Launched: Front-Runner Smart Cities Program

Lea Hemetsberger

Nov 14, 2018


Argentina | Austria | France | Italy | Netherlands | Portugal | Spain

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The FIWARE Foundation and TM Forum – the global not-for-profit association focused on digital transformation – announced a joint collaboration program to support the adoption of a reference architecture and compatible common data models that underpin a digital market of interoperable and replicable solutions for smart cities. The cities OASC member cities Vienna (Austria), Saint Quentin (France), Genoa (Italy), Utrecht (Netherlands), Porto (Portugal), Santander, and Valencia (Spain), as well as the cities Nice (France), Gothenburg (Sweden), La Plata (Argentina), and Montevideo (Uruguay) have joined the program, with an open invitation to other cities to join.

Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) will collaborate with the program. “OASC supports this effort to create consistent data models as the result of collaboration between the industry and cities like in the European IoT Large Scale Pilots. The OASC Council of Cities can contribute demand-side validation processes, as well as new models and best practices.” says Martin Brynskov, OASC Chair. OASC is focused on Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs), such as Smart City Common Data Models, as enablers for a global digital single market for data-driven services for cities and communities.

Frederique Macarez, Mayor of the City of Saint Quentin, said: “While Saint Quentin is a medium-sized city with 56.000 inhabitants, it is active on the international level. The city is a member of Open & Agile Smart Cities, acts as a local digital innovation hub, and cooperates with the telecoms association TM Forum to define the City as a Platform standard. Therefore, Saint-Quentin is interesting to join and participate in this new and ambitious collaborative program led by TM Forum and FIWARE”.

The reference architecture uses the FIWARE NGSI (Next Generation Service Interface) API and TM Forum Open APIs for interoperability and scalability of city solutions. The FIWARE Context Broker technology, implementing the FIWARE NGSI API, provides the basis for breaking information silos within the city, creating a real time view and foundation for overall city-data governance. This API has provided the basis for, and it will align with, the future NGSI-LD standard to be published by ETSI. Combined with TM Forum Open APIs, data publication platforms can support cities to realise the potential of real-time open data, easing development of innovative solutions by third parties. In addition, cities can evolve their current open data policies towards a ‘city as a platform’ vision supporting the data economy. This way, the proposed reference architecture is ready to solve the needs of cities today while future-proofing for tomorrow’s requirements.

“As the number of cities deploying smart city platforms powered by FIWARE grows, the need for a collaboration program like this has become evident” explained Ulrich Ahle, CEO, FIWARE Foundation. “Joining forces with TM Forum brings more answers to the need for concrete and practical standards” he said. “Specifications will evolve to become TM Forum deliverables, thus gaining in trust and wider market adoption” said Joann O’Brien, TM Forum’s Vice President of Ecosystems & Labs. “My ambition is to build on the success of the Forum’s Open API program, in our continued style of open collaboration working with other organisations and communities to deliver the essential industry assets for interoperability and scalability”, continued O’Brien.

Smart City Common Data Models will be public and royalty-free and validated through projects implemented in cities where a platform aligned with the defined architecture is previously deployed. Specifications will be considered stable as soon as enough cities have validated them in practice. This will help to curate defined models following a driven-by-implementation process. Stable specifications will become TM Forum formal deliverables following TM Forum’s defined processes, demonstrating support of the wider industry and city communities.

“We feel very excited about this movement, which complements the work we are doing within the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) program at the European Commission, since the FIWARE Context Broker technology is being integrated as a new CEF Building Block” says Daniele Rizzi, Principal Administrator and Policy officer at European Commission. Public Administrations within the European Union are recommended to adopt CEF Building Blocks so that their Digital Service Infrastructures can seamlessly support cross-border services. “Smart Cities are called to serve as infrastructures on top of which digital services supporting the daily life of people and operations of businesses are deployed. Smart Cities standards will enable that smart parking or air quality applications can work the same multiple cities across borders”, Daniele Rizzi explained.

Vienna (Austria), Nice, Saint Quentin (France), Genoa (Italy), Utrecht (Netherlands), Porto (Portugal), Santander, Valencia (Spain), Gothenburg (Sweden), La Plata (Argentina), Montevideo (Uruguay) have already joined the program and others have express their interest to attend the kick-off meeting that will be organised on November 28th during the 5th FIWARE Summit in Málaga. Regular virtual and face-to-face meetings, programmed during major TM Forum and FIWARE events, will be programmed in 2019.

The original press release has been published by FIWARE Foundation and TM Forum on 12 November 2018