FiWare

Towards schema.fiware.org

 APIs, Big Data, Blog, Developers, IoT, NGSI  Comments Off on Towards schema.fiware.org
Sep 022016
 
Cyber space with hexadecimal code as digital background

In previous blog posts the benefits of NGSI version 2 have been described, as a harmonized API for IoT Big Data ecosystems and particularly for exposing real time context information. Harmonized APIs are a necessary but not sufficient condition to foster developer-friendly IoT Big Data Ecosystems, which enable building smart applications.
If data models are not harmonized, developers, in practice, get forced to change their application when porting it to another context (E.g. a different city).

Harmonizing data models means creating a shared vocabulary of terms and relationships that provide uniformity on the representation of different concepts: parking, public transport, weather… Harmonized APIs and data models, together, will enable the creation of smart applications that are portable at data level.

The FIWARE community has started an agile, implementation-driven process, to devise harmonized data models. Focusing initially on the smart city domain, the work is evolving on a daily basis and it is being registered on the documentation hosted in the related Github repository. Such documentation is currently written in markdown format and published to a readthedocs site.
There is also a landing page /data-models (to be redirected from http://schema.fiware.org, as per schema.org recommendations) which provides fast and convenient access to the different data models.
Such data models are published under the Creative Commons by Attribution License.

The design principles behind the FIWARE data models promote reuse, thus existing vocabularies, especially schema.org, have been adopted and leveraged. Other design principles are flexibility and simplicity, enabling a phased adoption by data providers and applications.

A first, draft version of the following models has already been provided:

  • Parking. They allow to model on street and off street parking areas. The data models reuse parts of the vocabulary defined by DATEX II

  • Waste Management. It is intended to model all the assets intervening on (municipal) waste management (containers, isles, etc.)

  • Streetlighting. They model urban streetlights and certain aspects of their controlling equipment

  • Civic Issue Tracking, leveraging the popular Open311 de facto standard to meet NGSIv2

  • Key Performance Indicators, to model performance measurements appropriately

  • Water Quality. Captures different observed measurements (ph, conductivity, etc.) about the quality of water in rivers and lakes, or water intended to human consumption

Other data models to be developed and documented are Weather, Environment, Alarms, Devices or Parks & Gardens. Contributions, in the form of Github pull requests, are encouraged.

It is noteworthy that, at the time of writing, different FIWARE community members and telco operators worldwide (with GSMA support) are starting to experiment in real applications with the referred data models. As a result, valuable feedback can be obtained in order to refine them. The final aim is to contribute these data models to standards organizations, industry associations (particularly GSMA) or global community-driven efforts (schema.org).

José Manuel Cantera – Technological Expert. FIWARE Team

Apps Speak Louder Than Words

 APIs, Blog, OASC, SmartCities, TM Forum  Comments Off on Apps Speak Louder Than Words
Dec 022015
 
Smart Applications

It is hardly possible to remember when the word “smart” was first used to describe a service, or some kind of technology, or a city. Shortly after we heard someone speak about smartphones for the first time, we were speaking of smart televisions, smart washing machines or even smart houses. But none of them were showing what we understood as smart behavior. Or maybe they were, ‘cause, in the end, what do we mean by “smart”? Smart means context-aware, i.e. able to receive and analyze all of the data that is generated and transmitted around a particular device. So, maybe a fridge will never quote Plato by heart or get touched by a sonnet, but it can already count the number of, say, eggs it contains and, in case they are less than expected, tell you that you should go to the supermarket before you run out of them.

If that happens with just an appliance, imagine which the expectations were for a whole city. The whole urban area could be translated into data that, once interpreted, could be used for the benefit of citizens. You don’t need to go that far to see that, because, even if we did not notice, smartness has come to stay. When FIWARE was born, it offered a set of APIs that were supposed to fulfill those smart functionalities that developers may want to implement in their applications. After a while, they proved to be quite useful for urban data and environments.

75 cities from all over the world have already joined what we have called the Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative, an effort to standardize the procedures that cities use when coping with data. Some of them, such as Porto (Portugal), are making such a great use of these standards that have become an example of what a smart city must be, while also fostering its existing entrepreneurial tissue with collaborations such as the one with Ubiwhere. The common incentive shared by both cities and initiatives is the drive to form a collaborative network and to deploy strategies with a common objective to promote cities. This ecosystem provides the standards to integrate data, where the FIWARE platform offers endless opportunities to work with other entities in order to achieve this goal. It allows the collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and the integration of data in order to create application and advance smart cities.  This is the fuel that engines the applications making cities become smart cities.

