- Accelerated network growth driven by new members, new digital innovation hubs (iHubs) and broader market adoption;
- In light of the COVID-19 effects on the business environment, FIWARE has delivered further dissemination opportunities and added value to its Community via high-quality virtual experiences, engaging content and brand new initiatives;
- FIWARE has incorporated disruptive technologies into its “Powered by FIWARE” architectures, allowing users to learn how to design smart solutions in a faster, easier and affordable way using such technologies
The first half of 2020 was marked by several noteworthy achievements. Across the global membership portfolio, the organization has experienced rapid growth in numbers, a reflection of FIWARE’s unwavering commitment to guiding Open Source communities and ensuring its technology remains open to anyone, whilst keeping vendor lock-in a thing of the past. Following an implementation-driven Open Source approach, FIWARE’s members and partners have been accelerating the maturity and adoption of key standards for smart solutions. On that front, the organization has welcomed many new Gold Members as well as Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of enterprise Open Source solutions, as its newest Platinum Member. Among many synergies, Red Hat adds strong weight to the foundation’s work on standardization, which has already produced consolidated results with ETSI (NGSI-LD API specifications), W3C (Web of Things), GSMA (IoT Big Data Ecosystem project), and TM Forum, for instance.
An ever-growing community
FIWARE opens new digital innovation hubs (FIWARE iHubs) in Texas (U.S.) and Azores and Madeira (Portugal). Five new locations are also scheduled to open in the coming months, amounting to roughly 25 FIWARE iHubs on a global basis. Spanning from South America to East Asia, FIWARE’s iHubs help companies and individuals to build a network of tech-enabling communities and encourage the formation of internet-based businesses, at a local and international level.
FIWARE has also registered a growing number of solutions joining its Marketplace, which already features 170+ ready-to-use solutions. Being a one-stop-catalogue for companies to learn about – and purchase – ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions, platforms, IoT devices, and software enablers based on FIWARE technologies, the Marketplace is a recognised global window for the solutions featured in it. The number of FIWARE Impact Stories have also soared, covering topics from Smart Farming to Smart Industrial processes to Smart Health. Among the solutions causing tremendous impact in the world is the biosurveillance system Eng-DE4Bios. Based on FIWARE technology, the ready-to-use system has been successfully deployed in the Veneto region (Northeast Italy), heavily hit by COVID-19, and is currently rolled-out in further regions and countries.
Additionally, FIWARE keeps strengthening its strategic relationships with global leading organizations, which is clearly evidenced by the strong growth in sizable commitments. Digital Arabia Network, the Data Trading Alliance (DTA) and the New Urban Mobility alliance (NUMO) have joined forces with the foundation to raise awareness around FIWARE technologies, support adoption on a global basis, enhance FIWARE’s role as an Open Source standards driver as well as contribute to building the foundation for a digital single market for smart solutions.
In difficult times, digitalisation proves to be essential
Whilst COVID-19 has imposed cuts on many businesses, it has also brought to light the need for further investment in digital transformation. Having a consolidated technology infrastructure has become the backbone of both private and public businesses. Well-aligned with FIWARE’s strongest hold on Smart Cities, its Community has continued to help cities to transform big data into knowledge, thereby, unleashing the potential of open data. This way, communities can turn to new technologies when creating jobs, new business models, and growth in urban environments. By being able to deploy innovative, replicable, ready-to-use solutions, cities can increase the competitiveness of businesses and enable the widespread participation of citizens in the public service process. Many of the 150+ OASC Cities have already adopted FIWARE technologies.
Similarly, while the business environment remains challenging, with face-to-face conferences cancelled right and left following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have however delivered tangible value to members across the globe, by ensuring that the FIWARE Community actively participates in global digital events instead. In fact, as most meetings have become virtual, allowing participants from all over the world to join in, the FIWARE members have been exposed to broader visibility and network opportunities with new contacts via the FIWARE domain DAYS (as part of a new series of domain-specific virtual experiences), brand new content and a dozen of high-quality online webinars.
Wrapped under the umbrella of #WednesdayWebinars and Business Boost Webinars, these virtual experiences cover all there is to know about FIWARE, from a technical and a business standpoint. They look at what each of the FIWARE components brings and how apps can be developed using them. They also explain the vision and value proposition of FIWARE in Smart Cities, Smart AgriFood, Smart Energy, and Smart Industry as well as showcasing the kind of initiatives members of the FIWARE Community are carrying out beyond the development of the technology. Besides learning about the components present in solutions, platforms, IoT devices, and software enablers – based on FIWARE technologies – participants stay up-to-date with leading technologies and trends in digitization for 2020 and beyond, and how they can navigate the economic, political and social elements brought by the current digital revolution.
