Antonio Jara, CEO at HOPU, speaker at the Smart City Eye Executive Programme of the Austral University of Argentina

Conference on integration of Air Quality monitoring solutions for smart cities and the role of Open Technologies

SMARTCITYEYE

Dr. Antonio Jara, CEO at HOPU, participated last October 7th as a speaker in the Executive Program “Smart City Eye – Discovering Intelligent Cities”, which is part of the Smart City Diploma of the School of Government, Politics and International Relations of the  Austral University of Argentina. The session was led by Gonzalo de la Rosa, director of the Institute Cities of the Future.

This executive programme is focused in a practical perspective, where the intention is to discover and analyze smart city models and good practices in the management of cities around the world, in specific those that have already begun their transformation processes towards smart and sustainable cities, aligning themselves with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), technology and innovation.

As an expert in solutions for the creation of smart and sustainable cities, Antonio reported on the integration of solutions for air quality measurement for smart cities and the role of open technologies, such as FIWARE, in European cities, including use cases, such as Madrid with the Madrid Central project.

A new investment model  has emerged in cities

Antonio highlighted the existence of a new model of investment by cities, which addresses the current need for executing their investment as if they were companies, seeking optimum returns and guaranteeing objectives, considering socio-economic aspects and the vulnerability of minorities. Furthermore, he highlighted the commitment of the urban authorities with respect to energy saving, emissions reduction and the reduction of socio-economic gaps, whose results must be demonstrated with indicators and data that show that the established SDG are actually being met.

coloquio universidad austral

Among the new investment instruments, the so-called Green Deal stands out, which is led by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Its main characteristic is that is worth one trillion euros to achieve a green and sustainable European continent by 2030.

“Cities are being penalized for failing to address their air quality and pollution issues tangentially, which must be in line with the new European regulations on Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and urban health”

In this context, a lack of evidence through contextual data has been detected. These data allow cities to understand their environment and identify the main sources of pollution in the different areas of the city, such as gases (SO2, NO, NO2, CO, O3…), particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM10), influx of people, noise pollution and even climate data.

Avoiding penalties for non-compliance with European air quality regulations has therefore become one of the main priorities in cities. That is why cities, such as Madrid, are investing in the development of highly disruptive air quality monitoring solutions through public procurement for innovation, in order to address the lack of data quality of other existing solutions. In this way, the creation of new value-added services is sought, such as Low Emission Zones, Pollution Source Service, Pollen Service, SDG, or Urban Health.

“From 2021, cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will be obliged to create LEZ programmes and restricted mobility areas, in order to keep aligned with their SDG”

New solutions to offer contextual data from cities and powered by algorithms. In specific, these solutions are based on dashboards and visualization tools that allow a simple and agile integration, offering data in form of liveability indicators both for citizens and city managers. These integrated data can come from multiple data sources, such as satellite (Sentinel, Copernicus, etc.) or local reference stations for in situ monitoring, all of which can be integrated into smart platforms such as FIWARE, a leader in Europe, based on open standards and supported by multiple organizations, such as the OASC and IoT companies, such as HOPU.

Finally, Antonio stressed the importance of the integration of services for urban planning based on contextual data so that urban authorities can detect their main urban challenges, which can be monitored to check the effectiveness of the sustainable development initiatives carried out. In this way, it is possible to speed up urban design processes, access new funding and offer reliable high-quality data to support informed decision making and allow traceability of the evolution of the urban environment.

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Stand de HOPU en Green Cities

HOPU presents at Green Cities its solutions for sustainable cities

GREEN CITIES: FORUM OF URBAN INTELLIGENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

On October 30 and September 1, the ’11th Forum of Urban Intelligence and Sustainability Greencities’ was held in the city of Malaga, a reference meeting for all the agents involved in the construction of Sustainable and Smart Cities, attracting companies and professionals of the sector throughout the European Union.

Despite the effects of COVID-19 and travel restrictions, Greencities 2020 has gathered 1,569 participants from more than 20 countries. During the 2 days of the event, 220 national and international experts have participated in roundtables and presentations, where they have focused on the tools and services available to cities to address their transformation towards a Smart City. A total of 53 cities have attended Greencities with the aim of learning about the latest developments for sustainable and Smart Cities, holding meetings with leading companies in the IoT sector.

HOPU has participated actively in this event presenting its catalog of products for monitoring air quality, noise and influx of people, as well as its service of indicators for decision making. In this event, HOPU has interacted with different municipalities of great relevance in the national scene, detecting their needs. The monitoring of air quality, the fight against Climate Change and actions around the European Green Deal and their impact on the cities are only some of the concerns that various Town Hall members have shared with us during the event.