The focus on real-time data is something that the European Open Data Portal has also considered when making its agreement with FIWARE. From now on, the data that is contained in that portal will not only be part of the archive, but will also be shown in real time. That update offers a wide range of possibilities. Not only is the offering of data important, but also the treatment that we, as users, make of them; an aspect that has also been considered in the joint effort of TM Forum and FIWARE to improve the management of data. TM Forum’s Ecosystem APIs, including Product Catalog, Product Ordering and Product Inventory, will be incorporated within the specifications and open source reference implementation of the FIWARE Business Framework. This Framework enables the management and the monetization of different kinds of digital assets involving multiple partners.

And now, looking back on all that has been done since the FIWARE adventure began, the trace that we have left behind is not only that of agreements and intentions, but a group of applications that are already offering smart services. Hostabee, MejoraTuCiudad, BatSharing, TalkyCar… The list seems almost endless. And their success has turned out to be ours, ‘cause the real goal of our work has always been making them able to manage data from cities to build real applications for real users. It is true, we can hardly remember the first time we heard someone using “smart” to define a service, but we are so glad and thankful to have become part of that trend, that it is our commitment to keep on working to create the smartest of places for citizens.

 

Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities

 Blog, OASC, SmartCities  Comments Off on Dutch cities collaborate on Open and Agile Smart Cities
Nov 302015
 
Application abstract network

Amersfoort – Six Dutch cities signed the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) letter of intent to join an initiative that will create smart cities based on the needs of cities and communities. Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Rotterdam and Utrecht declared to join forces and accelerate the smart city wave by adapting the FIWARE Lab NL platform.

The Dutch Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative aims to create an open smart city based on the needs of the market. Cities need interoperability and standards to boost competitiveness by avoiding vendor lock-in, comparability to benchmark performance, and easy sharing of best practices. But most of all, they need practical solutions.

The Dutch OASC cities achieve their vision by adopting four simple mechanisms:

1. Disclose data

To ensure that all cities and developers can disclose the already existing data, FIWARE Lab NL created a CKAN environment in which data will be free to use, but the ownership will remain at the person responsible for delivering the data. In addition to the CKAN environment a CITY SDK solution will enable developers to connect several datasets with each other.

2. Implementation attitude

The participating OASC cities, interested companies and developers also have the opportunity to hand over specific projects and problems that include the use of data for integrated smart city solutions. The lab aims to deliver solutions that will lead to practical implementations within the OASC cities for governments, companies or other developers.

3. OASC cities and their communities

The OASC cities will support regional, national and international open data events like IT Smart Cities at Amersfoort or Amsterdam Smart City. The FIWARE Lab NL will also organise several OASC challenges. These meet-ups will challenge application developers to develop open and agile application for the smart cities by aligning different projects and to create a successful data platform.

4. European connection

FIWARE Lab NL will coordinate open smart city activities in the Netherlands with a connection with the OASC cities. Every city will create alliances with different projects within their city to ensure the local and regional commitment. Amersfoort will remain to be the coordinating city for all the OASC cities. This project will also explore the European potential of the data platform and share results on regular meetings and events.

About FIWARE Lab NL

Fiware Lab NL is the initiative of a consortium with members Deloitte, Civity, Elba-Rec, Onetrail and Xcellent. The Province of Utrecht supports this investment in this innovation infrastructure. Fiware Lab NL is located in Utrecht and Amersfoort.

Opening the Data Pipeline for Smart Services – European Data Portal

 Blog, Developers, Digital Single Market, NGSI, Open Data  Comments Off on Opening the Data Pipeline for Smart Services – European Data Portal
Nov 232015
 
2

Data is the fuel for any smart service. So a new partnership between FIWARE and the European Data Portal is instrumental in opening a fountain of open data sources from European cities and nations able to be used in the design and delivery of new new services and applications.

The new European Open Data Portal launched on 16 November 2015 is the major European data asset available for free for anyone to use, with already around 250,000 datasets available through a multilingual interface. Users are allowed to easily download data at the source or directly consume data analysis through interactive visualizations.

The collaboration with FIWARE will help bring this data even closer to the fingertips of the growing open community of thousands of FIWARE developers, startups and new users in Europe and worldwide.

