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FI-GLOBAL: Building and supporting a global open community of FIWARE innovators and users

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FI-GLOBAL (FI-GLOBAL: Building and supporting a global open community of FIWARE innovators and users)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2019-03-31

FIWARE is an EU-sponsored open architecture and reference implementation providing a set of cloud-based APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that ease the development of client applications in multiple vertical sectors, such as smart cities, eHealth, agrifood, energy, manufacturing, and others. Its client-server nature, inherent to the cloud paradigm, is a good fit for a wide range of apps that need to be light on the user’s device, with the bulk of the data processed or stored away in a backend.

FIWARE ecosystems are being created all around Europe and beyond, reaching international players, organizations and initiatives all over the world. This is where FIWARE Mundus comes in, to establish worldwide links that help FIWARE to thrive within and beyond European borders by mobilizing innovation ecosystems in regions where FIWARE would help embracing the Future Internet challenges . FIWARE Mundus is particularly active at international level where it helps public and private organizations in charge of supporting the development of innovation and promoting the usage of FIWARE and the set-up of FIWARE ecosystems, with a view to make them sustainable.

The first main objective of FI-GLOBAL is to underpin the FIWARE global community, by increasing the number of FIWARE ecosystems all around the world whilst ensuring support to those already engaged.
To achieve this, FI-GLOBAL will identify and engage multiple noteworthy stakeholders: international public and private organizations and programmes that will help bootstrapping “innovation ecosystems” around FIWARE; business incubators and accelerators that will provide support to startups, having as reference the impact of the FIWARE Accelerate Programme; industry players and service providers that can enhance the open platform with additional FIWARE components and promote standardization opportunities; academic institutions, research centres and commercial organisations capable of deploying new FIWARE nodes and instances that serve to create and strengthen local ecosystems; academic institutions willing to facilitate a worldwide recognized FIWARE Master Course to educate future students around the FIWARE technology and establish international cooperation via the “FIWARE Education Community”

The second main objective of FI-GLOBAL is to incentivise the take-up of the FIWARE platform and facilitate the means for an effective cooperation among innovators, including SMEs and web entrepreneurs, and users from the global community.
FI-GLOBAL will mobilize a truly global marketplace of FIWARE applications that will stimulate new solutions and business ideas. It will also incentivize startups and SMEs to discover the open service platform and adopt the technology in their solutions.
Reaching both of these objectives will contribute to make FIWARE the “de facto” reference in terms of global/worldwide open source platform for building up Future Internet applications and solutions.
In Latin America, a specific focus for the second part of the project included contribution to very relevant events in Argentina and Uruguay and engagement with many local stakeholders. In addition, thanks to FI-GLOBAL partners’ involvement in different programmes with the United Nations’ FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), FIWARE has also been introduced to representatives from Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Thanks to those activities, and to the pilot trials performed in Colombia (in cooperation with FAO), business opportunities are now arising.
In North America, FI-GLOBAL strengthened the interaction in the USA with the Global City Team Challenge (GCTC), and was involved in different events around GCTC, strengthening the promotion of FIWARE in the USA. Support was again provided to several Powered by FIWARE SMEs to attend the event and network with US stakeholders, and moreover start two pilot trials, via the “GCTC FIWARE Challenge”, which are on the edge of being completed. In Canada, the pilot trial considered in the Smart Agriculture area with OPAF, the Ontario Precision Agri Food association was finally delayed, but opportunities are still alive and should be happening shortly after the completion of FI-GLOBAL, both in the smart agrifood and smart cities domains.
In Africa, the FIWARE Lab Node was finally set up in Senegal, and pilot trials were performed in Kenya and in Tunisia. Engagement activities have been continuing in countries such as Ivory Coast, Morocco, Tunisia, as well as Egypt and Jordan. Although other pilot trials had to be delayed, FI-GLOBAL has paved the way for the eventual success of FIWARE on the African continent, where Smart agrifood, and, to a lesser extent, smart cities, seem to be the priority.
In Asia, a FIWARE instance was finally set up in the City of Hengqin, China. Contacts are still proceeding with several Powered by FIWARE solutions. Engagement activities have also been happening in several other areas of China, including the organisation of a high-level workshop as part of a major event in Hong Kong, in cooperation the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO). In India, thanks to the interaction with the FI-MEDIA project and with the Smart Cities Lab, discussions are progressing to see whether FIWARE could be used within the very big smart city investment planned by the Indian government.
In addition, activities to engage with priority industry sectors targeted by FIWARE were also strengthened during the project. These include promoting FIWARE elements at Standardization Bodies (ETSI ISG ICM, ITU SG-20, ETSI Board OSS) and more recently the FIWARE Context Broker as one of the Connecting Europe Facilities (CEF) Digital Building Blocks or supporting the creation of strategic alliances.

During the project, contacts with academic universities and academic entities around the world interested in consolidating the expertise and knowledge on FIWARE were established.
The main technical achievement has been the FIWARE Innovation Arena integrated toolkit, which allows innovators and users to collaboratively report needs and propose FIWARE-based ideas and solutions, through which industry and academia, together with students and entrepreneurs, are able to implement solutions with the use of the FIWARE open platform. The ultimate goal is to provide the innovator community with a co-creative and collaborative tool, integrated with the FIWARE ecosystem, both in terms of technology and for what regards the successful cases and experiences (linking the developed solutions to the FIWARE Marketplace).
Regarding the Piloting Programme, although the first year has proved to take much more effort than expected in paving the way for setting up new pilot experimentations, it prepared the field for the second year achievements, when the Piloting Programme has focused in supporting activities in the areas of SmartCities (through The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC)) and Smart Agriculture.
The Global Piloting Programme provided support to the creation of communities of entities interested in the expansion of the FIWARE concept and developments, all around the world, with the final result of 7 pilots completed: 2 in the US, and then in Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Tunisia and Kenya. Other 4 pilots can be considered to have been initiated, and still ongoing, or interrupted/cancelled due to reasons outside of the project control.