supporting the Smart City Workshop and presenting three smart solutions powered by FIWARE.

It was the perfect occasion to talk with innovation enthusiasts from around the world, Smart City experts that illustrated how communities are making use of smart technologies nowadays, applying the latest ICT advancements and focusing on the creation of innovative and sustainable urban platforms that can not only ease a much better management of the city services, but that can also boost the collaboration between the citizens, the local business and the city authorities, in order to provide the digital tools that can turn each city in an engine of growth and well-being.

We would like to invite anyone interested in FIWARE to check out the outcomes of our partnership with TM Forum and the experience at the Live event in Nize, that we are presenting as our latest My FIWARE Story, now ready to be discovered and shared.


 

Also, we would like to remind the next event organized by TM Forum and within the same intelligent urban development vision: TM Forum’s Smart City InFocus, an exclusive three-day conference in Yinchuan, the premier Smart City capital of China, starting on Wednesday, September 7th.

Last year’s inaugural event attracted over 200 senior government and business officials from across the digital smart city ecosystem to network, learn and exchange ideas. In partnership with the City of Yinchuan and ZTESoft, TM Forum Smart City InFocus 2016, will bring together over 800 C-level executives and government officials from across the global Smart City ecosystem to network, learn and exchange ideas across an interactive conference program. This year’s event will be looking primarily at building sustainable smart cities and offering end-to-end smart services for citizens.
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Architecting the City Platform To Create the Data Economy

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  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.

TMForumLiveLogoSQUARE_2016 (1)

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.

Captura de pantalla 2016-06-06 a las 11.44.52

“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 Sangeet Paul 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, TM Forum  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

FIWARE at TM Forum Live! 2016: 3 Smart Solutions, 3 Success Stories

 APIs, Blog, events, Open Data, SmartCities, Success Story, TM Forum  Comments Off on FIWARE at TM Forum Live! 2016: 3 Smart Solutions, 3 Success Stories
May 102016
 
TMForumLiveLogoSQUARE_2016

TM Forum Live! is indeed one of the most awaited annual events as it offers the opportunity to connect and network with others from across digital ecosystems in a productive and knowledge churning environment. The event not only offers the opportunity to learn how to implement and profit from innovations, accelerate R&D and join collaborative projects but the chance to discover the latest technologies, which is the overall core of the growing digital ecosystem.

The primary goals of this pitch are to spread awareness about data interoperability e.g. harmonized data models with a common language, to convey the proposal from FIWARE around the Internet of Things and demonstrate that ´Smart´ is not a term only compatible with cities, but to showcase that it has a lot potential also in other sectors.

The first day of the event included a speech from Juanjo Hierro, Coordinator & Chief Architect of FIWARE, about how FIWARE & OASC keep advancing Smart Cities. The closing session consisted of a panel focusing on API´s and Open Data, and how they are helping businesses to empower themselves and create smart city environments.

The third day will consist of a Smart City workshop, based on the foundation built by the FIWARE and TM Forum partnership. This workshop aims to underline the challenges that a Smart City will be confronting and the right decisions that it should be making, in order to seize opportunities that its digital transformation would bring.

At the FIWARE stand, data will be the main focus. The principal objectives are to demonstrate new ways of sharing and using data. Problems can very easily arise when the same company has to share data and, what FIWARE does, is provide an open set of API´s and software components that allow any enterprise to build a platform which is already standard-compliant. Here, FIWARE is acting as a content provider, where many services can then access this data.

Visit us at stand 228 of TM Forum Live! –near the entrance to the Athena Auditorium– and discover three of the most recent outcomes achieved by FIWARE, not only as an Open Source platform, but also as an active Community eager to collaborate and join other partners and initiatives to pursue innovation around our cities.
 

  • HERE Maps demo shows a smart car navigator that demonstrates how car navigation can be enriched by means of real time context data coming from smart cities. Through FIWARE standards and data models, this app integrates real-time context data coming from various cities.

