Filipa Cardoso

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global challenge, but Europe seems determined to take the lead. This intention was made clear this Tuesday, at the start of IoT Week, taking place this week in Lisbon. On the subject of smart cities, the day was also noteworthy for the first work group (WG 8) meeting by the European Alliance for Innovation in IoT (AIOTI), launched by the EU Commission last March.

The meeting's key priorities were to identify stakeholders and relevant use cases, as well as large-scale pilot-projects (LSPs), according to Lanfranco Marasso, one of the participants. By mid-August, the WG 8 is scheduled to hand in to Brussels a document on subjects such as  technological integration, and the acceptance and validation of business models.  "Smart Cities and IoT are a revolutionary wave we can't afford to miss out on", stated the researcher.

Additionally, during the morning the European Comission announced the allocation of 100 million euros to finance six large-scale IoT pilot projects. The news was advanced by Thibaut Kleiner, the EU's Head of Unit Network Technologies.

The ways in which cities in the United States and Europe are applying IoT solutions in urban intelligence was one of the hot topics on the first day of IoT Week. At the workshop , the FIWARE open standard platform, promoted by the European Commission, presented their version of "Mundus", reflecting the efforts being made to put it to use outside Europe. Towards that goal, negotiations are being carried out with cities in Canada, the US and Africa, according to the specialist Jacques Magen. He also pointed out that 31 cities across seven European countries and Brazil joined the Open & Agile Smart Cities initiative earlier this year, with the aim of speeding up the adoption of norms for developing apps and solutions for smart cities, based on FIWARE technology. And that's not all: "There are 25 new cities interested in joining the second wave, which has its deadline on August 31st", revealed Magen.

From the other side of the Atlantic, Chris Greer, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), shared the North American vision and example. "The notion of IoT has shifted a lot since it began, and its evolution is very different from what we saw with the Internet", he commented. "The IoT is evolving out of commercial uses, it's more about business than research", he added.

To Greer, smart cities "give the IoT a business model", as around 15% of the world's cities have a project in this field. "IoT for smart cities is a global goal, where the harmonization of norms and measures is essential", he said. He also mentioned US Ignite's Global City Teams Challenge, which is aimed at energising the development of IoT technology in smart cities/smart communities.

The IoT Week will be going on until June 18th at the Lisbon Congress Centre. The event started out as an IoT European Research Cluster (IERC) initiative, and has been held by the IoT Forum since last year. This year Lisbon was selected to be the host city, after turns by London, Helsinki, Venice and Barcelona.



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