Startups – like Hostabee – are working on the FIWARE platform and are already identifying opportunities to augment their services and products by using open data.

Hostabee are winners of a past FIWARE hackathon, alum of the FIWARE Innovation Hub, and one of FIWARE’s accelerator startups. They have recently showcased their bee-keeping urban farm product at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. Hostabee rely on open data sources to understand the vegetation in the city areas where they will be offering their services so that they can better evaluate quality and the effects on honey-making.

The capacity of a new generation of smart services like Hostabee to use open data is expected to be a major leverage point for creating an open data market that is worth €75.7 billion by 2020, according to European Open Data Portal research.

In the future, FIWARE and the EU Open Data Portal will jointly consider ways to harvest the trend towards more real-time open data by using the de-facto standard FIWARE NGSI. This collaboration among two leading European ICT initiatives shows the interest of the public and private partnership supporting these and, our capacity to set standards and is clearly another step towards a European Single Digital Market.

Porto, a City that Has Become a Real-time Guide

 Blog, IoT, myFIWAREstory, NGSI, OASC, Smart Mobility, SmartCities, Success Story  Comments Off on Porto, a City that Has Become a Real-time Guide
Nov 202015
 
IMG_4691

Imagine walking or driving through a city and the city itself tells you which trendy spots to check out, where to park your car in that moment, or which areas to avoid because of air quality or traffic congestion. In Porto, Portugal, this vision has become a reality and the city itself is already communicating directly with residents, tourists and even startup businesses using FIWARE standards and the UrbanSense platform.

As one of the first cities that joined the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) initiative back in March this year, Porto has been a pioneer city adopting FIWARE standards with the support of Ubiwhere, a Portuguese company experienced in the development of middleware and platforms. A key instrument in the development of Porto’s open city platform is the UrbanSense infrastructure, which was developed under the European funded project Future Cities Project. The Future Cities Project is a partnership between the University of Porto and the City Council aiming to create IMG_4696a Competence Centre for Future Cities in the city of Porto. Together, but also with the participation of the Citibrain joint-venture, the city of Porto and Ubiwhere have developed the interfaces bringing access to real-time, contextual environmental data from 75 fixed and mobile units (monitoring stations) located across the city. The data is augmented by scanners installed on the city Council’s 200+ fleet of vehicles, creating a large-scale mobile scanner. External providers like the city’s water supplier, transport data providers, social media data and business startup statistics are all plugged in to the platform to allow the city itself to guide you as you explore, travel, and work. The city of Porto now has plans to leverage the results of this work and expand the FIWARE/OASC-compliant urban platform to become the central point of its new integrated management and control center. Another example of the Porto’s full commitment in the OASC initiative, the city of Porto has just created a competition (www.desafiosporto.pt) to support the development of applications on top of its integrated management and control center platform. With this competition, the city, in partnership with 4 large companies (NOS, CEIIA, EDP and EY) will fund up to 4 solutions with a total of 250 thousands of euros available.

Following the steps taken by Porto, and again with the support of Ubiwhere, several other Portuguese cities (e.g. Águeda, Aveiro, São João da Madeira and Torres Vedras) are starting to provide real-time data on mobility/ transportation and environment.

The key to helping the city communicate effectively is to have partnerships with companies like the location and mapping provider HERE. The HERE platform is behind the navigator system embedded in most of the cars and communication with the city, which would enable the display of real-time open data in navigation maps, improving the overall user experience.

One of the issues for companies like HERE when they are trying to build applications/services for end users is the lack of smart city de-facto standard interfaces, enabling homogeneous access to relevant data. As a result, integrating real-time open data exported by any city requires the development of software adapters which are costly and take time to become ready.

If cities were exporting the data in a standard manner, creating an application that can be developed once and work in cities around the world would be feasible.

Lack of standard interfaces for accessing real-time data of cities becomes a rather huge challenge for SMEs and startups because they cannot afford to repeat the development of adapters in each city. While the benefits for end users can be great, they are too high to be passed on through a low-costing app, which has held back the smart cities, Internet of Things, and civic tech industries so far.

The FIWARE NGSI standard API enabling access to information of what is going on in OASC cities makes plugging a wide range of real-time sensor data into its platform much easier. It allows businesses like HERE to create a solution first tested in the city of Porto, involving citizens and travellers, which can be ported without changes or adaptation to other cities, currently 75, that are signed up to OASC.