     

    Car navigation systems based only in static could be helpful, but are not really smart and are limited to what was already on the road. HERE overcomes that drawback by showing what’s actually there at any given moment: for instance, environmental data is offered to drivers so that they are aware of factors which might influence their driving behavior; also, a driver can be notified of continuously changing locations, such as parking spaces that match their needs. The app offers drivers a marketplace where extra datasets are provided, where drivers can purchase them to enhance a varied and advanced application. Through a single marketplace, data from diverse origins –different sources within a single city or even data from different cities– might be provided.

    This application uses TM Forum APIs, FIWARE NGSI and Business Framework and has been developed in collaboration with Ubiwhere –the company that has turned Porto in one of the most advanced smart cities–. HERE demo at TM Forum Live! uses datasets from the cities of Santander, Seville, Porto and Antwerp and is a vivid example of the driven by implementation approach, one of the key mechanisms of the OASC initiative, where cities and companies join forces in the successful and cost effective development of the new digital services that best suit the needs of the citizens.


 

  • Water Matters: in an era where water scarcity is such a problem, it is paramount to begin to find a solution to such a prominent problem for the whole world. This showcase is based, essentially, in a group of sensors that can analyze a water stream, no matter where it originates from. This app can evaluate whether the water can be directly used or not and the data is shared with an Open Data Portal allowing collaborations between different stakeholders.

     

    Adapted to be showcased at TM Forum Live!, the demo shows an open set of APIs and software components that would allow any company or institution to build a platform which is already standard-compliant and uses a common language for sharing data. In this case, data from Tecnoport –the Smart Port of Seville– will be consumed. Data will be gathered by FIWARE IoT Ready devices and will be made automatically available to any FIWARE component via a standard API.
     

  • Floud is a mobile and web app for acquiring and distributing analytics obtained from analyses from outdoor urban environments. In both traditional and modern methods of analyzing information, the data is very sparse in time and space due to the cost involved in accessing IT infrastructures and deploying a human workforce.

     

    As part of this demo, the capabilities of the platform can be demonstrated by showing live results, achieved through sensors. The sensors, built upon the ubiquitous IoT device Raspberry PI, have been running for more than one year with no dedicated infrastructure. They have been attached to windows and balconies of public and private buildings, working on existing network connection or running on standard phone battery packs. Through these sensor placements, live traffic monitoring can be shown, as well as historical data demonstrating how events such as major traffic and disrupting weather can be detected.

    Floud has been developed by Magenta, under the mentoring of SOUL-FI FIWARE accelerator, and with the collaboration of EU FP7 CHEST project. The demo will be consuming data provided by the municipalities of Florence, Empoli, Castelfiorentino and Campi Bisenzio.

TM Forum Open Hack winners: Racing to make cities smarter

 APIs, Blog, events, Experimentation, Hackathons, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on TM Forum Open Hack winners: Racing to make cities smarter
May 102016
 
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“The standard has been the highest I have seen at any recent hack”. That is how Joann O’Brien –Vice President, Agile Collaboration, TM Forum– summarized the event that she has been leading: the TM Forum Open Hack 2016, in Nice, France. In the most recent edition of this vibrant and prestigious hackathon the bar has been set very high.

The weekend before the TM Forum Live! main event, seven teams –including residents of Nice and international developers– pitched their ideas for making cities smarter and more sustainable. They were competing for direct cash prizes as well as the unique opportunity to showcase their application to a number of city directors and senior executives at the flagship event.

In just 48 hours they had to create their demo. To ease this frantic process, they were provided with a complete suite of tools, including: TM Forum APIs, IBM Bluemix cloud development platform, Ericsson Service Innovation Framework APIs and FIWARE smart city platform: IoT sensors, supplied by IBM; open data from Nice City and also provided by and FIWARE; real-time air pollution monitoring data provided by DeliverChange; location data and API provided by Skyhook; 3D printing for rapid physical prototyping provided by Trimaker. And also, support from API experts, mentors and entrepreneurs, present at the Open Hack.