HOPU IN GREEN CITIES 2020

HOPU en Green Cities 2020
Meeting of HOPU at Green Cities 2020

As Gold member of the FIWARE Foundation, in this edition HOPU has participated in Greencities through the FIWARE hub, together with companies from the innovation sector such as HST (Germany), EGM (France) and Eridanis (France), among others partners that develop their tools using FIWARE technology.

During the Greencities forum we have presented to town and regional councils our solutions to support cities to combat Climate Change from the support for decision making, responsible investment and action plans based on innovative technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for agile decision making based on environmental data. 

Green Deal: Sustainability Development Indicators

In our space in the forum we exposed the last news of the Smart Spot, our IoT device for environmental monitoring for Smart Cities. As a device adaptable to the needs of the entity, they allow monitoring different environmental factors such as air quality (gases and suspended particles), temperature, humidity and noise, as well as influx of people in an area and the integration of meteorological stations to collect data such as temperature, humidity, speed and wind direction, among others. This device already offers an accuracy of more than 90% in the data collected, assuming a high-quality solution on the market, with great versatility in terms of monitored parameters.

The second great novelty presented in Green Cities was our indicator service, a visualization tool that allows cross-checking data obtained both by our Smart Spot devices and other relevant data sources such as social data, utilities, open data or satellite data. Thanks to the AI ​​developed by HOPU and through this combination of different data sources, the visualizer generates indicators that allow urban planners to make informed and clear decisions based on all the data of the territory (Big Data).

The first step in the development of a Smart City is the detection of the city’s needs through the preparation of the Master Plan, a task for which a consulting service is required. From HOPU we are immersed working in this field with cities such as Las Torres de Cotillas (Murcia), where we are taking an detailed analysis to know the current state of the city to mark a roadmap in its transit to a Smart City.

An agenda of activities throughout the event

During the event we participated in the Elevator Pitch of Climate KIC Spain, accelerator of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), where we presented the initiatives promoted by HOPU that are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The passage of HOPU through Climate KIC has served the company to implement new business models, expanding our services to consulting and advisory work to help the administration when it comes to implementing actions aimed at urban sustainability.

In our pitch we present experiences in cities such as Madrid and Cartagena where HOPU solutions are a tool that contribute to the fulfillment of the SDGs. Thanks to air quality monitoring sensors and our real-time data visualization platform, municipalities can plan actions to reduce the environmental impact of cities, with particular attention to air quality in order to fight against Climate Change and curb the emission of Greenhouse gases and other harmful gases.

Presentación Elevator Pitch en Green Cities 2020
Presentation in the Elevator Pitch of Green Cities 2020

In more specialized areas, we participated in the presentation promoted by FIWARE called Integrating Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies in Smart Cities (https://youtu.be/sqKgq1jXa7I), where we exposed our pilot made in the program Blockchers, With Alastria to certify environmental data in the industry, carried out together with the Lisanplast company. In this pilot we have monitored the air quality in the work environment in the industrial activity to protect the health of its workers and comply with the necessary regulations in the work environment.

Antonio Jara, CEO of HOPU, participated in two round tables focused on sustainability and environment, presenting the usefulness of indicators to combat Climate Change. In addition, in the Green Point space he presented the results of specific deployments such as the monitoring of the air quality in Cartagena and Madrid in real time where by filtering data such as PM particles, harmful gases and meteorological information with Artificial Intelligence algorithms we identify the origins of the main sources of emissions in the city and offer the administration tools for decision making.

Antonio Jara durante su ponencia en el Green Point
Antonio Jara during his presentation at Green Point

FIWARE PLATFORM at GREEN CITIES

HOPU participated in Green Cities as a member of FIWARE, an open source initiative promoted by the European Union to standardize the applications and development of Smart Cities. During the forum we presented to local and regional councils the work that we carry out from the FIWARE community: making it easier for cities to easily adapt Smart City platforms and take advantage of the work already carried out. In this way, initiatives that have already worked in other cities can be replicated, allowing municipalities to save considerable effort and financial resources. The objective of the companies that work with FIWARE technology is to create a great community around the platform that promotes solutions for Smart Cities, improving life quality of citizens.

HOPU is a Gold Member of the FIWARE FOUNDATION, collaborating in the development of a Digital Single Market that facilitates the development and innovation of Smart Cities through our IoT sensors and our visualization tool, sharing the data obtained through Open Standards. Our CEO Antonio Jara is also a member of the Board of Directors of the foundation.

HOPU WINNER OF FIWARE CHALLENGE IOT 2020 IN GREEN CITIES

One of the surprises during GreenCities was the announcement of the winning company of the FIWARE Challenge, where the proposal of HOPU was selected to diagnose and predict the environmental impact of the Port of Algeciras (Cadiz, Spain). 