“We are able to add another layer of insight into the HERE platform; localizing it more and making it more specific to the user,” said James Marugg, Sr Account Executive at HERE. “The FIWARE Open Platform allows for vast amounts of data to be received and fed into other systems.”

Using the FIWARE standards, the UrbanSense platform is able to support a number of applications that enable the city to talk directly to residents and visitors and can be ported to those cities that will become part of the OASC initiative:

  • HERE’s mapping application that lets travellers map their directions, avoid contributing to areas of high traffic pollution and drive directly to an available car parking space in real time;
  • A travel app that tells visitors which sites are then trending in that moment in travellers recommendations;
  • Applications that help share relevant data and information to help new businesses locate their offices and shopfronts;
  • An application to improve Quality of Life that, among others, monitors levels of UV radiation;
  • A water management app that lets residents compare their water consumption with others’ based on profiles.

The Ubiwhere, Citibrain and HERE demos were showcased at the SCEWC Smart City Plaza and FIWARE booth this week in Barcelona, while more cities also announced they joined the OASC Initiative.

Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative at Tampere (Finland)

 Blog, events  Comments Off on Open & Agile Smart Cities Initiative at Tampere (Finland)
Oct 162015
 
407311

Some months ago, we announced that the amount of cities joining the Open & Agile initiative had climbed up to 50. “Capitals and cities with a population of millions, as well as small- and medium-sized cities are finding their role in this pragmatic network of networks”, said Martin Brynskov, Chair of the Connected Smart Cities Network Board. “We have experienced”, Brynskov continues, “a strong interest from cities to join this second wave, actually much stronger than anticipated, so we have decided to reschedule the launch and allow more cities and countries to join”.

During the second half of September (22nd-23rd), an event in Tampere (Finland) gathered the main representatives of this initiative and let them evaluate the direction of this effort to establish some Smart City standards. The event also included workshops to learn and share experiences about the OASC mechanisms, which meant a great opportunity for OASC partners to meet colleagues and partners from the rest of the world. It was the inaugural OASC Task Force meeting for new countries that had already joined. And, according to the webpage of the Connected Smart Cities Network, “national events are scheduled as we speak”. The Dutch cities in OASC NL met on June 25th to discuss the next steps, and in Belgium, OASC BE did so on June 24th. The Danish cities met on June 2nd to launch Open Data DK, forming the basis for OASC DK.

Did new cities join the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative?

So far, the total amount of cities in the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative is 59, among which we could highlight the incorporation of new cities from Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands and… Australia. FIWARE is in fact focusing its efforts towards new latitudes and we may soon witness the effects of its work. Are you still a bit lost in all these cities? You can see which ones are part of this initiative in this map.

Apart from announcing the incorporation of new cities, some work teams were created, each one of them focusing on a different aspect of the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative; i.e. a technical team, a funding team, a communication team and a team working on the engagement of cities. Some of the tasks of the technical team, for instance, include the publication of NGSI resources in open data publication portals, the creation of mechanisms to acquire access rights to open data or the federation of open data publication portals. All of its responsibilities will be then included into some clear guidelines that may help adopters to implement the Open & Agile Smart Cities principles.

Open & Agile Smart Cities in ICT 2015

If you want to learn more about the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative and how Smart Cities bank on FIWARE to develop their projects, visit us at the networking sessions that will take place during ICT Lisbon 2015. Visit the agenda of the session for more detailed information.

What makes a Smart App?

 Developers  Comments Off on What makes a Smart App?
Jul 012015
 
Smart Applications

The following post is a collaboration by Benedikt Herudek, consultant at Accenture. We would like to thank him for his collaboration and willingness to participate.

FIWARE applications are all about creating smart services and that requires being aware of the context. As one might expect, FIWARE doesn’t have a patent on that idea but hooks in to a wider trend in digitalization and IoT: nowadays, we have so much and so much potentially useful data available via the Internet and sensors that we could benefit from separate units of software to handle it, which are referred to as Context Brokers. Following Gartner’s Context Brokers for Smarter Business Decisions, published on the 21st of January 2015:

The underlying concept of a context broker is to have a separate software facility that gathers, prepares and serves context data so that a decision maker —a person or an application system— can have the benefit of this data without having to do all of the work of obtaining and managing the context data as part of the application itself. It is essentially a design pattern for sourcing context data more efficiently and effectively, offloading work from the decision-making application. A widely used Context Broker coming as an apache license is mosquitto.

