BIoTope: European groundwork for accelerating smart city initiatives

The EU is building an ecosystem for connected smart objects, called BIoTope. In full, Building an IoT Open innovation Ecosystem for connected smart objects.

By laying the foundation for this ecosystem, it aims to make it easier, and cheaper, to innovate by creating new Systems-of-Systems (SoS) platforms for connected smart objects.

While today’s IoT collects data into vertical silo’s (i.e. pushes data into vertical servers), in bIoTope’s vision, companies can create Systems-of-Systems built on standardised open API’s. In other words, EU builds the ecosystem, which should accelerate company innovation.

BIoTope is now piloted in three regions: Helsinki, Grand Lyon and Brussels region.

In his article on Huffington Post, Aaron Partouche compares it with a shopping mall. The city provides the infrastructure of the shopping maiil, in which shops can easily enter.

But Partouche wonders whether the initiative is enough. Two reasons make him do so:

First, “Often such projects are outpaced by innovations in the private sector. There’s nothing to stop a big player in the market with greater resources from rushing a solution to market that could threaten the longer-term strategic view of an initiative like BIoTope.”

Secondly, suppose bIoTope will be the success we want it to be, bandwidth will be the bottleneck. Once the ecosystem is in full operation “the biggest consideration is what happens when this data hits the base station and antennae. Experts predict the amount of backhaul antennas connected directly to a data centre by gigabit-enabled connections will need to increase between five and ten fold to carry the additional traffic. Thus software defined networking (SDN) should be incorporated in order to create flexible and agile connectivity.”

Will it work? What is your opinion?

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