This meant working on a tight schedule but also within a rich environment and through an open platform: “Open data, open APIs and open platforms are key for enabling open ecosystem and this event shows that in action” –as Joann O’Brien puts it.

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The judges –Pierre Gauthier, Chief API Architect, TM Forum; Elaine Haher, Director, Business Development, Ericsson; Pascal Helot-Dugat, IBM; and Alexis Caporale, CEO, Trimaker– looked not only for the most striking ideas, but also for evidence of how well the teams used the APIs. They analyzed the usefulness of their solution with the citizens in mind and looked for for the highest level of innovation and a clear business model to be deployed in parallel to the technical part of the project.

The teams outdid themselves. They delivered creative ideas to be transformed into disruptive products and services with both the city betterment and the achievement of commercial success in mind. Among those ideas, the three winners:

  • Garden Sharing –the winning team– came up with a solution to connect people who have a garden to share and those who’d like to use one. Cities and citizens could make money through renting out their green spaces and partners could monetize the idea offering complementary services. From this project, new ways to grow food and collectively care for plants could also be created.
    The team used the IBM Weather API and TM Forum Customer Management, Product Catalog Management and Product Inventory Management APIs.
     
  • City of Things, the team in second place, presented their idea as “saving the world through free Wi-Fi”, and based it around the motto “do good things for your city and be rewarded”, from a gaming perspective. Their app showed the ability to offer citizens tasks they could perform in return for rewards: a citizen would pick up trash and accordingly receive a discount in the water bill. The dashboard would monthly personal savings/earnings, as well as the real-time measurement of the city’s ‘health’ and its top priorities for action.
    The team used FIWARE, open air pollution data, and the TM Forum Product Catalog Management, Product Ordering and Onboarding APIs, deploying everything on the Bluemix platform and consuming it through Ericsson.
     
  • Eco Run team came up third. Their app aims to help citizens get healthier through outdoor exercise, while avoiding polluted areas at the same time. Again, the app has a gaming element – citizens are given suggested routes which avoid pollution and rewarded with, for example, tickets or discounts. The city could reap the rewards through reduced healthcare costs… and happier citizens!
    The project makes extensive use of FIWARE resources. They used TM Forum’s Product Catalog Management, Customer Management, Product Inventory Management APIs and real-time sensor data from the City of Santander (provided by FIWARE).

O’Brien pointed the most immediate achievements of these teams: “The winning teams will demonstrate their solutions at TM Forum Live! this week and all the teams that pitched will have the opportunity to meet the Mayor of the City of Nice, who is interested in hearing more about these innovative ideas.” She also highlighted that their success at this Open Hack should be observed under a wider scope: “As we were designing the Open Hack, the COP 21 was being agreed in Paris and 196 countries signed an agreement to take action to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius – but it’s not just countries; it’s really people and companies who will make a difference. And that begins at events such as this”.

 Posted by at 10:59 am

Equity, Participation and Opportunity at the Heart of a Smart City Data Economy

 APIs, Blog, IoT, NGSI, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on Equity, Participation and Opportunity at the Heart of a Smart City Data Economy
May 062016
 
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In tech and business circles, adding the word “economy” to anything is a bit like adding the word “artisanal” to a product description. It sounds impressive, but what does it actually mean? What do we mean when we say data economy? Is there a data economy now? What are the implications for industry? Cities? Citizens?

The “data economy” relates to all the building bricks and businesses that compose the whole value chain from the creation of data to the end user’s data usage, and the value that is created and shared (often measured in terms of money) along the way.

We have recently looked at how platform business models are changing the business landscape. In this emerging worldview, value is co-created by a business in collaboration with partners and even end-users. Businesses decreasingly create final products and services to be consumed as they were made, and instead a business opens up the components that make up a product or service. Partners or end users mix those components together and add external components from other sources, to create the product they need.