FIWARE uses that concept (described to some extent in this blog post) and adopts it mainly (for the moment) for Smart Cities and Internet of Things. FIWARE applications are therefore supposed to be smart, in the sense of context aware applications. One could say, FIWARE does mainly two things with this idea. First, it tries to establish a standard protocol accepted all over Europe and thereby scales a market. Second, FIWARE does context management in a smart way. FIWARE context management is modelled along the design of the SNMP simple network management protocol reusing a standard called ‘NGSI’. The original NGSI standard has been created by the OMA standardization organization. However, this original definition is “abstract” and not directly usable, thus FIWARE has bound it to a “concrete” API definition based on RESTful design principles.

In that design, there is a context of so-called 'Entities'; i.e. relevant things to your application. 'Values' are the attributes of these entities, which change over time. A context could represent the reality in your own house or in a large city with entities like, for example, shops or buses.

The FIWARE Context Broker will allow your application to be unaware about how these context values are rendered: for instance, the temperature in a street could be rendered because users placed it on Twitter or rather because the city council decides to add sensors to buses. The FIWARE Orion Context Broker should hide this for you. The context model is extendable, so one can add features such as a value to rate certain buildings. FIWARE is built on REST (stateless) APIs, which are easy to use for developers. Payloads will use JSON or XML. If you need to know what the status of an entity is, you only need to read the value of an entity. If you want to trigger an action and the device allows so, all you need to do is changing the value of an attribute. You can do this with simple PUT and GET calls. The Context Broker connects to IoT agents, which connects to the devices.

Find here a visualization of the Orion Conext Broker from a 3rd party, not supported by FIWARE itself.

 

The Orion Context Broker shields you as a developer of Smart City applications from a complex setup of an agent – brokerage architecture. Compare it to the (business activity) monitoring solution of a production system for a large client. The Technical Architecture Team will have to deploy agents monitoring the systems, which will connect to the main system; for example, a console where you can see the status of an order or the memory consumption of a system. The infrastructure needs to be setup and maintained by a team of experts. As an end user, you don’t mind about how it works as long as your central instance allows you to interact with the deployed agents and the connected systems. In the world of Smart Cities and FIWARE, cities subscribing to the FIWARE standard would deliver the setup for you and you, as a developer, only connect to the front end, the Orion Context Broker.

The Orion Context Broker runs on top of the IoT Broker. This is a module introduced to handle the complexity of a large setup with 1000s of Devices and IoT agents connecting to them. Imagine you have an application with sensors in agriculture over large patches of lands over an entire country. Or maybe you have a city with many sensors and complex requests like, e.g.: 'Give me all cars in the street, their location and whatever else you know!'. Here, you might get several thousands of responses back. In that case, you will need a unit which handles and aggregates data for you and a unit to discover sensors in the street. A rule of thumb apparently says: with more than 1000 sensors, you should add an IoT broker to your application.

The IoT Broker will connect to the IoT agents in the field and manage them. The IoT Agents are pieces of software connecting to sensors from devices in the field. They translate IoT protocols like CoAP or MQTT into the Open Mobile Alliance NGSI standard that FIWARE will use. A showcase was done in Santander, Spain as the Context Broker and the IoT standard is developed by Telefonica research center.

From 'aware' to 'Smart'

Once you have all this data in your application, you will use other enablers to do smart things. FIWARE delivers a suite of generic enablers, which allow you to implement different functionalities.

FIWARE is also framed in the Open Data movement. This Open Data movement is pioneered by the (co-)founder of the world wide web Tim Berner Lee and connected to terms like semantic web, linked data, which has as one of its goals to make the web machine readable, where current HTML pages are targeted at human users to consume.

FIWARE uses the open-source Open Data framework ckan to offer a platform and marketplace for Open Data. Thanks to it, free data can be published, enforcing terms & conditions and using data with a fee. The scenarios here are either cities publishing data for free or companies publishing enriched data for a fee. Ckan datastore delivers search & discover functionalities to find published information.

One way of enriching data is to build FIWARE mashups on top of your dataset and visualize them this way. Such data mashups can be sold to newspapers to embed the information revealed in their online presence.

If gathering sensor data from the Internet of Things is a core concept, a Big Data analytics cannot be far. FIWARE hence offers a generic enabler to analyze Big Data. FIWARE uses hadoop under the FIWARE codename cosmos as it's a big data platform. Apache Hadoop's MapReduce and HDFS components were inspired by Google papers on their MapReduce and Google File System.

