FIWARE iHub Cologne
Cooperation and co-creation is our strength!
Citizens are the most important assets of cities and communities. Hence, we have to work together with them to make our cities better places to live. We, as Detecon, have decided to take an active role facilitating this cooperation by leveraging on the work of the FIWARE Foundation, establishing a FIWARE iHub at our headquarters in Cologne.
In order to make cities a better place to live, cooperation, fostering innovation and co-creating engaging all relevant stakeholders seem to be the best starting point. Therefore, we opened in Cologne one of these platforms for citizens, businesses, academia and urban administration cooperation which, we hope, will help us progressing in our attempt to make our towns and cities vital, thriving social and economic innovation ecosystems. The so-called FIWARE iHub is a “promotional” center aiming at increasing the footprint of open-source standardized building blocks for the development of digital solutions. Moreover, there is a worldwide network of FIWARE iHubs which are cooperating to share knowledge, solutions, innovation and incubation practices.
FIWARE at a glance
A framework of components providing 90% of the infrastructure and allowing ICT businesses to build their own solutions in a standardized and interoperable Manner, favouring cross-domains (and consequently, cross-borders) business models.
The “Context Broker” is the essential part of the FIWARE architecture. “Context Information Management” (now an ETSI standard!) is a way to manage data by creating virtual interlinks between objects and the attributes able to better describe the context in which they exist and operate.
The standards used in FIWARE and built within the Open Source Community thriving around it, are verified and validated by Global Technology Standardization Bodies. This enables seamless integration of components as well as low barrier to entrance into tech-markets, reducing the risks of vendor.
Context Information Management - what does it mean?
We stand in front of a new digital revolution which will transform the daily life of people and businesses. Life in the future will gravitate around management of “context data” – data, which describes what is going on, who is involved, where, when, and why. In the new digital life, contextual data will be pervasive and accessible in right-time, creating a digital continuum, blurring the frontiers between application domains. Enabling exchange of relevant data across multiple applications and breaking the current silos of information.
Right-time processing of data will drive smart decisions in the future. Smart decisions which will ultimately improve daily processes, raising the productivity of people, and businesses. Helping to enjoy a better, more productive life. Capturing, management, processing, analysis and visualization of data will be at the core of solutions in the domain of Smart Cities, Smart Energy, Smart Industry, Smart Agrifood or any other “smart” domain.
FIWARE Context Broker technology solves a common need of any smart solution: the need to manage data describing context, i.e. context information. It provides a means to update or provide access to context data through a simple yet powerful API which the FIWARE Context Broker exports: the FIWARE NGSI (Next Generation Service Interface) API.
From a technical perspective, context information is represented through values assigned to attributes. Entities and their attributes are the basic constructs that describe a Context information Model. Entities represent the items/concepts composing the context. The attributes, whose values change over time, characterise the entities. Taking into account the Smart Cities examples above, entities are “Street”, “District” or “Citizen”. Attributes of a street can be “name”, “traffic density”, “temperature”, “relevant buildings”. Some attributes of entities may be more static while others very dynamic, but this is the intrinsic nature of context information.
The Context Broker
- Handles context information at large scale
- Enables your application to query on context information
- Subscribes to changes in context information that will be received through notifications
- Enables your application or other applications to modify the context information
- The CEF Context Broker provides the FIWARE NGSI API, which is a RESTful API enabling applications to provide updates and get access to context information. More concretely:
- Updates context information, e.g. send updates on air quality data for a given district of the city, weather forecast for a given region or the administrative record created for handling a request issued by a given citizen
- Query context information. The Context Broker stores context information updated from applications, so queries are resolved based on that information.
- can being notified when changes on context information take place (e.g. the air quality in a given street has changed) or with a given frequency (e.g. get measures of the traffic in a street each minute)
- Registers context provider systems which can be queried by the Context Broker to get the latest status of context, e.g. a system provided by the national meteorology agency which provides updated weather forecasts upon request
The “Context Broker” is an NGSI1 open-source server implementation to manage context information and its availability. It enables organizations to manage and share their data in real time and has been chosen as CEF Building Block in 2018.
Note1 NGSI (Next Generation Service Interface) is an ETSI standard for context information management and is indicated by TM Forum and GSMA as reference model for Smart city developments.
FIWARE - the Open Source Platform for our Smart Digital Future
The Detecon FIWARE iHub Cologne offering
1. Designing & Implementing FIWARE-Based Open IT Architectures
Our consultants with FIWARE expertise can help you integrate the NGSI “Context Broker” in your IT/OT Architectures, opening them up to new data driven business models.
2. Select FIWARE-Capable Partners & Orchestrate Project Teams
Our Consultants can help You select possible vendors/partners who better fit your requirements and orchestrate complex programs and projects to integrate and exploit FIWARE technology in Your organization. Identify EU Funding Schemes to Support Data Driven Projects
3. EU Funding Schemes
There are different Funding mechanisms and they are accessible only to identified categories of actors (public sector, research, industry, start-ups or SMEs). Detecon Consultants can help You identify the most suitable funding mechanism to support Your Project, orchestrating the preparation of the necessary documentation.