FIA session VI: Smart Cities

FIA Ghent / Future Internet Conference Week 13-17 December 2010

Session VI: Smart Cities and Future Internet Experimentation;
Thursday 16th December 2010, 14.30 – 16.30

Organizers: Alex Gluhak (University of Surrey), Michael Nilsson (CDT), Hans Schaffers (ESoCE Net), Nicos Komninos (University of Thessaloniki)

1.      Introduction

Since the last two successful sessions in Stockholm and Valencia, the Smart Cities topic has further increased its importance in the landscape of European Future Internet research. As a result of these sessions, there is a growing consensus that Smart Cities can serve as an excellent catalyst for Future Internet research and experimentation, as they form very dense social ecosystems that heavily rely on Internet technology and in turn Internet technology and applications heavily influence social interactions. Smart cities act as innovation ecosystems, as they shape environments of open and user driven innovation, acting as an invaluable source of challenging functional and non-functional requirements from a variety of problem domains, pushing the boundaries for Future Internet technologies through experimenting on demanding applications in domains such as health and care, energy management, transport and mobility, e-business and e-government, and social and business networks. Smart cities provide the necessary critical mass of experimental businesses, local governments and citizens as end-users of advanced applications that is required for testing of Future Internet technologies, early deployment and market adoption and can serve as an excellent incubator for the development of a diverse set of highly innovative services, applications and new business activities.

Smart Cities topic is truly cross-cutting as it combines a variety of different application domains and required Future Internet technologies in a dense urban environment. It is in the Smart Cities where the initial impact of the Future Internet through their advanced applications will be most visible to European citizens and direct feedback from EU citizens on Future Internet technology and applications can be obtained. Consequently a variety of different initiatives are emerging this year in the area, such as the FIREBALL and FIRESTATION co-ordination and support actions, the Smart Santander smart-city experimental facility or the several smart city pilots funded under Call 4 of the CIP ICT Policy Support Programme. The importance of Smart Cities for Europe’s Future Internet and the Digital agenda has also been highlighted by Commissioner Neelie Kroes in a recent speech [1].

2.      Session objectives

The session aims to bring together interested members from different FIA communities, Living Labs and the Smart Cities community in order to jointly explore the experimentation requirements with Future Internet technologies in a city and urban environment, the capabilities and resources offered by existing smart city platforms and living labs facilities, and the potential of the planned Smart City pilots to establish open and user driven innovation environments for experimenting on the Future Internet. It aims to bridge the gap between Future Internet research, city and citizens requirements and the required smart-city based experimental facilities and living labs approaches. While not solving all of these problems in a 2h time frame, the session aims to serve as catalyst for longer lasting exchange and collaboration between the different communities and raise the awareness of real life experimentation possibilities and pilots requirements to benefit Future Internet innovation as well as urban and city development.

3.      Session programme

Adapting the successful format from the last Smart City session in Valencia, the session is structured in two parts, focusing on:

1)      The role of experimental and innovation facilities for Smart Cities and the challenges to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders;

2)      Effective models of collaboration across communities to exploit available experimental facilities and innovation methods provided by the different communities and stakeholders.

Each part has a duration of 60 minutes. Each part starts with two key note presentations of 15 minutes each, followed by a 30 minutes moderated panel discussion with the session participants. Each panellist will have the opportunity for a brief introduction, then comment on the key note presentations (3 minutes in total). Then the floor is open for discussion with audience and panel.

1)      Experimentation and Innovation Facilities for Smart Cities – Opportunities and Needs

Moderator: Alex Gluhak  (University of Surrey)

Key note:  Michael Börjeson (CDT),  Margarete C. Donovan-Kuhlisch  (IBM)

Panellists:  Timo Lahnalampi (DIMES, Firestation); José M. Hernández-Muñoz  (Telefónica, SmartSantander); Alvaro Oliveira  (Alfamicro, Fireball / Periphéria); Esteve Almirall (Esade, Open Cities / Fireball), Martin Bryskov (Aarhus University)

Abstract: The objective of this session is to gain an understanding of the gap between on the one hand facilities and methodologies available for experimentation in FIRE and living lab communities, and on the other hand Future Internet technology experimentation requirements and priorities and real needs arising in today’s cities. Using some examples, the session will explore the difficulties faced by providers of experimental facilities to cater towards the need of multiple stakeholders such as FIRE researchers, service providers and end users such as cities and their citizens. Apart from creating awareness among participants, it will explore new ways of how existing facilities and methodologies for experimentation and innovation can be adopted and integrated to suit better the needs of the respective communities.