FIWARE’s infrastructure components, including the NGSI API and many of its generic enablers, are a good example of this platform model and its component approach. Startups and enterprises are able to use FIWARE components — like data storage, compute processing, realtime data feeds, big data analytics, and other services — in the order needed to create a new generation of applications and digital technologies.

As this infrastructure is taken up by industries as diverse as agriculture, manufacturing, transport and logistics, utilities and energy, and city management, it becomes clear how complex our social and industrial ecosystems are, making things like smart city initiatives difficult to implement.

With so many stakeholders involved, a smart city system connecting all elements must be able to collect the data and services needed at the right time to create value for citizens, communicate effectively with various actors and attribute resource usage and costs along a usage path.

Where this sort of system works effectively, it is called a dynamic value chain.

The inability for a smart city system to do this effectively inhibits innovation and prevents startups and smaller providers from participating, as they are unable to ensure that their contribution will be recognized in such a large and complex system of interconnections. This can have an impact on equality of opportunity and local economic development, as newer businesses find it difficult to participate and earn their share from the contribution they provide.

So a smart city dynamic value chain needs to be a platform that can:

  • Identify and collate data and services from multiple suppliers

  • Compose them in the right order

  • Expose them to end users when needed; and

  • Share the revenue accordingly from the value created through the system.

In some cases, this could mean end users paying for an app and then using a particular data set. In other examples, it could mean data or services that help city authorities or businesses to reduce costs or create efficiencies (which is an even more complex revenue sharing model to define in a smart city ecosystem).

It is not just smart cities that are struggling with how to create the infrastructure and participatory model that enables a dynamic value chain. It is becoming increasingly common amongst platform business models that rely on external data providers to contribute value to their ecosystem.

There is a platform called Blockspring, for example, that helps end users to create simple spreadsheets using APIs. Users can build spreadsheets that automatically add in data from APIs, so end users do not need programming skills to gain value from an API. Blockspring charges users to access the platform, and it is kind-of an economic multiplier for the API providers included in the Blockspring catalog. They don’t share revenue with these data providers directly, but Blockspring end users who want to make use of the spreadsheet tools will need to sign up with the API providers and pay for the API usage when data is pulled in to their spreadsheets. It is a simple way to get around what could be a more complex model, but leaves several ecosystem partners outside of this economy. For example, what if someone is very good at making spreadsheet tools and wants to monetize the templates they create using Blockspring? There is no marketplace for these stakeholders (enablers) at present.

Algorithmia is another platform with a programmable business model. They offer a marketplace for machine learning algorithms that can be added to a larger process by API. They have a more sophisticated revenue sharing model, where developers who create predictive and other machine learning algorithms can share them on the platform. When end users make use of an algorithm, the developer gets paid a share of revenue whenever the algorithm carries out a processing task. The platform also offers a way for businesses to ask for specific machine learning algorithms and can set prices for what they need so developers with expertise can share their knowledge.

Again, this is an emerging marketplace, so not everyone is incentivized to participate in this economy. If an end user wants to take the algorithm and use it in their internal business processes, Algorithmia needs to connect the developer and end user manually, rather than enabling any automated system. This can reduce the opportunity to scale solutions effectively. Imagine if a city’s bike rental scheme wanted to use an algorithm that calculated how to most efficiently restock empty bike racks. A startup that was offering this type of machine learning algorithm might end up facing an overwhelming number of private requests to run that algorithm at individual cities, which would limit the startup’s ability to scale effectively to meet demand. At present, the Algorithmia service is also focused on sharing machine learning tools. But what about large datasets that you could apply those tools to? There is no marketplace as such yet, for data providers to earn revenue in this ecosystem by sharing their data for other machine learning uses.

