FIWARE: ShAPIng Smart Cities

OASC Secretariat

May 14, 2019



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Creating the baselines for a digital market of replicable solutions for smart cities, the Front-Runner Smart Cities program involves over 11 cities from Europe as well as cities from Argentina and Uruguay. In our interview at Connected Smart Cities Conference 2019 (CSCC19), FIWARE CEO Ulrich Ahle explains the objectives of the program, which has been launched at Smart City Expo World Congress 2018.


At CSCC19, experts discussed how to improve the quality of life of citizens with data-driven innovation. One initiative that gained attention is the Front-Runner Smart Cities Program. It is a joint collaboration between the FIWARE Foundation and, TM Forum, the global association focused on digital transformation.

The idea of the program is to provide the underlying technology for solutions which are replicable and reusable in cities across the world. To achieve this objective, Ahle explains that the frontrunner program has two major elements:

  1. Open APIs, and
  2. Common Data Models

Open APIs help to define a simple way to send or request data in a format that many innovators can easily adopt. The frontrunner program is using the recently published ETSI NGSI-LD specification, which is one of the OASC Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms and based on FIWARE.

Common data models are standardised ways to structure data for all areas which can be digitised within a city, such as waste management, lighting, and mobility. Ahle explains that:

“…having the same API – knowing how to transfer data, and having the same data models – so which data to transfer, makes it much easier to replicate solutions from one city to the other…”

The FIWARE CEO states that this collaborative approach with the cities is implementation-driven and hopes that together with the cities, FIWARE will be able to raise the quality of life of citizens through better digital services. He adds that various EU-funded projects are also key factors in the digital innovation ecosystem scheme. Projects like SynchroniCity, funded by the European Commission, apply the same APIs and common data models to scale up these solutions on a larger scale.

“SynchroniCity is one of the drivers here to bring digital solutions into the city.”


Visit our website next Tuesday when we will share what TM Forum VP of APIs and Ecosystems, Joanne O’Brien, will have to say about the Front-Runner Smart Cities program.

Check out our other posts from the CSCC2019 Interview Series: