ODALA: a new initiative of the European Commission to promote Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

HOPU AND THE TOWN OF CARTAGENA AS SPANISH MEMBERS IN ODALA, THE NEW EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR SMART CITIES

 

WHAT IS ODALA

ODALA is an initiative that aims to promote the use of Big Data to facilitate and speed up decision-making in public administrations. This initiative has a social focus and is designed to help the use of Smart Cities technology simply and practically. In this way, ODALA seeks to facilitate the implementation of data-based tools in European public administrations.

This initiative is contextualized within the framework of Smart Cities, a sector in a continuous process of innovation and growth, which is focusing on the use of data as a source of knowledge for citizens, which allows them to improve their quality of life and anticipate future challenges.

Odala is an initiative promoted by town halls, companies and organizations of the European Union as a strategic project to improve data management in cities. Its mission is to create a large data market formed by a data lake, which will serve as an open-source of information, where any administration will be able to dump its data sources on air quality, public transport management, smart parking, statistics, local economy, among others.

With this horizon, the ODALA project “Collaborative, Secure, and Replicable Open Source Data Lakes for Smart Cities” was born, co-financed by the European Commission with a budget of 2,3 million euros until 2022.

 

OBJECTIVES OF ODALA

The strategic objective of the ODALA project is to improve data management in cities, taking advantage of open source technologies and digital transformation for the benefit of people and local public administration, creating an interconnectable data lake within the European Union, that will serve to create better public services and improve the urban quality of cities based on evidence.

“ODALA will allow public administration, companies and universities to connect various data sources, both historical and in real-time, to join forces, thus improving urban health and development opportunities.” Andrea Gómez, CMO of HOPU

The European Union’s Digital Services Infrastructure (DSI) ‘Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Blocks’ will be used to connect these data lakes, a tool developed by the European Commission to enhance the EU’s single digital market, providing infrastructure and cross-border digital services.

For the creation of this extensive Data Lake, entities and organizations will be able to share their data safely and reliably through the CEF Context Broker, essential to establish this European space with open standards (NGSI-LD).

 

ODALA PROMOTERS

The ODALA project brings together a total of 15 partners from Belgium, Germany, Finland, France and Spain such as the cities of Heidelberg (Germany), Saint-Quentin (France), companies as Sirus (Belgium), Contrasec (Finland) and organizations such as the FIWARE Foundation (Germany), among others. Spanish participation in the project is represented by HOPU and the Town of Cartagena, both from the Region of Murcia, thus contributing the experience carried out in the development of the potential of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to contribute to the urban environment and bring cities to their smartest version.

FIWARE’s participation in ODALA as an open-source platform is essential to guarantee that the data model is accessible and standardized, integrable in the management of Smart Cities.

 

HOPU IN ODALA

The collaboration of HOPU and the Cartagena City Council towards a Smart City model based on FIWARE technology has promoted Spanish participation in the ODALA project. HOPU recently received the Le Monde 2020 Urban Innovation Award thanks to the work of implementing a technology that allows the collection of a multitude of high-precision data on the environment, such as emissions of gases, particles, heat islands, influx of people, etc. for sustainable management of the municipality. These data allow us to develop a complete picture of the challenges of the city of Cartagena and help urban planners to make informed decisions.

“The launch of ODALA will allow municipalities and international organizations not only to share their data securely but also to gain benefits from the digital transformation that will mean having access to the resulting Big Data of the project. This fact will favour local competitiveness and economy, people’s quality of life and will stimulate the creation of new market niches” Antonio Jara, CEO of HOPU.

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Smart Region, a regional initiative for Murcia’s Smart Cities

The Smart Region project is the roadmap for the region’s smart territories.

Smart Region project

This initiative of the Region of Murcia will make available to all municipalities in the region (45 in total) the possibility of evolving towards a Smart City with developments and solutions of the last generation. This project seeks to use the new technologies (ICTs) for public administrations & citizens to facilitate the understanding and management of the city, and to evolve towards the objectives of the European Green Pact, which seeks to transform Europe into a global reference against climate change.

The first step of this project is based on a platform at the regional level of Smart City in which 2 million euros will be dedicated between 2020 and 2021. This platform will act as the basis for the Smart Region and will be global, allowing this process to be carried out in all territories regardless of their size. In this way, the management team of the region pretends to create Smart City opportunities equally throughout the region.

Smart Region will create to create Disruptive Technology Demonstration Centers to show projects related to Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Big Data to place the Region at the forefront of the digital transformation.

