EU-Japan project to develop open data platform for smart cities

A collaborative project between Europe and Japan aims to develop a cloud-based open platform that can form the basis for a smart city data infrastructure.

The platform will link technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and cloud with open government data and linked data approaches. This will allow cities and private firms to provide new applications and services for the public and businesses.

“The platform — operated by or on behalf of a city — thus forms the basis for an open digitised society, making the city more attractive for its citizens and new businesses, and also helping the city in streamlining and improving its own governmental processes and services,” the project website explains.

The EU-funded project is called ‘City Platform-as-a-Service – integrated and open’, or CPaaS.io. It is being coordinated by the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Europe, and by the YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory in Japan.

European coordinator Stephan Haller from the Bern University of Applied Sciences discussed the benefits of such a platform: “It contributes strongly to urban innovation and strengthens the attractiveness and competitiveness of the city. By providing open data, it possibly attracts additional businesses. And the platform empowers the individual citizen to gain control about his or her data and to define, who is allowed to use which data how.”

The practical relevance of the platform will be tested in cities that already have experience with open data. In Europe these are Amsterdam, Murcia and Zurich, and in Japan Sapporo, Tokyo and Yokosuka.

Other European partners in the two and a half year project are AGT, NEC, Odin Solutions, The Things Network and the University of Surrey. Japanese partners include ACCESS Co., Microsoft Japan, Ubiquitous Computing Technology Corporation and the University of Tokyo.

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