Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


THUNDHUB Report Summary

Project ID: 684092

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - THUNDHUB (ThunderMaps HomeHub)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The objective of ThunderMaps’ HomeHub Horizon 2020 project has been to develop a city-level communication platform that enables all public authorities in a city to make geo-targeted mobile communication with citizens - making information and services easier to access and use.
Our technology sits at the intersection of GIS (mapping) software, process improvement software (smart process apps), and mobile + social communication. This project has taken synergies between these technologies and used them to provide a solution for some significant challenges which exist today for public authorities, including: presenting a unified ‘one face of government’ to citizens; offering a personalized user experience; increasing citizen engagement; increasing transparency; and reducing communication costs.
During this Horizon 2020 project the solution has been developed, tested, piloted, and brought to market - while a number of research and dissemination activities in parallel have analysed and supported the growth of the project and solution.
The impact of our project is already strong - we have active implementations in Sweden where citizens are, at this very minute, receiving location-based alerts from important public information sets. We have picked up international awareness and we have gained customers outside the EU, and we have been able to build relationships with (and provide work to) Stockholm University's eGovlab; SP (Sweden's Technical Research Institute - now called RISE); and the Smart Cities Council. We have also been winners or finalists in several notable awards (including the Open Stockholm Award), and we have been brought into another Swedish innovation project, where our GIS and citizen engagement expertise has been desired. Coming out of the project we emerge with an international business, a market-ready solution based on patent-pending technology (currently with Swedish Patent Office) and good growth potential.
We expect the impact of our project to strengthen further in the coming 12-24 months - because we have global relevance (we've attracted interest (and signed up) councils in other countries -including outside Europe), we have already attracted investment (following an international acquisition which further boosted our growth potential), and because the ongoing growth in the quality and availability of open data will continue to strengthen our offer. The projected market growth for ‘smart city solutions’ like ours is also strong. Independent analysts project it to grow to US$27.5 billion annually by 2023.
The end result of ThunderMaps’ HomeHub Horizon 2020 project is as hoped: we have completed all milestones and deliverables in the project and with our solution in the market and already in use - we are on the way to achieving the objective of the call topic - improving the relationship between citizens, business and public administrations using mobile technology.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

We have grouped the overall project work in into four areas, all of which have been vital parts to the project's success.
1. Solution development
2. Pilot project
3. Dissemination, growth, expansion activities
4. Research work

Following is a brief summary and main results around each of these four areas:

1. Solution Development
Development of the solution has been a significant success. From the early design sketches and technical planning, through to a tool that is actively in use in several municipalities today - with all the twists and turns that occur in development projects - we are very happy with what our development team has achieved in less than 20 months. Major highlights: a patent-pending method of GIS distribution (with Swedish Patent Office); an improvement to the initial integration plans and ending up with an integration into 700+ business systems; translation capability and translation of the entire system into five languages; the huge library that we have built of real-time public open data feeds from all over the world.

2. Pilot project
The pilot project was a vital part of our project and early testing with our pilots provided excellent feedback and led to changes and improvements in the solution. The pilot project began well when we secured our first pilot agreements three months ahead of schedule, and the hands-on method of conducting our first pilots was beneficial. The feedback we received came from both municipality users and testers (in our living lab process) and also from the actual end-users (citizens) who downloaded the apps and added helpful ideas and suggestions. We are thankful to the wonderful citizens of Sotenäs and Ale in Sweden who have been very helpful!

4. Dissemination, growth, expansion activities
A large section of our project was focused on dissemination and growth/expansion activities with a number of related milestones and deliverables. We feel the dissemination activities have had great impact via a range of activities including: digital media (blogging, social network connection, web material), educational material, networking, speaking at conferences (for example International Open Data Conference), media press releases and coverage, recognition in awards (such as the Open Stockholm Award), connection into the Smart Cities Council network, attending industry events, and direct reach-out to municipalities. This work has been mainly focused in Sweden, but we have grown this into the New Zealand office and market, where we have attracted further interest and awareness and even signed two municipality clients. Beyond this we have had contact with governments in more than 15 countries already, thanks to our dissemination activities. Our international presence and awareness continues to drive both customer and investor interest.

5. Research activities
Alongside the development, piloting and expansion work - we have had Stockholm University's eGovlab, SP (Sweden's Technical Research Institute), and two internal consultant researchers conducting different research elements for us. This has included TIS analysis (Technology Innovation Systems Analysis), a living lab process/assessment, a Gender Impact Assessment, and eGovlab's Test Bed Program which has given technical and theoretical input and helped to network and connect us to opportunities for improving / growing the solution. These pieces of work have all provided valuable connections, valuable insights and ideas that have led to changes/improvements and good benchmarking information.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Key points:

Progress - We are the only company in the Swedish market (and any markets we are aware of) offering combined newsfeed and notification service from multiple authorities together in one service.
Progress - We have a patent-pending technology for effectively distributing location-based alerts via cloud infrastructure.

Impact - Positive feedback from the early users of the app, and our work has been selected as a finalist and winner in several awards.
Impact - hundreds of real users on Swedish municipalities today receiving real-time location-based notifications of important public information alerts.
Impact - We are helping to push is more and more government agencies to make data not just open, but usable.
Impact - We are making an international impact. We already have clients in two countries (in and outside EU) and interest from several more.

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