Javier Celdrán, president of the Regional Ministry of Presidency and Finance, highlights the priority to collect information from our cities. This action will be included within this Smart Region project allowing municipalities to access other new funding such as the Innovation Fund, from the European Green Pact. These funds, aimed at combating climate change, require an initial environmental diagnosis of the territory and compliance with the KPIs proposed through the subsidised initiatives to receive 100% of the requested funds. Therefore, Smart Region also seeks to provide its municipalities with the necessary infrastructure to be able to know the state of the territory, to be able to define some concrete actions to be carried out, based on data and to be able to evaluate the impact of these actions through IoT infrastructures and thanks to the Big Data.

Smart Region: Monitorización de datos de calidad
Smart Region: Monitoring of high-quality data for European Initiatives such as Green Deal, Innovation Fund, ERDF and Next Generation

Smart Region Conference “The Future of Intelligent Territories”

As one of the first actions to raise awareness in the Region of Murcia and to disseminate the possibilities within this project, the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, together with the Integra Foundation, has organised a conference called The Future of the Intelligent Territories. These sessions have been promoted by the Directorate of Economy and Finance and by the ERDF funds. During October, November and December, these sessions discussed topics related to mobility, tourism, intelligent beaches (Smart Beach), intelligent lighting, waste management, social welfare and different success stories of Smart solutions.

Sesiones Smart Region
Sesiones Smart Region: HOPU pitch for the 5 sessions about success stories

 

On December 1st, in the session focused on the success stories of Smart solutions, a more realistic view of solutions already on the market was shown. Francisco Abril, General Director of Local Administration of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, opened this online event by highlighting the role of companies in the Region of Murcia that is dedicated to this sector of the Smart Cities to place Murcia as a technological reference on the map. In the same way, the Director-General urges companies to evangelize citizens and administrations so that they know that not only smart cities are for big cities, but also small municipalities must start their way towards this evolution. 

Francisco Abril has highlighted initiatives such as “5K”, a project where eight municipalities under 5,000 inhabitants (Villanueva, Ricote, Ulea, Ojós, Albudeite, Campos del Río and Aledo) are going to become a testbed for smart solutions to promote other municipalities in the region to take this technological step.

During the case study session, different solutions of all kinds were presented by companies such as Neosistec, HOPU, IURBAN, A4RADAR, NEUROMOBILE MARKETING.

From HOPU, we have highlighted our role as a company focused on the monitoring and visualization of environmental data, to contribute to the sustainable urban design of the territories and our aim to develop solutions designed for easy management and understanding of the data by the different administrations. 

Antonio Jara, CEO of HOPU, highlights the territorial expansion of this SME, which is already working in more than 35 cities throughout Spain such as Cartagena, Madrid, Algeciras and at a European level, with more than 500 sensors deployed. HOPU’s mission is to help municipalities combat climate change. As a company involved in research, HOPU has a strong presence in European initiatives such as the Green Deal or Next Generation (NEXT CARM in the Region of Murcia).

Based on his experience in the Smart Cities market, the CEO of HOPU highlights the importance of metrics that allow municipalities to transform all data coming from sensors, databases and other sources into clear indicators of the environmental situation of the territory. An example of this use case is the indicator service that HOPU has already deployed in cities such as Cartagena, which makes it possible to identify where a city’s pollution comes from and to differentiate the percentage produced by traffic and by industry.

 

Finally, from HOPU, the catalogue of sensor services for air quality (gases and particles in suspension), noise, climate and other aspects related to tourism such as noise and flow of people has been exhibited. As a FIWARE company and from the role of Antonio Jara as a Member of the FIWARE Board of Directors, the use of this available technology has also been promoted, which is accessible and affordable for all municipality.

The event was closed by Joaquín Gómez Gómez, General Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation, who highlighted this last session based on innovative solutions in the region. He underlines that in this Smart Region project, they intend to promote first regional companies when implementing Smart City projects. In the early months of 2021, the platform of the project will be tendering, and they are working on other projects to make the Smart City more dynamic, some of which have already been started, such as La Manga 365 as another global solution for various municipalities (San Javier and Cartagena).  

As a novelty, the Director-General mentions a new line of financing that will come to light during the first four months of 2021, which will allow the different municipalities in the region to acquire technology and integrate it into the Smart Region platform.

 

Access to the pitch of Antonio Jara, CEO at HOPU on 5 session about success stories

 

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International Fair of Smart Destinations FIDI2020

At the end of November, the first International Fair of Smart Destinations (FIDI) was held, organized by the Cities of the Future Institute, the National Technological University of Buenos Aires and in collaboration with the State Mercantile Society for the Management of Innovation and Tourist Technologies SEGITTUR, dependent on the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. During the 10 days of the fair, more than 200 speakers participated in seminars, conferences, exhibitions and workshops where more than 20,000 online visitors from the entire Smart Cities sector.

