Europe, Japan team boost smart cities with open data project

A new EU-Japan collaboration looks to take smart cities to the next level with a cloud-based open data platform.

Telecom Paper recently reported on the summer launch of the research project “City Platform-as-a-Service – integrated and open,” or CPaaS.io for short.

The EU-funded initiative is a partnership between government and private sector players in Japan and Europe, with a key role played by Bern University’s E-Government Institute.

This project comes amid increased interest in collaboration between smart cities around the globe.

The collaboration aims to develop cloud-based urban data infrastructure that will be used as a key foundation that smart cities can be built on.

The experimental platform will work toward linking such technologies as big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing with Linked Open Data and open government data. This will allow cities and private firms to develop 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 digitized 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,” according to the project website.

Creating a platform-as-a-service?

Project proponents stressed the focus of the platform to act as a service solution.

“Flexibility and elasticity will be key principles in the design of the architecture in order to support the deployment in many different cities with differing requirements, both regarding use cases, services and operational aspects,” said the site. “The platform will also annotate such inherently unreliable IoT data with quality parameters, so that applications can decide if the data quality is good enough to be used.”

As the platform is rolled out, it will be validated in cities currently possessing advanced Open Data capability. Currently the European cities involved include Amsterdam, Zurich and Murcia, while Japanese locations include Tokyo, Sapporo and Yokosuka.

The two-and-half year project is being run by Bern University and Japan’s YRP Ubiquitous Networking Laboratory. Other European players involved include NEC, Odin Solutions, Europe AGT, The Things Network, the University of Surrey and Europe AGT. Japanese partners include Microsoft Japan, the University of Tokyo, Japan Access Co. and Ubiquitous Computing Technology Corp.

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