FIWARE ZONE reto IoT HOPU
Air Quality in Puerto de Algeciras

The jury comprised of Telefónica, the Port of Algeciras Bay Authority (APBA) and FIWARE Zone selected our proposal among 9 finalists, where we are going to deploy more than 130 sensors distributed in 25 locations to monitor air quality, noise and climate and 1 water quality sensor to measure aspects such as marine flora, contaminants in water, salinity, dissolved solids, pH and turbidity, relevant to have a complete vision of the environment both in air and water.

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HOPU ganador reto FIWARE

HOPU will monitor air quality, noise and water quality in the Port of Algeciras with FIWARE

HOPU proposal has been the winner of the challenge proposed by FIWARE Zone and promoted by Telefónica and La Junta de Andalucía.

On Thursday, October 1st at the 11th GreenCities Forum in Malaga, the winner of the FIWARE Zone IoT 2020 challenge for the diagnosis and prediction of the environmental impact of the Port of Algeciras Bay was made official. A jury formed by Telefonica, the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA) and FIWARE Zone has selected the proposal of the company HOPU from the 9 finalists to monitor and control the levels of air quality, noise and water quality in the Port of Algeciras.

FIWARE Zone is a non-profit public-private initiative of the Ministry of Economy, Knowledge, Business and University of the Andalusian Regional Government and Telefónica to support and promote intelligent solutions for the development of Smart Cities, Industry 4.0 and Smart Agrifood. They carry out different actions such as training, technological consultancy, talks, mentoring, access to European funds and support for the deployment of pilots. 

Based on its lines of action, FIWARE Zone raised last September the need for the APBA for a solution to monitor and predict the environmental impact of the Port of Algeciras with an investment of up to 100,000 euros. To do this, it opened a call for proposals which ended last September 10th.

More than 130 IoT sensors for air quality, noise and water quality to monitor port activity in Algeciras.

HOPU is a company dedicated to Smart Cities and Smart Destinations with headquarters in the Region of Murcia, and branches in different areas of Spain such as Valencia, Malaga and Madrid. Its main product is a high-precision IoT device called Smart Spot that monitors air quality, detecting harmful and greenhouse gases suspended particles such as dust and pollen, volatile organic compounds (odours), and other parameters such as noise, people flow and weather. All these sensors in a single device provide cost savings in management, maintenance and installation. These devices allow real-time data to be measured at specific points in the port to provide a comprehensive view of air quality and the most affected areas.

Smart Spot en Cartagena
Smart Spot installed in Cartagena (Region of Murcia)

For the project in the Port of Algeciras, HOPU will deploy over 130 sensors distributed in 25 locations to monitor air quality, noise and climate and water quality probe to measure aspects such as marine flora, water pollutants, salinity, dissolved solids, pH and turbidity, relevant to have a complete view of the environment in both air and water.

With experience in more than 30 cities, HOPU is making the leap to Smart Ports, a growing market of ports that take advantage of the potential of technology to update their management systems, looking for a more sustainable, efficient and resilient focus.

 

Artificial Intelligence and sustainability indicators for Smart Ports

Based on the challenge posed, HOPU will design a data visualization tool tailored to the needs of the Port of Algeciras. To do this, it will use data from its devices together with other data sources already available in the Port of Algeciras such as light pollution, satellite monitoring data (Copernicus), ocean-meteorological data from projects such as SAMPA and SAFEPORT and data from the Ministry’s Geoportal. Thanks to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that HOPU has already developed for other use cases, this data visualizer will show indicators of the environmental status in real-time as well as predictions, allowing the APBA to make decisions based on relevant data, allowing more efficient and sustainable management of the port.

 

Visualización indicadores HOPU
An initial approach to indicator visualization

The proposed platform makes use of open technologies promoted by the European Commission such as those provided by FIWARE, a foundation that provides different open source software modules for the creation of technological solutions. One of the main components used is the FIWARE CEF Broker, the central brain of the platform that manages all the data and ensures the full compatibility of the HOPU platform with the entire European ecosystem. HOPU is an active member of the FIWARE Foundation as a Gold Member and is a member of the Foundation’s board of directors.

 

“The ambition of this project is to generate a model of the impact of the daily actions of the Port of Algeciras and surrounding areas, based on the different data, using innovative techniques of deep learning such as long and short term memory networks, identifying anomalies and events that have increased or reduced the impact of these factors on the environment”. Antonio J. Jara, CEO of HOPU

This visualizer based on quality data will make it possible to forecast the impact and support strategies to promote sustainability through the evidence for defining action plans. This work is contextualised within the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health in All Policies (HiAP) discipline to promote well-being and its connection to climate change mitigation measures such as the European Union’s Green Deal.

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Industry 4.0 & Blockchain

HOPU certifies its air quality and noise data for Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities

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The new challenge of the Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities sector: Certified and quality data

The press and media at the European level are already echoing the recent approval of the European Green Deal, which sets the challenge of being neutral in greenhouse emissions by 2050. Smart Cities have already begun this transition, working on identifying their main sources of pollution for the development of sustainability strategies.