HOPU CEO Antonio J. Jara participated on Friday, November 27, in FIWARE AMERICA DAY where he presented the case of success under FIWARE technology in Smart Cities that we have developed in cities such as Madrid, Cartagena, Ceutí, La Palma, Onda, Berenguer , Helsinki (Finland) and Mechelen (Belgium), among others.

 

The HOPU solution exploits FIWARE to the maximum where we contextualize city data such as air quality, mobility, influx and movement of people, noise and others where we create a global vision of the urban health of the city thanks to Intelligence Artificial algorithms and Big Data management.

“We are a company whose mission is to help urban authorities and cities to use the FIWARE platform to understand better what is happening in their city and to help them make decisions through data and evidence, while technology is and more usable by people. We are specialized in the integration of air quality sensors, gases, particles, pollens, sonometry and the influx of people.” Antonio J. Jara

 

SMART TOURIST DESTINATIONS
During FIDI2020, real experiences of Smart Tourist Destinations participated and how introducing innovative elements are serving to bet on inclusive sustainable tourism with the city and the natural environment, and improve the quality of life of local residents.

The DTIs aim to integrate tourism with the daily life of the city in such a way that it does not have a negative impact on the natural environment or the residents. Attracting new businesses, responding to the needs of visitors and contributing to the local wealth and economy.

Data visualization of HOPU
Data visualization of HOPU

 

Among the services offered by HOPU we can find consulting and advising to the administration and companies to detect the needs and challenges they face and that can be solved through the use of new technologies.

We are currently developing the Smart City Master Plan for municipalities such as Las Torres de Cotillas and San Javier, both in the Region of Murcia (Spain). San Javier, as a coastal town on the shores of the Mar Menor, is a highly valued tourist attraction for those seeking pleasant temperatures throughout the year, as well as important musical and cultural events.

Therefore, the development of San Javier as an Smart Tourist Destination is an opportunity to consolidate tourism beyond the summer months, extending the season to 12 months of the year with actions such as a centralized agenda of the different cultural events, a network of webcams that broadcasts the coast of the Mar Menor 24/7 and a WiFi zone on beaches, as well as actions such as promoting existing cultural and tourist resources.

“A Smart City is a sustainable city that allows the residents to have all the benefits of a city but without the associated problems such as pollution, traffic jams, noise, high density of people, etc. A Smart City is one that does not discriminate, offers equality and helps to optimize time and resources” Antonio J. Jara

 

SMART SPOT DEVICES AS ALLIES TO STD
Through our IoT FIWARE ready Smart Spot devices we can offer municipalities detailed information in real time such as AQi to inform visitors and locals of the values ​​of gases and PM particles in the air. These data can contribute to detecting gas emission sources to help make decisions that lead to their mitigation, as well as to value the good air quality of the municipality in its case.

Smart Spot extensions
Smart Spot extensions

 

Using class 2 sound level meters, it will be possible to create a map of the noise in the city to detect the areas with the greatest noise pollution caused by traffic, port activity, leisure areas, events and others that may cause annoyances in the daily life of the city.

The flow of people sensor is a useful tool to know the movements and detect crowds in advance. Through its installation in commercial areas and tourist elements, we can know the number of visitors and the average time of their visit. This information is very useful to know the most visited areas of the city in such a way that decisions can be made such as improving traffic, the need to create tourist attractions in other areas to relieve pressure, etc.

In addition, the Smart Spot can incorporate a Weather Station that offers values ​​such as temperature and humidity, atmospheric pressure, solar radiation, rainfall, evapotranspiration and weather forecast among other values, offering extensive, detailed and local information on the weather in the city.

All these resources unified in a single device allow the administration to know what is happening in their city in real time, offering local values ​​that help them make decisions based on evidence and anticipate possible challenges and problems, thus improving the competitiveness of the municipality giving the necessary passes to move towards a resilient city for the benefit of its citizens.

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Blockchain y cambio climático

Blockchain against climate change

Blockchain also contributes to the European project for an emission-neutral continent by 2050 (EU Green Deal)

European objectives for 2025: The Green Deal

In 2019 the European Commission published the Green Deal, presented by Ursula Von Der Leyen as President. This plan lists 50 concrete actions to combat climate change, a highly relevant objective in the European strategy to achieve a neutral continent by 2050. This pact, known as the “EU Green Deal“, seeks a clean economy with zero emissions and the protection of our natural habitat, thereby contributing to an improvement in public well-being, a business awareness of the environment and making Europe a reference point for action against climate change. 

