Joint Press Release
Berlin, Ljubljana, November 30, 2021 — FIWARE Foundation, the non-profit organization that drives the definition and encourages the adoption of open standards — based on open source technologies, reference architectures and 800+ Smart Data Models — to ease the development of smart digital solutions across multiple domains, announces today it is collaborating with the ICT Innovation Network of Slovenia. Managed by the ICT Association of Slovenia — and part of Slovenia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry — the network strives to make Slovenia a green reference country within the digital Europe.
FIWARE Foundation’s engagement with the ICT Innovation Network started earlier this year when the organization joined FIWARE as an Associate Member, and the collaboration has grown considerably ever since. Driven by Ulrich Ahle, FIWARE Foundation CEO, and Andreja Lampe, Head of the ICT Innovation Network, the collaboration has, notably, been fruitful in the context of the Gaia-X Project, with FIWARE as a use case provider and Andreja heading the Gaia-X hub Slovenia. Gaia-X Hubs are the central contact points for companies, public sector, associations, etc. within the Gaia-X project’s participating countries, and aim to help to identify relevant user requirements and to conceptualize use cases.
Andreja and Ulrich have driven the white paper ‘Gaia-X and European Smart Cities and Communities’, published on October 13, 2021. Issued by the Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL and the Data Spaces and Business Committee, the publication aims to define what are the use cases, and requirements from smart cities in relation to the Gaia-X architecture. Several key smart city actors from Vienna — a FIWARE user city — including Brigitte Lutz, a member of FIWARE Foundation’s Board of Directors, have also contributed to the publication.
“I’m thrilled to see FIWARE Foundation and the ICT Innovation Network of Slovenia working together to advance open standards across Europe, in particular, in Slovenia. This allows developers to continue to break barriers and modernize application development. It also ensures that cities and communities can replicate and scale solutions, on a global level”, said Ulrich Ahle, FIWARE Foundation CEO. “Slovenia is the first country in Europe to have requested its cities to apply OASC’s Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs) — a set of practical capabilities based on open technical specifications (including FIWARE NGSI-LD) — and MIM2 (Smart Data Models) when implementing their smart cities and regions strategies.” A long term-partner, the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) is also a member of FIWARE Foundation.
Slovenia is driving innovation at unparalleled levels
The timing for bringing all pieces together could not have been better as all eyes are on Slovenia, as it currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Responsible for managing the Council’s work, the presidency has been focusing on four areas of action: boosting the role of digital to enable a sustainable and inclusive recovery; artificial intelligence and effective standardisation; stronger infrastructure — based on high-speed connectivity and cybersecurity; and cross-border data flows for more resilient industries and healthcare.
“Our active collaboration with FIWARE Foundation is of key importance to set common standards and tools as enablers for Slovenian companies to compete successfully on the international stage. We have been actively contributing to the smart cities and communities fields, and now we must expand to other key areas for the Slovenian economy and society, namely, green and digital transition, health, industry 4.0 and agri-food”, said Nenad Šutanovac, Director of the ICT Association of Slovenia.
Such goals dovetail with FIWARE’s Foundation mission of guiding the EU to become better connected and digitalised, making this collaboration a natural fit. An active contributor of standardization activities within ETSI — the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (NGSI-LD API specifications) — and many other renowned standards organizations, FIWARE is committed to strengthening its ties with the ICT Innovation Network of Slovenia – an important player within Slovenia — to ensure that European cities and communities can drive their digital transformation, based on sustainable data infrastructure, real-time and data sharing across the most varied domains.
“Standards are key to turn complex technical legislation implementable for companies, from large technology organisations to start-ups and SMEs and, on this front, FIWARE has been playing an invaluable role”, adds Andreja Lampe, Head of the ICT Innovation Network. “We’re thrilled to benefit from such expertise, and learn from the FIWARE members that are integrating interoperable digital and smart solutions across a range of sectors. More importantly, being able to leverage both lessons learned and best practices from the 250+ cities and territories globally — that have already deployed FIWARE technology and open standards — will bring unprecedented innovation to Slovenia.”
The power of collaboration
Europe has a solid data potential, but it remains unexplored. Last year, the data economy accounted for only 3 per cent of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP). Investments, notably in infrastructure and local Digital Twins, are one way to help cities and communities to realize the benefits of the digital era for mobility, energy efficiency, waste management, urban planning, air pollution monitoring, etc. However, continued cross-industry collaboration is also needed in order to untap the value of data. Initiatives such as the Data Spaces Business Alliance (DSBA), a collaboration between FIWARE, the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL, and the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) are examples of how the adoption of data spaces across Europe — and beyond — must be fostered, if we are to truly accelerate a digital data economy.
FIWARE Foundation and the ICT Innovation Network will keep working to deliver such an outcome. On November 30 (14:15-15:30 CET), Ulrich Ahle and Andreja Lampe will join the panel “Data Spaces Business Alliance: from Concept to Market”, to address the European data strategy and its implementation. Additionally, on December 2 (09:00-10:30 CET), they will join the session “Enabling Data Economy for Local Communities” — moderated by Andreja Lampe — to discuss the potential of connected and interoperable digital solutions for smart communities. Both sessions are part of the European Big Data Value Forum — EBDVF 2021 (Nov 29-3 Dec, online and presencial). Organised by BDVA and DG CNECT, the event brings together industry actors from the fields of Data and AI. Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is hosting the physical part of the event, with the ICT Innovation Network as one of the local collaborators.
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 this 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, Red Hat, NEC, Telefónica and Trigyn Technologies among its 450+ members. For further information, refer to FIWARE’s Press Kit and follow the organization on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
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About the ICT Innovation Network of Slovenia
The ICT Innovation Network, managed by the ICT Association of Slovenia — and part of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia — fulfils its vision of making Slovenia a green reference country in digital Europe through an exemplary model of collaboration between the business sector, science and the government in introducing modern digital solutions into people’s lives.
The ICT Innovation Network develops and promotes a set of enabling technologies and services as support for Slovenian Strategic Research Innovation Partnerships: digital transformation, location services, HPC and Big Data, Internet of Services, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity. It is taking a central operational support role for the creation of new value chains by providing knowledge, technologies and activities to drive the comprehensive digital transformation of Slovenian companies. Such activities result in increased internationalisation and cross-border cooperation. The ICT Innovation Network is a member of DIGITALEUROPE, FIWARE Foundation, Gaia-X AISBL and BDVA.
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