Smart Cities and IoT enabled city services used to focus very much on the technology deployed, rather than the cities and citizens whose lives it was supposed to improve. That has now changed , and the next challenge the Smart City market faces is how to replicate and scale IoT enabled city services across further cities and domains.
SynchroniCity is is built around answering that very question. Put in its simplest terms: can data-driven solutions purpose-built for one city be developed to work for them all?
SynchroniCity believes it can be done, and started work in February, when it welcomed 18 cities and 40 companies – which were selected through a competitive process out of more than 130 company-led groups – to Future City Catapult’s Urban Innovation Centre in London.
There they started work on redefining the social and economic potential of new services using Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Europe and beyond by giving a real answer to that question. And over the coming six months they will roll out a massive wave of new services with 49 market deployments to be implemented in 18 cities.
These 49 new services will help cities and communities tackle key development areas – sustainable mobility, energy and building management, air quality, and agile, inclusive governance – and were selected based on their economic viability and capacity to scale using the standards-based and city-centric approach of SynchroniCity. Most critically though these services will demonstrate how other cities and communities can lead their own sustainable uptake of IoT- and AI-based solutions to provide better, more efficient and cost-effective services.
The current Smart City market is fragmented, and the risk profile for investment is challenging. By using a common technical foundation based on best practice and emerging standards – the so called Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs) – SynchroniCity helps break down market barriers to a global market that has the agility to serve local needs. And whilst enabling data and services exchange between public and private entities in a safe, secure and respectful way is core to success, SynchroniCity is about much more than creating local IoT infrastructure partnerships based on global dynamics. By creating input for policy and validating global standards for other cities and suppliers, SynchroniCity will help delineate good services across sectors and countries.
The approach of SynchroniCity is based on the Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) principles. They de-risk investments in IoT- and AI-enabled services, by allowing innovation to work hand-in-hand with public procurement of operation, thereby bringing cities and communities safely through the digital transformation.
Martin Brynskov, chair of the Open & Agile Smart Cities network is lead and coordinator of SynchroniCity. He explains: “The 18 cities launching 49 services this week during our Bootcamp in London is a fantastic turning point for SynchroniCity. But in fact, this is just the first of what we see as a new, booming market for IoT- and AI-enabled services based on the needs of cities and communities.”
“All pilots are based on the Open & Agile Smart Cities minimal interoperability mechanisms, adopted last month by the OASC Council of Cities with more than 100 member cities globally. The pilots are concretely adding to the converging global market by addressing current market failures and de-risking investments,” he elaborates.
Follow the businesses and Cities making this transformation at synchronicity-iot.eu/
SynchroniCity is a European IoT Large-Scale Pilot funded by the European Commission. It aims to open up a global market for IoT-enabled services for cities and communities, where public authorities and businesses develop and deploy services using new technologies in agile partnerships to sustain and improve the lives of citizens, and to ensure sustainable local economic development. The SynchroniCity project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 732240, and it is part of 104m€ Large Scale Pilots Programme. 38 partners worldwide from business, academia, municipalities and NGOs are contributing to the project.
Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) is a non-profit, international smart city network that has the goal of creating and shaping the nascent global smart city data and services market. OASC connects 124 smart cities globally organised in national networks from 24 countries and regions. OASC and its members strive to establish the Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms (MIMs) needed to create a smart city market. More information on www.oascities.org
For more information about SynchroniCity
Francesca Spagnoli, +32 264148547, firstname.lastname@example.org, European Network of Living Labs, QHHQ – Quadruple Helix Headquarters, Pleinlaan 9, 1050, Brussels, Belgium
For more information about Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC)
Lea Hemetsberger, +32 498111594, email@example.com, Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC), QHHQ – Quadruple Helix Headquarters, Pleinlaan 9, 1050 Brussels, Belgium