To achieve this goal, Europe proposes to work on clean energy, sustainable industry, efficient renovation and construction, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, pesticide reduction and an end to pollution. On 27 November 2020, was highlighted the Green Deal for the next five years, and the European Commission presented the six main objectives for this period:

  • Combating climate change to become the first neutral continent
  • An economy that works for people and works to implement social projects and is a boost to prosperity
  • A Europe for the digital age, empowering people and boosting technologies
  • Promoting a European way of life and building an EU of equal opportunities
  • A stronger Europe in the world that is a global leader
  • A boost to democracy, protecting and strengthening it

Blockchain, one of the new players in the fight against climate change

Faced with this situation and these objectives, which involve reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030, the European Commission has estimated that it must invest an additional 230 billion of euros per year and promote public-private partnerships. 

To achieve this objective, Europe must promote innovation and research in the territories, in the business fabric and in industries, which will make it possible to reduce emissions, the risk of natural disasters and the impact of pollution on public health. One of the latest ITU/UN reports details how cutting-edge technologies such as climate monitoring, air quality and water resources, Artificial Intelligence and the Blockchain can contribute to this process of fighting climate change. 

In this report, called “Frontier Technologies to Protect the Environment and Tackle Climate Change“, the ITU sets up a working group focusing on environmental efficiency for Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies (FG-AI4EE) to study technology standardisation needs to contribute to these goals. This report recognises how Blockchain technology has been one of the great forgotten technologies to date in the fight against climate change and how it can play a crucial role in it through optimised use of resources and innovation, to contribute to this improvement process.

Blockchain is often associated with cryptosystems such as bitcoin, but this innovative technology has much more potential than bitcoin. Its origins date back to 1991 when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta carried out the first process based on cryptographically protected blockchains. Its media popularity, however, began in 2008, when bitcoin was in the social spotlight, and today its use is mainly based on protecting and securely certifying data traffic, fighting against forgery and data protection. 

This technology focuses on the decentralisation of information from any process, such as banking management or data monitoring from IoT devices. The blockchain is a way of structuring the data, grouping them in blocks or sets adding meta-information related to other previous blocks in the process timeline. In each block it is stored:

  • Number of records in the block and related transactions
  • Information concerning this block
  • Link to the previous and next block
  • A fingerprint of the block

Through cryptographic techniques, these blocks are encrypted and form an encrypted chain of information, and it only can be altered by modifying all the blocks. 

The PwC in “Time for Trust: The trillion-dollar reasons to rethink blockchain” predicted that the blockchain has great potential to grow world GDP by 1.76 trillion dollars in 2030.

3 Blockchain projects to combat climate change

HOPU: This Spanish SME, dedicated to the monitoring and display of air quality data through IoT devices, is implementing the use of the blockchain for the certification of data quality and the protection of measurements in the different monitored environments. In particular, HOPU is implementing the blockchain for air quality monitoring in industry, where exists strict restrictions to protect workers’ health and the air quality of the areas surrounding these factories. The funds of this solution are through the Blockchers program, a project to promote the use of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies) in European SMEs. HOPU is already running its first pilot in the industry, in the Lisanplast plastics factory, which aims to ensure that the working environment is suitable for employees and to reduce the impact of this company on the ground, under the European Green Deal. HOPU is using the Besu Alastria B, which is regulated and compatible with the European network. Through this network, HOPU verifies compliance with regulations in the workspace, provides a calculation of total emissions and all this in an accessible and intuitive interface to access data in real-time and in historical data. 

PlanetWatch:  This French startup is developing a blockchain system to monitor air quality by taking advantage of the potential of communities. According to this SME, efforts to monitor air quality are not sufficient to date and encourage citizens to participate in this process. This project seeks to encourage people to purchase low-cost air quality sensors, install them in their homes, workplaces or even take them with them and record the data in a blockchain. Through this network, Planet Watch will make the open data available to scientists and governments so that they can combat climate change and will reward users for helping in this process. When a user acquires one of its low-cost devices and activates it to monitor data, it acquires Planet Tokens, utility tokens issued in the Algorand blockchain.  These tokens can be exchanged for Earth Credits, which are translated into euros and allow the purchase of new products and services on Planet Watch.

Smart Playground. Safe Environment for Togliatti: This Russian city of more than 700,000 inhabitants has great industrial relevance and therefore requires a relevant environmental control. Togliatti has set up an environmental monitoring network, installed in playgrounds and children’s games as the new generations are a crucial sector to protect in this process. This project has been carried out by the company Airalab using Libelium sensors. In this project, the chain of blocks has been used with the aim of a safe, verified and unalterable storage of the data collected, seeking to ensure that the authorities and citizens receive objective and transparent information, which shows the environmental state of the territory. On the other hand, this project uses the blockchain for its marketplace, which allows anyone to acquire data without intermediation. All you have to do is send a request for information through the available Smart City platform, and an intelligent contract is automatically generated for the specific sensor to carry out the requested measurement and provide the data with its corresponding quality certificate.