A typical use case of Big Data analytics would be that sensor data flows in via the Orion Context Broker to a FIWARE instance; for example, temperatures in the field. The Orion Context Broker itself only holds the last value of an entity. To have the historical view on temperature, one will connect the Orion Context Broker via a FIWARE component called Cygnus with hadoop, where the data will be stored and can be analyzed.  Cygnus uses the subscription/notification feature of the Context Broker, detailing which entities one wants to be notified when an update occurs on any of those entities attributes. Cygnus is based on apache flume and will allow to persist data from the Context Broker not only to hadoop but also mysql or ckan. Licenses are currently open-source, at some point these components might be feedback to the apache foundation to the hadoop ecosystem.

Telefonica delivers other add ons to hadoop called 'Tidoop' intended to allow using generic non HDFS data located at CKAN or Mango DB.

FIWARE offers Mashup technologies to create parts of front ends. This Mashup technology is useful for dashboards and maps, which are useful to be embedded, for example, in webpages to blend in a real time data camera from an open-source. A 'Widget' is a building block to build a 'Mashup'. Widgets are connected to each other via 'Wires'. Backends can be accessed directly by widgets via so-called operators. After you build such a mashup and have created a useful visualization, the mashup can be published back to the FIWARE catalogue to reuse and to sell it on the internal store. FIWARE also offers 3D and Augmented Reality visualization frameworks based on HTML5, WebGL, XML3D and XLOW.

FIWARE integrates the Kurento Mediaserver in its platform. Kurento is based on WebRTC, which is a World Wide Web Consortium standard with open-source delivered from Google.  It allows, for example, to create browser communication easily. You should be able to create something like Skype easily. Kurento is implementing this standard. Kurento is an open-source platform making it possible to create a rich WebRTC and multimedia applications. For example, you will use so-called media elements, which are used for example to record videostreams. One will need one video to receive and one media element to record the stream and one will need to connect them properly. Kurento also allows to integrate augmented reality elements in videostreams and can thereby be useful for a Smart City context, e.g. by adding virtual objects like arrows to walk through a street. Thanks to these technologies, it is also possible to detect building of large groups in a city, this could be useful, for example, to direct police to large crowds assembling during concerts or sport events. Kurento is closely integrated with the OpenCV libraries, mainly aimed at real-time computer vision and is used for interactive art, to mines inspection, stitching maps on the web or through advanced robotics and backed by Intel.

As an open platform, you can use any GUI framework like javascript or php frameworks as a base and use the described generic enabler for user interaction.

FIWARE and related Smart City Applications demonstrated at the Global City Team Challenge Festival in Washington DC (USA), 1-2 June 2015

 Conference, events  Comments Off on FIWARE and related Smart City Applications demonstrated at the Global City Team Challenge Festival in Washington DC (USA), 1-2 June 2015
Jun 122015
 
FIWARE

A FIWARE delegation composed of representatives from three start-ups from the SpeedUpEurope accelerator, representatives from the City of Valencia (Spain), a representative of the energy utility company from the City of Oldenburg in Germany, as well as the project coordinator of SpeedUpEurope and a representative of FIWARE Mundus, attended the Global City Teams Challenge exhibition and workshop, which were held on 1st and 2nd June in Washington D.C., USA.

 

“The visitors seemed to be very interested in our mobile application, ‘APP Valencia’, which informs to the citizens, in real time, about everything happening in the city and shows lot of information to everyone. This kind of app is apparently not common in American cities. Other visitors were really interested also in our applications for administration (eGovernment and integrated paperless administration). The visitors asked us if we are interested in sharing our applications with other cities, and at this point, of course we are ready to share best practices and cooperate further.” Gema Roig from City of Valencia.

The exhibition on 1st June gathered more than 1,000 visitors and 65 teams demonstrating smart city applications. At the FIWARE booth, Binee UG from the “Binee” team demonstrated their smart bin and app for rewarding and improving recycling in the cities; Teamdev showed the “TripStories” smart tourism and mobility application destined at supporting a better environment; and Open Data City from “WeBuildCity” showcased their Open and 3D City Development Platform for Urban Planning. The City of Valencia (Spain) presented several applications deployed in their city, including the “App Valencia” City mobile application, the Valencia eGovernment Integrated Platform, the Valencia Smart City Platform, and the Valencia Transparency & Open Data Portal.DSC_0115

The FIWARE booth was very well attended by many visitors all throughout the day. There was a good and continuous turnout, with different profiles, from small companies to universities and cities. Most of the participants showed genuine interest in FIWARE and as a result there were some very interesting interactions, opening up potential opportunities for FIWARE and for the start-ups in the USA and for the City of Valencia for future cooperation with US cities.

