- By becoming FIWARE iHubs, organizations expand the potential for local businesses and further disseminate FIWARE technologies;
- FIWARE iHubs break traditional barriers for technology enablement and business acceleration with the usage of Open Source technologies and standards and access to a broader and international network;
- With the new joiners and the upcoming ones, the FIWARE Digital Innovation Hubs (FIWARE iHubs) network reaches roughly 25 on a global basis.
Berlin, July 16, 2020 — FIWARE Foundation, the non-profit organization that drives the definition and encourages the adoption of open standards — implemented using Open Source technologies and reference architectures — to ease the development of smart digital solutions across multiple domains, announces today the opening of new Digital Innovation Hubs (FIWARE iHubs) in Austin – Texas (U.S.), Lagoa – Azores – and Funchal – Madeira (Portugal) to help foster and accelerate new businesses. Serving as innovation engines, FIWARE iHubs focus on building communities that will, in turn, enable local digital businesses to thrive not only at a regional but on a global level. They support companies, cities, and developers in their innovation and digitalisation journey by offering easy access to Open Source technologies, business development support, and community building.
When looking into becoming more competitive in the current digital economy, the main challenge faced by companies, research institutions, public administrations and cities, in general, is the lack of resources to access disruptive technologies and solutions, digital tools, and the relevant network. By breaking the traditional barriers for technology enablement and business acceleration with the usage of Open Source technologies and standards, FIWARE iHubs encourage the development of scalable, interoperable, and disruptive smart digital solutions across many domains to accelerate businesses, increase competitiveness and facilitate the diversification of local economies. By facilitating the collaboration between scientific research and private businesses, the access to training and mentoring, fostering entrepreneurship culture, among many other benefits, FIWARE iHubs optimize existing resources, whilst also nurturing the path for new ones to flourish.
Think global, act local
The companies that have just joined the FIWARE iHub network span a range of industries. A consortium between Volpi Ventures, Top Energy USA, Zorrito Capital, and ITD America, the TEXAS Project FIWARE iHub aims to nurture the development of the local economy via workshops, events, and skills training, with a focus on Smart Energy, Smart Health, Smart Cities and Agritech. Drawing from his experience as a venture capitalist and Smart Energy expert — and supported by FIWARE’s ever-growing network — Humberto Olivo believes the iHub has the potential to become one of the most important innovation hubs in the U.S. and North America, following the recent United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Effective July 1, it aims to encourage the use of innovation and smart technologies to boost the regional economy of North America.
“There’s a great deal of business development support and mentoring that companies can get from the Texas Project FIWARE iHub. We will develop and strengthen a FIWARE ecosystem to design and deliver smart solutions that will benefit Texas SMEs and startups. This way, private companies, public administrations, universities and research institutions can benefit from regional multi-partner cooperation, build stronger connections and come up with promising new business models” — Humberto Olivo (iHub Coordinator).
Nurturing the European digital ecosystem
Aiming to further digitalize the Macaronesian region (which includes Azores and Madeira in Portugal and the Canary Islands in Spain), in 2017, the FIMAC Project (an SME acceleration platform that uses FIWARE technology) was established and laid the ground for FIWARE iHubs to flourish within the region. Following the footsteps of the FiiHUB iHub (located on the Canary Islands), two new FIWARE iHubs were established in mid-2020.
Madeira FIWARE iHub: Run by the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute – which has been developing activities centered on FIWARE since 2017 in cooperation with partners – the iHub focuses on Smart Cities, Smart Energy, Smart AgriFood, Smart Industry, and E-Government and will offer lectures, webinars, training, mentoring, workshops, and demos on the FIWARE framework and disruptive technologies (e.g. Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics) to facilitate the diversification and internationalisation of the local economy through scalable open, reliable, smart and disruptive Open Source technologies and standards.
“We already have established partnerships in the region and aim to extend this to local institutions, companies and iHubs that are focused on the region’s most relevant sectors (tourism, blue economy, etc.). It is vital for the development of new technologies and digital smart solutions to allow local developers and companies to access this state-of-the-art iHub and the experimentation lab. We believe that the adoption of Open Source technologies and standards allows far better efficiency and improves business competitiveness. The FIWARE technology will contribute to the digitisation and internationalisation of companies and public administration and this will surely add value to our local economy and community” — Prof. David Aveiro (iHub Coordinator).
Azores Digital Innovation Hub: Headquartered in the Nonagon Science and Technology Park (Lagoa) and with a focus on sustainable tourism 4.0 – and the integration of value chains associated to it such as Smart Energy, Smart Cities, circular economy, etc.- the iHub will provide the local community of SMEs and developers with the conditions they need to create new opportunities and improve the international competitiveness of their businesses. By facilitating the use of technological solutions for problem-solving, creating the right connection between technology providers and the actual needs of the tourism sector, the iHub will estimate effective local development and a vibrant environment for technological development and experimentation.
“We want our iHub to be a place in which companies — especially SMEs and startups — get access to technology-testing environments, financial advice, market intelligence, networking opportunities, business planning. The skills and entrepreneurial dynamics, digital and ecological transformation in the island’s tourism sector will be taken into account to promote a digital innovation ecosystem for Smart Tourism, and automatically contribute towards a strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe. For instance, with our very first FIWARE Expert Programme, the FIWARE Lab Nodes and many other planned initiatives, we expect a faster FIWARE dissemination within the nine islands of the region” — Dr. Arnaldo Machado (iHub Coordinator).
For FIWARE Foundation’s CMO Cristina Brandtstetter, the arrival of the new iHubs means a crucial boost for the tech ecosystem and the FIWARE iHubs network altogether.
“By offering FIWARE technology and access to our global ecosystem — no other iHub network has this competitive advantage — FIWARE strengthens the iHubs’ ability to support innovation on a local level. On top of the technology, the iHubs also offer the content, business growth skills, and collaboration experiences that communities need to evolve. Moreover, their arrival reflects how much stronger and international our iHubs network is becoming. New locations are soon opening, from Cairo to India to Greece to Germany.”
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.
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