Blockspring and Algorithmia are exciting examples of what is possible by focusing on how to foster a data economy. Meanwhile, community members are calling out for other service providers to follow this leadership. A tweet last week from @hichaelmart asked:

“Soooo, when's AWS gonna build a Lambda Marketplace? ie an AMI marketplace equivalent, where lambda authors earn X% every time it's invoked?”

This is exactly the sort of question that will become more prominent in a data economy for the Internet of Things and smart cities.

This year, FIWARE and TM Forum have been working in collaboration to foster the data economy, where everyone can contribute by opening up their data, building applications, or providing services.

An economy of data ecosystem acknowledges various actors and values their contributions. This can include:

  • Publishers: Data providers who share their data for free or for a fee. This could be an exciting equity opportunity for individual citizens as well. Imagine a future where you received some credits for contributing data and insights to a crowd-sourced data sharing platform.

    Already, a lot of personal data is collected by third parties, whether that be health data through wearables, social media insights, or transport usage data. Imagine a future where citizens can opt-in to share that data with others in an anoymized form. The individual is empowered to own their personal data and can sell it back to other actors in the data economy. Perhaps for doing so, they receive a financial “dividend”, although we imagine this dividend would be quite small for an individual’s data contribution, but perhaps instead, the user could receive some additional free access to the product, or a more personalized set of features from a service provider because they are sharing their data. A data economy that can measure the value generated in a dynamic value chain can better attribute that value to the various actors within the system.

  • Users: Developers, citizens and community groups can better create services and tools with open data. A thriving data economy that can recognize individual contributions is a self-fulfilling and knowledge generating ecosystem. By being able to recognize and better value contributions, a data economy encourages participation and active learning.

  • Enablers: Open data and tools like FIWARE’s NGSI API still require a certain level of skill. A bit like how Blockspring users can create spreadsheets that make APIs accessible to non-programmers, there will be a need for service providers and professionals who are able to train, build templates for others, and advise on the rich opportunities available for using open data. Some of these enablers will be subject knowledge experts who are able to help users discover what datasets are even available, while others may be able to create templates that add a valuable perspective, such as the ability to add an equity lens that measures the equality-generating opportunities (or inequality widening risks) of a smart city initiative.

The following infographic ilustrates how the partnership between TM Forum and FIWARE is
enabling an economy of data in the smart cities. Click on the image to see it full size:

FIWARE & TM FORUM: SHAPING CITIES AND THEIR ECONOMIESWith the FIWARE and TM Forum collaboration, FIWARE has built a composable infrastructure of tools such as the NGSI API which enables realtime data sharing collected from IoT devices, open datasets, sensors, and other sources. TM Forum has created a fabric of business system APIs that enable participation in this emerging data economy.

Data providers can use FIWARE’s NGSI API to make their data available to others. The TM Forum APIs then help onboard those data providers to be recognized in the ecosystem, and to share their data with application developers, cities, and other businesses. Their suite of business APIs can then track when that data is requested to be used by other actors, create agreements between the parties, calculate revenue to be shared, and make payments whenever that data is used. Thanks to our collaboration, this is a “smart contract” model where the whole complex web of interactions in this workflow are automated.

Next week, FIWARE will be participating in TM Forum Live in Nice, France, where we will be hearing from cities around the world who already have a need for the infrastucture and fabric of a data economy in order to make their smart city systems more inclusive, economically viable, and participatory. We are excited to see the potential that can be realized now that a data economy is truly possible.

FIWARE and TM Forum at the Dawn of the Data Economy

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Developers, events, NGSI, Open Data, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on FIWARE and TM Forum at the Dawn of the Data Economy
Apr 272016
 
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How businesses operate is fundamentally changing. These changes were recently summed up by John Hagel on his blog Edge Perspectives. He talks about how customers increasingly want to pay for usage rather than as part of an upfront model. We are seeing this with the uptake of software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, streaming services, and with the growth of new disruptors like ride-share apps. For example, many people used to covet having a large CD or DVD collection, whereas now cultural and technological trends have converged to elevate music and video streaming services as a more desirable way to access our entertainment on-demand.

