Telefónica, Orange, Engineering and Atos have decided to join forces and announce that they will take the initiative towards creation of the FIWARE Open Source Community to foster and support the evolution of standards for Smart Cities and their spread worldwide. It is expected that the FIWARE Open Source Community will be fully operational at the end of Q2-2015.
With the enormous growth in the number of smartphones, daily life has become digital but in cities remains very similar to how it looked like 15 or 20 years ago. The integration of Internet of Things, Cloud and BigData technologies, together with the support of Open Data policies, will create the conditions for a new period of intense transformation of cities into smart cities. For Bruno Fabre, Executive Vice-President of Telcos, Media & Utilities in Atos, “the Smart City market has proven to be a slow process. The combination of open-source solutions and a new approach for business models will unlock this new opportunity for the Third Digital Revolution”.
However, the concept of “Smart City” is also under (r)evolution, since it will not just be focused on providing more efficient services, but transforming cities into digital platforms enabling the development of innovative citizen services open to all, bringing the fuel for a new economical boost, fostering growth and the creation of new jobs. The four companies strongly believe that FIWARE will be instrumental in materializing this vision. “FIWARE does not just support a more efficient management of municipal services. It brings open standards enabling to transform cities into engines of growth”, explains Marieta Rivero, Chief Deputy Commercial Officer at Telefónica. “Using FIWARE, Smart Cities can deliver the platform, combining Open Data and the APIs based on which new innovative applications can be created”, she explained.
Thanks to the open nature of FIWARE specifications, multiple FIWARE providers may emerge so that cities and application providers can avoid getting lock-in. On the other hand, decisions to choose a given FIWARE platform provider will be driven, not only based on costs, but also on trust, e.g. who will provide and operate the environment where applications and/or data will be hosted. This is particularly relevant when data (e.g. those affecting personal information) have to comply with local and/or national regulations or has to cope with some security and privacy requirements, especially if applications or data are to be hosted on the Cloud. Paolo Pandozy, CEO of Engineering, states: “Innovation for Engineering is a key success factor continuously pursued from its birth back in 1980. Tightly coupled with innovation is independence, meaning we all build our solutions taking into consideration what we consider to be the best for our customers. In this context, we see our strategic and full involvement in FIWARE. It is a set of technologies allowing us to be leaders in the market of open solutions. In addition, Openness and Innovation are critical building blocks in the fast growing domain of Smart Cities for which Engineering is providing a leading edge innovative offering”.
FIWARE standard APIs, combined with standard data models developed together with cities and application developers, will ensure portability and interoperability of smart city applications. This will allow to develop smart city applications for different cities at the same time, thus creating a market large enough to attract startups and small enterprises who will create new innovative services for citizens and businesses in urban areas. “There is an incredible opportunity for European cities to take advantage of open solutions and a wide community of developers, to quickly bring digital services and innovations to their citizens”, commented Patrice Slupowski, Vice-President of Digital Innovation, Orange.
FIWARE is an open source platform integrating a number of components making it easier to develop smart applications. It was created through a Public-Private Partnership between more than 40 organisations and the European Commission. Now the evolution of FIWARE is extending to other regions, starting with Latin America, where the same vision and ambition is shared.