Finally, the FIWARE Global Summit (previously planned for the end of September 2020) has been transformed into diverse FIWARE digital experiences and selected FIWARE sessions, some of which will be integrated into the Greencities event (from 30 September-1 October, in Málaga, Spain), allowing the FIWARE Community to come together to exchange expertise and network with peers.
The FIWARE Tech Roadmap
As disruptive technologies such as AI, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), and Edge Computing – to mention but a few – assume key roles in accelerating the development, governance, and operation of businesses in an even more trusted, accountable, and transparent manner, FIWARE has added these technologies into its “Powered by FIWARE” architectures, allowing users to learn how to design any application using these latest trending technologies and experience the benefits that they can bring to their solutions. Moreover, the FIWARE 7.8.2 patch release introduces additional security benefits to IoT agents, and new elements are also incorporated into FIWARE’s reference architectures.
An outlook on new projects
The “Fighting Climate Change with FIWARE” booklet takes on new dimensions and a fourth edition is launched, featuring 30 ‘off the shelf’ game-changing solutions developed by the FIWARE Community that is at the forefront of disruptive technologies, creating solutions – based on FIWARE technology – and participating in projects, that have become vital to the fight against climate change. Renowned environmental journalists and authors have also contributed.
The FIWARE University Roadshow is launched aiming to mobilize universities, especially professors, lecturers, and researchers offering Computer Science or Software Engineering courses to incorporate FIWARE technology and workshops within their curriculum. Over 35 universities are currently planning to integrate FIWARE modules into their lectures, whilst the University of Messina, the University of Murcia, and the Electronic Technologies Department at the University of Seville have already launched the FIWARE University Roadshow within their curriculum.
Equally, following FIWARE’s continuous support for startups and SMEs that started with the FIWARE Accelerate Program in 2014 in which over 1.000 startups received €80m in funding from the European Commission, we started the next generation – based on the earlier initiatives – with the FIWARE Accelerator. Recognized as an important matching unit between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the program helps high-potential startups and enterprises to develop and bring onto the market innovative smart solutions, based on FIWARE technology. Latest agreements with acceleration companies include ZABALA and GATEWAY49 to deliver technical training, worldwide promotion, and create business opportunities for startups and SMEs. As an international consultancy firm, ZABALA specialises in consultancy services for R&D and innovation management, with clients ranging from industrial or services enterprises to regional, national and European administrations, whereas GATEWAY49 aims to promote innovative ideas and establish a strong startup ecosystem in the North of Germany. Further agreements will materialise in the coming months.
“We have had an extraordinary semester and will continue to win new members, establish new iHubs, welcome new solutions into the FIWARE Marketplace and strengthen existing and new relationships with partners and users who choose FIWARE technologies when looking into reducing costs and modernizing their solutions and platforms. All the listed initiatives above are a reflection of our unwavering commitment to adding value to members as well as driving industry-leading innovation at unparalleled speed. We will be doing more of that in the coming months” – Ulrich Ahle – FIWARE Foundation CEO.
Towards an EU data ecosystem
The first semester also sees the launch of the GAIA-X Project, which sets European standards for data storage, in addition to offering a secure environment for the cross-business sharing of data in Europe. As part of the initiative, the GAIA-X Foundation will be established and FIWARE is planning to become a Day-1 member. Formed by digital leaders, industrials, academia and associations, the foundation represents a joint commitment to a transparent European process, openness and broad participation. Given FIWARE’s outstanding work in standardization activities, the membership is a natural step as the GAIA-X project sets a relevant milestone in meeting the European Union’s ambition to consolidate its leadership in the global data economy. FIWARE Foundation members Atos, International Data Spaces Association and Orange and are also heavily involved in the GAIA-X Foundation.
About FIWARE Foundation
Together with its members and partners, FIWARE Foundation drives the definition – and the Open Source implementation – of key open standards that enable the development of portable and interoperable smart solutions in a faster, easier and affordable way, avoiding vendor lock-in scenarios, whilst also nurturing FIWARE as a sustainable and innovation-driven business ecosystem. The foundation achieves that through the support of a fast-growing global community that shares a common vision and combines their efforts toward making FIWARE the Open Source technology of choice for industries, governments, universities and associations to reach their full potential and scale up their activities, thereby, entering new markets and growing their businesses. Founded in 2016, the foundation has Atos, Engineering, NEC, Red Hat, Telefónica and Trigyn Technologies among its Platinum members. For further information, visit fiware.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube.
Val De Oliveira: email@example.com