 

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Blockchain y cambio climático

El blockchain contra el cambio climático

Blockchain también contribuye en el proyecto Europeo para un continente neutro en emisiones para 2050 (EU Green Deal)

Objetivos Europeos para 2025: El Pacto Verde

En 2019 se publicaba por la Comisión Europea el Pacto Verde, presentado por Ursula Von Der Leyen como presidenta. Este plan enumera 50 acciones concretas para combatir el cambio climático, un objetivo de gran relevancia en la estrategia europea para conseguir un continente neutro en el año 2050. Este pacto, conocido como “EU Green Deal” busca una economía limpia, con cero emisiones y proteger nuestro hábitat natural, contribuyendo con ello a una mejora en el bienestar público, una conciencia empresarial con el medio ambiente y que Europa se transforme en un referente en la acción contra el cambio climático.

Para conseguir el cumplimiento de este objetivo, Europa propone trabajar en una energía limpia, industria sostenible, renovación y construcción eficiente, movilidad sostenible, biodiversidad, reducción de los pesticidas y el fin de la contaminación. Este 27 de noviembre de 2020 se subrayaba esta iniciativa para los próximos 5 años presentándose ante la comisión europea las 6 prioridades que deben abarcar este periodo:

  • Lucha contra el cambio climático con el objetivo de ser el primer continente neutro
  • Una economía que trabaje para las personas y funcione para poner en marcha proyectos sociales y sea un impulso para la prosperidad
  • Una Europa para la era digital, que empodere a las personas e impulse las tecnologías
  • Promover un modo de vida europeo y construir una UE con igualdad de oportunidades
  • Una Europa más fuerte en el mundo que sea un líder global
  • Un impulso a la democracia, protegiéndola y fortaleciéndola

Blockchain, uno de los nuevos protagonistas para combatir el cambio climático

Frente a esta situación y a estos objetivos, que suponen rebajar las emisiones de CO2 en un 50% para 2030, la comisión europea ha calculado que debe invertir 230.000 millones de euros anuales adicionales y promover una colaboración del sector público y privado.

Para abarcar este objetivo, Europa debe potenciar la innovación y la investigación en los territorios, en el tejido empresarial y en las industrias, que permitan reducir las emisiones, el riesgo de desastres naturales y el impacto de la contaminación en la salud pública. Uno de los últimos informes de la ITU/ONU detalla cómo las tecnologías de vanguardia como la monitorización del clima, la calidad del aire y los recursos hídricos, Inteligencia Artificial y el Blockchain pueden contribuir en este proceso de batalla contra el cambio climático.

En este informe, llamado Frontier Technologies to Protect the Environment and Tackle Climate Change la ITU crea un grupo de trabajo enfocado en la eficiencia medioambiental para la Inteligencia Artificial y otras tecnologías emergentes (FG-AI4EE) dedicada al estudio de necesidades de normalización de tecnologías para contribuir a estos objetivos. En este informe se reconoce como la tecnología Blockchain ha sido una de las grandes olvidadas hasta la fecha en el camino hacia la lucha contra el cambio climático y cómo esta puede tener un papel clave en él a través de un uso optimizado en cuanto a uso de recursos e innovador, para aportar en este proceso de mejora.

El blockchain se suele asociar con criptomonedas como el bitcoin pero esta tecnología innovadora tiene mucho más potencial que este. Sus orígenes se sitúan en 1991  cuando se realizó el primer proceso basado en cadenas de bloques protegidos criptográficamente por Stuart Haber y W. Scott Stornetta. Su popularidad mediática en cambio empezó en 2008, cuando las criptomonedas estaban en el punto de mira social y actualmente su utilización se basa principalmente para proteger y certificar tránsito de datos de manera oficial y segura, luchando contra la falsificación y la protección de datos.

Esta tecnología se centra en la descentralización de la información de cualquier proceso como puede ser una gestión bancaria o bien una monitorización de datos de dispositivos IoT. El blockchain es una forma de estructurar los datos, agrupándolos en bloques o conjuntos a los que se les añaden metainformaciones relacionadas con otros bloques anteriores en línea temporal relacionados del proceso. En cada bloque se almacena:

  • Cantidad de registros en el bloque y transacciones relacionadas
  • Información referente a ese bloque
  • Vinculación con el bloque anterior y el siguiente
  • Una huella digital del bloque

A través de técnicas criptográficas, estos bloques se cifran y forman una cadena cifrada de información y solo podrían ser alterados modificando todos los bloques.