Instruction for keynote speakers of Part 1 and background for panellists

Both keynotes should provide a complementary view of the experimentation and innovation facilities from different angles (technology push vs. demand pull). The first key note comes more from a city perspective, reflecting on experiences with living labs in the context of the city. The presentation is ideally expected to cover the following:

  • The motives, why cities feel the need to get engaged in experimentation with technology in the context of innovation environments established in cities?
  • What are typical examples of currently ongoing experimentation? How do they benefit cities?
  • What are the currently most useful methodologies utilised? Examples of results?
  • What are the most difficult challenges faced for experimentation in urban contexts?

The second keynote comes from the perspective of Future Internet technology provider, reflecting experiences in experimenting with advanced Internet technology in Smart City environments. The presentation is ideally expected to cover the following:

  • The opportunities companies as Future Internet technology providers see for experimentation in Smart City environments. The role of citizens and businesses play their role in innovation.
  • What are typical examples of ongoing experimentation with advanced Future Internet technology? What are lessons learned?
  • What are the currently most useful methodologies for experimentation utilised?
  • What are the most difficult challenges faced with experimentation in such city environments.

2)      Collaboration requirements and opportunities in the Future Internet, Living Labs and Smart City communities

Moderator: Michael Nilsson, Luleå University of Technology

Key notes: Hans Schaffers (ESoCE Net, Fireball), Pieter Ballon  (IBBT)

Panellists:  Nicos Komninos  (URENIO, Fireball); Heikki Huomo (Centre of Internet Excellence), Max Lemke (DG INFSO & Media), Nick Wainwright HP Labs), Kimmo Ojuva (DIMES, PII)

Abstract: Different communities are involved in working towards smart cities and Internet innovation ecosystems, in particular city development organisations, citizens and companies, research organisations and companies involved in Future Internet research and experimentation, and living labs innovation initiatives. This session focuses on opportunities for synergy and collaboration across these communities, and how collaboration models within the innovation ecosystem of cities can be realized enabling cities to benefit from available facilities and know-how. Emerging models of collaboration to establish such urban innovation ecosystems will be discussed, with a view towards how different parties involved share their resources – such as experimentation facilities, living labs facilities, technologies, know-how, and user communities – to engage in effective, open and user-driven collaboration towards smart cities.

Instruction for keynote speakers of Part 2 and background for panellists

The keynotes provide a perspective on potential collaboration opportunities from the viewpoints of smart cities, living labs and future internet research and experimentation. They will discuss emerging examples of such collaboration, making clear the different interests, resources and needs for such collaboration and requirements or conditions to strengthen such collaboration.

The first keynote starts from the perspective of urban development towards smart cities and creating sustainable urban innovation ecosystems. Topics to address include:

  • Collaboration models, partnerships and their perspectives, from the point of view of creating sustainable innovation ecosystems for urban development.
  • Examples of initial collaboration models, their weaknesses and strengths, and potential for the future.
  • What is the role of living labs environments in such collaboration models, experiences so far.
  • Adapting such collaboration models to include the potential benefits of future internet research and experimentation.

The second keynote takes its point of departure in achievements of the Future Internet research and experimentation projects including experimental facilities. From that perspective  the keynote explores the linkages to urban-level living labs as models of urban innovation ecosystems, and the way experimentation facilities may interact and collaborate to create synergies with living labs. Topics include:

  • How may FIRE and related experimental facilities become part of urban innovation ecosystems and which collaboration and partnership models will be needed to exploit the synergies;
  • What are interesting examples of large-scale facilities for testing and validation in urban innovation contexts (e.g. education, health) and what would be the perspective to contribute to urban-level innovation;
  • How may FIRE benefit from user engagement methodologies of living labs to strengthen urban innovation ecosystems, and could living labs and FIRE work together in this respect.


  • [1] Neelie Kroes,  European Commissioner for Digital agenda , “The critical role of cities in making the Digital Agenda a reality”, Closing speech to Global Cities Dialogue Spring Summit of Mayors Brussels, 28 May 2010
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