Environmental control also affects Industry 4.0 at different levels, the emission of gases into the ozone layer that affects the population, and the generation of harmful components of air in the working area, which directly interfere with workers’ health.

On a large scale, relevant measures are being taken to control and reduce air emissions thanks to regulations such as EN 13725 on odor control, but in the working environment, more thorough monitoring with monitoring systems is needed. These systems must allow for the detection of dangerous situations at an early stage in order to protect employees and justify compliance with regulations such as the Environmental and Occupational Therapy Law.

 

“In Industry gas emissions mean more than 7M deaths per year in the world and a dedication of 1,600M euros in sanctions” Iris Cuevas, Chemical Engineer at HOPU. 

 

In order to control this situation, quality control campaigns of the working environment are being carried out by certification companies, through specific inspections. However, these are concrete measures to comply with current regulations. This type of industry requires a system that certifies in real-time that its workers have been in a space free of components that are harmful to health, in accordance with the health parameters established for each one. In this way, they will be able to detect harmful situations at the time and take the necessary measures to protect their workers.

 

First Blockchain pilot for air quality in Industry 4.0

Thanks to HOPU’s experience in developing air quality monitoring systems for Smart Cities we have a solid product for measuring greenhouse and harmful gases, suspended particles, odors, and noise, with an accuracy of over 90%. 

Air quality measurements in the industry should always set an example in terms of rigor and certification as this data has a very relevant impact and serves to make critical decisions in the surrounding business fabric. 

This is where HOPU proposes a technological innovation to meet this need for monitoring the health of the working environment in real-time. By using the potential of the Blockchain, HOPU is certifying and protecting the data collected by its air quality monitoring devices for use in Industry 4.0. In this way, the industry can verify real-time control of the area to satisfy the regulations regarding the working environment with certified data and justify critical decisions in the environment.

Thanks to Blockchers, a research group working to promote the use of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies) in European companies, HOPU is executing its first pilot deployment to validate this Blockchain certificate. With this pilot and our knowledge in the technological and environmental sector, HOPU is expanding its area of action towards the Industrial 4.0. market and improving its services for Smart Cities. This validation is being carried out in the Lisanplast plastic factory, which seeks to ensure that the work environment is suitable for pregnant and nursing women and to monitor the health of employees.

 

Industry 4.0 & Blockchain
Industry 4.0 & Blockchain

 

The pilot consists of continuous monitoring of data from the working environment through the Smart Spot HOPU devices, using open technologies such as FIWARE´s  CEF Context Broker, to analyze this data and detect anomalies and events. For this development, HOPU is using the B Besu Alastria network, which is regulated and compatible with the European network. In this way, compliance with regulations in the workspace is verified, a calculation of total emissions is provided and all this in an accessible and intuitive interface to access the data in real-time and in history.

 

According to Lisanplast’s prevention regulations, workers were only required to wear masks and earplugs at specific locations in the factory. When we installed the HOPU sensors and saw the measurements of noise and airborne dust in the work area, we presented this data to the prevention company as it was certified and verified. Based on this, the standard of wearing helmets and earplugs was imposed throughout the factory, the number of areas where it is mandatory to wear a mask was increased and the mask was replaced by a more protective one” Pedro Cava, I+D & Marketing department at Lisanplast

 

This technology allows demonstrating the reliability of the data provided by the HOPU devices, detecting anomalies in the data. In addition, this process checks and certifies that the data conforms to the most demanding regulations.

 

Dispositivos de calidad del aire de HOPU
HOPU IoT devices on Lisanplast

 

This deployment has used the device calibration laboratory that HOPU has at its offices in Murcia, an environment with equipment certified by reference companies such as Envira, in relation to the supply and maintenance of laboratory equipment and Linde, in terms of the reference gases used. This laboratory also has ENAC certification, issued by SGS, which empowers HOPU to issue Calibration and Data Quality Certificates (CQC) for IoT devices. Through these CQCs based on the Besu B network (Blockchain), an intelligent contract is generated, stored in the device itself, which links the calibration process carried out in the laboratory, certifying that it has been verified and calibrated by a suitable laboratory.

 

The use of Blockchain brings to our product a great differential innovation for the market, both for the Industry 4.0 and for a Smart City. This has been thanks to the support of Blockchers for the validation and to the Alastria Foundation of which we are partners” Germán Molina, CIO at HOPU

 

Once installed in the final environment, the device begins to collect data from the work area, detecting any high levels of harmful gases, suspended particles, odors, and noise, which may be harmful to the worker. Any anomaly or alert is stored in this device along with the time and date in a certified manner, ensuring that this data has not been altered. In this way, they can be exported by the occupational risk managers of this workspace or by regulatory companies associated with the company.

 

More info about the project

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