Se pronostica que el blockchain dispone de un gran potencial para hacer crecer el PIB mundial en 1,76 billones de dólares en 2030 según “Time for Trust: The trillion-dolar reasons to rethink blockchain, documento de PwC dedicado a esta tecnología.

3 proyectos de Blockchain para combatir el cambio climático

HOPU: Desde esta PYME española, dedicada a la monitorización y visualización de datos de calidad del aire a través de dispositivos IoT, se está implantando el uso del blockchain para la certificación de la calidad de los datos  y la protección de las medidas en los diferentes entornos monitorizados. En concreto, HOPU está implantando el blockchain para la monitorización de la calidad del aire en industria, donde deben cumplirse estrictas regulaciones que protejan la salud de los trabajadores y la calidad del aire de las zonas colindantes a estas fábricas. Gracias a la Blockchers, un proyecto que trabaja promocionando el uso de tecnologías DLT (Distributed Ledger Technologies) en PYMES europeas, HOPU está ya ejecutando su primer piloto en industria, en la fábrica de plásticos Lisanplast, que busca garantizar que el entorno de trabajo sea apto para los empleados y así como reducir el impacto de esta empresa en el entorno, de acuerdo con el Pacto Verde Europeo. HOPU está utilizando la red B Besu Alastria, regulada y compatible con la red europea. De este modo, se verifica el cumplimiento de normativas en el espacio de trabajo, se ofrece un cálculo de las emisiones totales y todo ello en una interfaz accesible e intuitiva para acceder a los datos en tiempo real y en histórico.

PlanetWatch Esta startup francesa está desarrollando un sistema blockchain para monitorizar la calidad del aire aprovechando el potencial de las comunidades. Según afirma esta PYME, los esfuerzos en monitorizar la calidad del aire no son suficientes hasta la fecha e incitan a los ciudadanos a ser partícipes en este proceso. Este proyecto se basa en incentivar a las personas a adquirir sensores de calidad del aire de bajo coste, instalarlos en sus hogares, sitios de trabajo o incluso llevarlos consigo y registrar los datos en una cadena blockchain. A través de esta red, PlanetWatch pondrá los datos abiertos a disposición de científicos y gobiernos para que puedan combatir el cambio climático y premiará a los usuarios por ayudar en este proceso. Cuando un usuario adquiere uno de sus dispositivos de bajo coste y lo activa para monitorizar datos adquiere Planet Tokens, fichas de utilidad emitidas en la cadena de bloque de Algorand.  Estos tokens pueden canjearse por Earth Credits, que se traducen a euros y permiten adquirir nuevos productos y servicios en Planet Watch.

“Patio Inteligente. Medioambiente seguro”, proyecto para Toliatti: Esta ciudad rusa de más de 700.000 habitantes tiene una gran relevancia industrial y por lo tanto requiere un gran control medioambiental. Toliatti ha implantado una red de monitorización medioambiental, instalados en zonas de recreo y juegos infantiles ya que las nuevas generaciones son un sector clave a proteger en este proceso. Este proyecto ha sido realizado por la empresa Airalab utilizando los sensores de Libelium. En este proyecto, la cadena de bloques se ha utilizado con el objetivo de un almacenamiento de los datos recogidos seguro, verificado y que no puede alterarse, buscando garantizar que las autoridades y los ciudadanos reciban una información objetiva y transparente, que realmente muestra el estado medioambiental del territorio. Por otro lado, este proyecto usa el blockchain para su marketplace, que permite a cualquier persona adquirir datos sin intermediación. Solo hay que enviar una solicitud de información a través de la plataforma de Smart City disponible y automáticamente se genera un contrato inteligente para que el sensor concreto lleve a cabo la medición solicitada y le facilite los datos con su correspondiente certificado de calidad.

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The technology of Smart Cities, allies against Climate Change

Smart City Expo World Congress

On 17th and 18th of November, the “Smart City Expo World Congress” event is being held, instead of being at the Fira de Barcelona, this congress is an online format due to COVID-19 restrictions. Experts in new technologies from all over the world are participating in round-tables and presentations where it is being shown how the implementation of Smart Cities is contributing to the improvement of our community, from the educational field, the management of water resources, improving urban transport and especially in the monitoring of Air Quality to have tools to identify the main sources of pollution and make decisions to solve environmental pollution issues.

IoT Smart Spot, devices as allies against Climate Change

HOPU, as a company specialized in the design of innovative urban solutions through the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and data quality, has extensive experience in the development of solutions for the administration to know in real time data related to air quality such as gases (CO, O3, NO2, SO2), PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 particles, noise and meteorological values ​​such as temperature and humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, weather forecast, among others.