In the business sector, many companies are increasingly seeing what some commentators are calling “shadow IT”: the idea that individual business units are deciding themselves what apps and business software they will buy and use amongst their team rather than going through their IT department to approve their choices, and this is leading to a proliferation in the use of SaaS tools within the one enterprise.

In his blog, Hagel predicts that as we move further towards a pay-as-you-use economy, customers (whether at home or in business) will increasingly demand to pay not for usage, but for the value they receive from a product or service. Data analytics and digital end-to-end delivery of products and services is making this frontier imminent.

As part of this fundamental paradigm shift towards a usage model, Hagel says, businesses are also helping facilitate value creation by connecting their end-customers to partners and other vendors in their ecosystem and even connecting customers to other customers. This is turning many businesses into platforms.

In a digital economy, data becomes a key asset that businesses provide as a way to generate value. And where businesses do not have the exact data that is valuable to their customers, they use their platform base to connect customers to other platform partners who DO have that data.

Consumers and businesses then become more willing to pay for access to data if that data provides them with greater value: if they get premium access to high quality or exclusive content for example, or if the data is available in real-time in a way that can be used immediately. As life speeds up and more demands are placed on our time, we are increasingly willing to pay for access to the data that will give us an advantage or win back our time for us.

Businesses that are currently collecting and thinking through ways to make unique, realtime data available to their partners and customers are best positioned to thrive in this new digital economy. Success happens when business models are more focused on the ability to operate as a platform and enable value to be co-created amongst an ecosystem of customers, suppliers and partners.

And if data is the key asset, then APIs become the key tool that will help businesses create and share the value that data provides. As TM Forum’s Sarah Wray writes in Smart Cities: Enabling the Economy of Data, APIs “function somewhat like combinations of software lock-picks, innovation oil cans and digital glue.“

FIWARE’s partnership with TM Forum is a prime example of how data and APIs will drive this new economy. Our partnership will benefit cities, citizens and local businesses.

Let’s look at a couple of recent examples from FIWARE’s own ecosystem of partners, startups and end users. Based on the HERE maps platform, Telefónica and UPM have created a GPS-based map navigation app for the cities of Porto, Santander, Sevilla and Antwerp using FIWARE’s realtime NGSI API and drawing in data from a range of sources including parking sensors, traffic data, and air pollution. Customers can use the app to navigate to a new city location, avoid congested traffic areas, and even find a vacant parking space when they arrive. Experimentation and replication across a number of pilot cities has helped to identify a minimum data model that is necessary to make their application scalable to different cities and nations. Now they can build a viable business by offering that application in any city as they understand the minimum scalable data model needed to make it work, and they can use FIWARE’s generic enablers and NGSI API to rebuild the app quickly in any area.

FIWARE open de-facto standars are now in a position to enable an ecosystem of data providers to contribute and add value to applications like the GPS-based map navigation application based on the HERE maps platform. For example, business users may want access to realtime data on available vacant parking spaces near a conference event, whereas environmentally-focused travelers may be more interested in data that helps them to reduce their contribution to air pollution or that helps them locate electric power stations for their vehicles. Open datasets published by cities can be included in the app, or if there is a business that is already collecting that data, it could make a partnership arrangement with the city or a data marketplace provider partner of the city to include that data in the app. This way, if customers subscribe to the app, they could pay a premium for access to some of these sorts of specific datasets that help them get the value they want from a GPS app suited to their needs and lifestyle.

This is where FIWARE’s partnership with TM Forum now extends that idea to make new data and platform business models possible. The TM Forum-FIWARE Business Framework combining FIWARE and TM Forum Open APIs let application makers and platform providers including cities partner with third party data providers and split the revenue from usage payments according to the data usage of the end consumer. FIWARE and TM Forum are making the future digital economy that Hagel outlines, a reality now.