A dedicated FIWARE session allowed the FIWARE team to provide the audience with more details about the platform and the ecosystem, and the smart city applications being demonstrated at the booth. As a consequence, a number of people showed up afterwards at the booth to get more details and demonstrations.

The FIWARE team also attended the workshop on 2nd June, which gathered around 100 participants. The main issue DSCF0173that was raised by the US participants was the following: most cities are applying some smart solutions in their cities in the areas of energy, transport, safety, health, etc., and universities develop small pilot trials in those domains. However the cities do not have an integrated smart city strategy although they would like to share more what they do; and the universities are looking for solutions that would allow different applications to interoperate and be tested on a larger scale in several cities. There seems to be a real need for an integrated system/platform such as FIWARE, which was explicitly mentioned several times during the workshop. This was also highlighted in the main issues that are foreseen for the upcoming NIST framework for the Global City Team Challenge 2016, which shall be defined shortly.

In conclusion, FIWARE principles have been very well received during the exhibition and the workshop, and several universities and cities showed interest in exploring it further. Let’s make this happen through FIWARE Mundus!

“As coordinator of one of the [FIWARE] accelerators, I feel personally responsible for the success of the start-ups involved. I really believe that in this matter the three start-ups made great progress. I foresee that in within the next 6-12 months, we will be able to convince much greater audiences, and to me the Washington case was a proof of this.” Olaf-Gerd Gemein, SpeedUpEurope project coordinator.

Contact: fiware-mundus-req@lists.fiware.org

Contact point for FIWARE and the project teams in the USA: Jesse.SPECTOR@eeas.europa.eu


What do participants think?

“OpenDataCity as a company attracted surprisingly much interest from different groups – surprisingly, because the US is pretty strong in the field of data visualization already. People showed interest in our work with open data from cities, and especially in our general ability to make sense of and to find stories in huge datasets. I definitely made some interesting contacts for OpenDataCity.” Lisa Ros, OpenDataCity, “WeBuildCity” team

“We have been contacted by some US universities interested in our work, which could provide us with the opportunity to extend the collaboration that we currently have with some Italian universities. We have also started a dialogue with the Italian embassy in DC that wants to promote our work in the USA. And we have had the chance to better understand the US point of view on smart cities and, generally, on the ICT theme and this will be useful for our future approach into the US market.” Andrea Cruciani, Teamdev, “TripStories” team

"It was a great opportunity for us to showcase our project in front of an international audience and we were very proud to attend the event as part of the Fiware and the SpeedUP! Europe Team. Our booth and our prototype attracted many curious visitors among which there have been several potential clients and investors. Several municipalities showed great interest and we received useful leads for other cities too. The GCTC conference was a very a positive reinforcement for us that we are on the good track and there is a strong demand for our product even in markets outside Europe. We were also able to connect with several other companies and startups who might be interesting partners for us for further technological development.” Szilvia Varszegi, binee UG, “Binee” team

“As the representative of the EWE AG from Germany and support of binee, the GTCT Expo was a great platform to pitch enera, our “Energiewende” demonstration project.  There were new and interesting things popping up that reflect current trends in the energy market & smart cities that will lead to further talks.” Florian Fischer, EWE AG, Business Development Manager enera Project, “Binee” team.

“Some great innovations, and all around a wonderful representation of European entrepreneurialism!” Jesse Spector, Policy Officer, Digital Economy & ICT at EU Delegation to the United States

“Thank you all for this opportunity to visit Washington and this conference!” Lisa Rost, OpenDataCity, WeBuildCity

“It has really been a great experience” Vicente Rodrigo, Head of Area Development and Innovation, ICT Department, City Council of Valencia

 “Thank you for this awesome opportunity!” Andrea Cruciani, TeamDev, TripStories

“It was great to be part of a larger European team, because […] the different projects reinforced each other and as a team we received more attention from the audience” Szilvia Varszegi, binee UG

WP_20150601_12_32_45_Panorama