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EU and Japan to collaborate on smart city "cloud of things"

Submitted by jesse_berst on August 7, 2013

The organizations building smart city platforms continue to proliferate in both the private and public sectors. One of the most intriguing is a collaboration between European and Japanese companies, cities and research institutions. Their goal is much more than basic research. Rather, they intend to build tools and applications for cities and their citizens.

The release below gives public transportation and problem reporting as two areas for investigation. Neither is particularly novel. Even so, the emergence of another consortium suggests that two or three years from now the sector will be confronted by a selection of different, competing platforms. At which point, we'll have to go through a protracted "war" until a de facto champion emerges. Our best hope of avoiding that delay? Widespread international interoperability standards. -- Jesse Berst

European-Japanese Collaboration Focusing on ‘Cloud of Things’ To Support Smart Cities

Leti Coordinating Project to Help Cities Combine Benefits of Internet of Things And Cloud Computing to Improve Efficiency, Increase Citizen Involvement.

CEA-Leti  announced that a group of European and Japanese companies, research institutes, universities and cities will work together in the ClouT project to deliver ways for cities to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing to become smart cities.

ClouT, which stands for “cloud of things,” will develop infrastructure, services, tools and applications for municipalities and their various stakeholders – including citizens, service developers and application integrators – to create, deploy and manage user-centric applications that capitalize on the latest advances in IoT and cloud computing.

The IoT allows users to connect “everything” (sensors, objects, actuators, mobile phones, servers, etc.) and gather and share information in real-time from the physical environment. Cloud computing lets users process, store and access information with virtually unlimited processing and storage capacity. ClouT will integrate the latest advances in these domains and, with its user-centric approach, allow end users in cities to create their own cloud services and share them with other citizens.

Target applications include enhanced public transportation, increased citizen participation through the use of mobile devices to photograph and record situations of interest to city administrators, safety management, city-event monitoring and emergency management. The project, which is coordinated in Europe by Leti, includes nine industrial and research partners and four cities: Santander, Spain; Genoa, Italy; Fujisawa, Japan and Mitaka, Japan. The applications will be validated in those cities via field trials with citizens.

By combining EU and Japanese resources, the three-year, nearly four million-euro project is designed to create an on-going synergy for smart-city initiatives between Europe and Japan.

In addition to Leti and the four cities, ClouT participants include the Univ. of Cantabria in Spain, Engineering (Italy) and ST Microelectronics in Europe. Collaborators in Japan are NTT East, NTT R&D, Keio Univ., Panasonic and the National Institute of Informatics

ClouT is jointly funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission and by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology of Japan.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.