You could see how companies and particularly startups could move to a platform business model using a combination of:

  • the NGSI API to get access to context information

  • the data models agreed by domain stakeholders (e.g., cities regarding parking slots and other contextual information available in cities) and

  • the TM Forum Open APIs that provide capabilities like data product discovery and can automate revenue-sharing amongst partners.

FIWARE network startup Agricolus, for example, offers a range of precision agricultural services, including Oliwes, an early warning and pest management system for the olive industry. Their product has been bought by the Italian province of Umbria to assist all farmers in that region to better manage a pest that has decimated annual crops in previous years. Using the APIs from TM Forum and FIWARE, Agricolus can more quickly scale to other areas and build partnerships with other industry groups that may have local data on farming, weather impacts, or environmental quality measurements that could be valuable data additions to their Oliwes product in other regions. Startups like Agricolus can reach new markets faster by buying in new data supplies and using TM Forum revenue-sharing APIs so that data suppliers automatically receive a share of end consumer payments. Other business models — such as providing a reduced service fee or rebate to farmers who share their own data with Agricolus — suddenly become possible and build out the potential of a data economy faster.

The following infographic ilustrates the partnership between TM Forum and FIWARE. This relationship is stimulating the data economy and enhacing the development of cost efficient portable solutions that are interoperable across different platforms.

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At the upcoming TM Forum Live in Nice, on May 9-12, many of these ideas will be explored in greater depth. Lets have a look at the event agenda to highlight the sessions involving FIWARE :

DAY 1 – MAY 9, 2016: SMART CITY LIVE – ATHENA AUDITORIUM

  • 11.55 AM – FIWARE and OASC – helping to make the Smart City happen. Juanjo Hierro (Coordinator & Chief Architect FIWARE – CTO Industrial IoT and Smart Cities Platform Product Unit Telefónica)

  • 04.55 PM – PANEL: APIs and Open Dataempowering businesses to create new smart city services

DAY 3 – MAY 11, 2016: SMART CITY WORKSHOP – ATHENA AUDITORIUM
This workshop will be based on the foundation built by the FIWARE and the TM Forum teams. By combining the experience and knowledge from both actors, this partnership is unleashing innovation in Smart Cities. The workshop aims at discuss and underline the right choices that cities should be making to seize the opportunities that their digital transformation would bring.​

  • 8:50 AM – Welcome from the Chair – Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum
  • 9:00 AM – Keynote What is the opportunity cities can seize by joining forces to drive urban innovation and an Economy of Data model?  Michael Mulquin, Director, IS Communications Ltd
  • 9:15 AM – Workshop #1Unleashing city innovation based on open data  Dr. Sumit D Chowdhury, Founder, Gaia Smart Cities – Creator of Smart City Masters Level Course, Carnegie Mellon University – Best Selling Author of 'Rules of the Game',
  • 11:15 AM – Workshop #2Business model ecosystem design driving an open city data platform  Juanjo Hierro, Coordinator & Chief Architect, FIWARE – CTO Industrial IoT and Smart Cities Platform Product Unit, Telefónica
  • 12:45 PM – Networking Lunch & Exhibition Visit
  • 2:00 PM – Workshop #3When the rubber hits the road: Making it happen  Peter Fatelnig, Deputy Head of Unit for 'Net Innovation', European Commission
  • 3:15 PM – Roadblocks to be overcome in unleashing smart city innovation  Susan Salkind, Fellow, CodeX – The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, Stanford Law School
  • 3:25 PM – Chairman’s closing remarks  Carl Piva, VP Strategic Programs, TM Forum

You can still get your ticket for TM Forum Live directly.

Also, you can earn it by participating in the Open Hack around smart cities that will take place the weekend before the main event. It might be a great opportunity for startups and developers within the FIWARE ecosystem to boost the deployment of their present projects and apps and also to create new ones!