Our IoT Smart Spot devices are an ally of the administration to fight against Climate Change since it allows to unify in a single device all sensors, customizing their configuration according to specific needs, saving costs and allowing the city to obtain accurate data of the location of the sensor as the overall AQi state of the city.

Smart Spot en Cartagena
Smart Spot device installed in the Port of Cartagena

Smart Spot devices also include sensors and tools that are very useful in Smart City projects, such as monitoring the influx of people in real time through BLE technology, being able to anticipate crowds and obtain data of visits to tourist areas, shopping streets, etc.

Our solution is based on open source software that allows direct integration into Smart platforms such as FIWARE and SENTILO, uniting all verticals in a single management and visualization tool, making it easier for those responsible to obtain a global vision of the city’s Smart project.

Visualization tool: know the state of the city at a glance

Through our visualization tool, the values ​​of gases, PM particles, noise, meteorological and influx of people are shown on a single screen to obtain a complete view of the city, being able to also know the values ​​corresponding to a specific sensor by its location on map.

This visualization service is already offered in municipalities such as Cartagena, La Palma, Mechelen and Helsinki, among others where the population knows in real time factors such as exposure to PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 particles, pollen concentrations, NO2, CO, O3, SO2… and noise levels, among others. Thanks to a traffic light viewer, the population has a tool with which they can easily know, through graphics, the air quality of their municipality as a whole.

The AQi data visualization platform is customizable to consult both through a web page, mobile application, information screens of the city, notifications through telegram and / or whatsapp… facilitating its consultation to the population regardless of their level of use of new technologies.

 

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ICC CHALLENGE

HOPU participates as mentors for Molina de Segura and Cartagena in the initiative of the European Commission “Intelligent Cities Challenge” (ICC)

The EU Commission has selected Molina de Segura & Cartagena to take part in the “100 Intelligent Cities Challenge” 

The “Intelligent Cities Challenge” (ICC), promoted by the European Commission (EC),  is a great opportunity for European cities that are evolving towards smart and sustainable cities, taking advantage of advanced technologies to rebuild their economies through sustainable and intelligent growth. The aim of this challenge is to provide the resources and tools to enable capacity building, taking advantage of the potential available in cities to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and create new opportunities for their business communities. These new opportunities allow a successful implementation of sustainable development strategies for cities, such as air quality, circular economy or intelligent and sustainable mobility, economic and social transformation, industry, etc., thanks to the large community of cities and mentors created. Within this challenge, it also provides the necessary tools to access funds for the development of the cities’ initiatives, such as the European Regional Development Funds  (ERDF) and Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (ISUDS).

ICC cities announcement

Source: Intelligent Cities Challenge. Announcement of the cities selected to participate in the challenge.

The cities selected for the challenge will receive expert guidance and mentoring, and they will access to counterpart cities networks as well as to the tools available to promote priority policy objectives and the adoption of advanced technologies.

After a careful selection by the committee, from the 192 applications received, 88 have been selected to participate in the Challenge within the next 2 years, including 8 experienced European cities that will participate as mentors for the rest, such as Barcelona. In total, 124 European cities will participate in the challenge.

Among them, 16 Spanish cities have been selected for the challenge, among which are the cities of Molina de Segura and Cartagena, located in the Region of Murcia. Within the business ecosystem of the region, HOPU is providing its support to both cities as an expert in IoT solutions and services for the creation of smart and sustainable cities by addressing the digital transformation and incorporating new open technologies. These cities will address their most important local challenges.

Cities are aware of their specific urban development objectives

The city of Molina de Segura will focus on waste management and the circular economy, efficient management of water and water systems, smart and ecological mobility and transport, and support for public safety, including other challenges related to e-government, social inclusion, climate change, public welfare and industry. So far, HOPU has contributed to the development and digitalization of the services of this city, solving existing challenges in the local administration during the pandemic crisis thanks to the development of a new Virtual tax collection Office, which ensures the continuity of municipal services without implying any danger to the health of its inhabitants. In addition, the new intelligent platform of the city based on FIWARE is in full development, which will allow the scalability of services and digitization of the rest of municipal services.

On the other hand, the city of Cartagena will focus its efforts on its challenges related to smart and sustainable tourism, mobility and intelligent and ecological transport; e-government, digitalization of public services, and the growth of startups, SMEs, and the social economy, also addressing the efficient use and management of natural resources as well as disaster management and climate resilience. HOPU has contributed to the digitization of services of different city verticals based on sustainability, developing the intelligent city platform based on FIWARE and CEF Context Broker and deploying networks of air quality sensors in its streets and intelligent irrigation management solutions in its parks and gardens, obtaining the international recognition “Le Monde” 2020 for urban planning.

Cartagena experience with HOPU from HOP Ubiquitous on Vimeo.

Core expert support for candidate cities

The support of the business and institutional ecosystem has been crucial in supporting the success of the candidate cities’ challenges. In this context, international bodies, such as OASC, and technology-based institutions, such as Alastria and FIWARE, have corroborated their interest and commitment, promoting this initiative as well.

Furthermore, among the companies in the IoT sector that have offered support, HOPU is highly committed, offering efficient solutions for different city verticals, totally aligned with the current standards and regulations, as well as with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), promoted by the United Nations (UN).

The great news has been spread in different media, such as the digital newspapers esmartcity.es and murcia.com. The Councillor for Information Technology of the City Council of Molina de Segura, Juan Antonio Cantero Nicolás, which is responsible for the candidacy, has expressed his gratitude for the support received, dedicating a few words to the business ecosystem that has given its support in the candidacy: “I would like to take this opportunity to show my most sincere gratitude to all the companies, organizations and entities that have express their interest in supporting us during this exciting adventure”.

The challenge started in September 2020

The programme, which started in September 2020, will last 30 months and will include more than 100 days of local visits, events, and activities to support participant cities. Through its action-oriented and collaborative approach, this challenge will offer cities a unique opportunity to:

  • Identify local strengths as well as the real priorities and needs of the local environment by defining their strategic objectives and implementation roadmaps.
  • Participate in lasting collaborations to co-design and co-create a joint open data platform as an EU marketplace for urban solutions and joint investments/purchases.
  • Learn and share experiences between counterpart cities and local and international mentors.
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HOPU en Lanzadera

Lanzadera recognises the potential of the Smart Cities market with HOPU in its acceleration programme

HOPU has started its experience in Lanzadera, Juan Roig’s accelerator that has selected the best companies for their innovative potential.

This accelerator program promoted by Juan Roig, director of Mercadona, welcomes this year 130 new companies with innovative proposals in different fields such as fashion, finance, health, video games or marketing, among others, with innovative products and services for the market.  There are already 200 of them currently located in its offices in Valencia, in the Marina de Empresas building.

Javier Jiménez (Director of Lanzadera) and Miguel Milián (Project Manager, responsible for HOPU in Lanzadera) visit HOPU's headquarters in Murcia.
Javier Jiménez (Director of Lanzadera) and Miguel Milián (Project Manager, responsible for HOPU in Lanzadera) visit HOPU’s headquarters in Murcia.

As a young company working on innovation issues related to Smart City and Smart Destination, HOPU is using the full potential of this acceleration programme to improve its processes and management. During 8 months, the HOPU team is receiving training focused on different relevant areas such as finance, marketing, communication, team management, innovation and investment. Thanks to the group of companies that were already part of this project in the previous edition and to highly relevant mentors from companies such as Mercadona, training is being obtained from the practice, where real situations and experiences in the business field are explained, allowing more recent companies to learn first-hand how to deal with them.

Smart Cities applications and sensors for air quality and noise monitoring

Our objective at Lanzadera is to improve in business and management aspects but at the same time, to take our products and services to their maximum potential, expanding to new horizons and markets. Already with a wide impact in the national territory in the Smart Cities market, we seek to expand our European relevance by entering countries such as Germany and Belgium.

 At HOPU we design innovative solutions for urban environments, using the potential of data, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to contribute to sustainable urban design. To this end, we develop solutions for monitoring and understanding the environmental state of the city according to its specific characteristics, the management team and the citizens of each territory. With a team of 27 people, we are focused on adapting technology to solutions that really make sense in the market.

Currently, cities need quality data and performance indicators to be able to access different European grants EDUSIS, FEDER, UIAs, CEF or the Innovation Fund, which reserves 60% of the budget for compliance with the KPIs indicated in the project. This is where HOPU has set its sights, collecting, analysing and visualising large amounts of data from all kinds of sources such as mobility, public transport, social data, utilities, etc. to provide a single indicator that facilitates understanding of the environmental state of the city and the impact of the different actions carried out. In turn, in our catalogue we offer IoT devices for monitoring parameters such as air quality, noise, weather and the influx of people (nearby device scanning to detect cell phone nearby), allowing cities to collect quality data, in real-time and in the context of the territory.

HOPU’s participation has been under the umbrella and support of Acciona I´mnovation (Acciona innovation platform) a global company with a business model built around sustainability, responding to global challenges such as global warming, overpopulation and water scarcity with renewable energy, infrastructure, management and water treatment solutions. Acciona is one of the companies within the Lanzadera ecosystem that is seeking support from companies for the development of Smart Cities and Smart Destinations for its Smart Cities Skill Center. HOPU is contributing to the sustainable objectives of Smart Cities directed towards the European Green Deal.

 

More information:

 

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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.

Watch full conference

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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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