In 2011 the European Commission together with the major ICT players launched an ambitious project: the realization of innovative open source technologies made in Europe, created with the aim of enable the creation and the development of new internet-based products and services. They created FIWARE, a public-private partnership able to invest half billion of euro to stimulate the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing a set of innovative tools able to ease the realization of new ideas. FIWARE provides cloud hosting services based on OpenStack technology and a set of components offering a number of added-value functions “as a service”, the Generic Enablers: they are open standard APIs that make it easier to connect to the Internet of Things, process data and media in real-time at large scale, perform BigData analysis or incorporate advanced features to interact with the users, so FIWARE can be considered as an open alternative to existing proprietary Internet platforms. All the Generic Enablers are listed in a catalogue, where users can find documentation, instructions on how to create an instance and a reference person which is the point of contact between users and the developer of the technology and that provides support on specific aspects of each Enabler. Here are some services available:
  • Cosmos is an on-demand hadoop infrastructure developed by Telefonica which performs Big Data analysis;
  • Wirecloud, a web-based mashup platform dedicated to those who need to develop an operational dashboard;
  • Kurento for real-time video stream processing;
  • Orion, a context broker which handles data about context at large scale.
All this services are offered for free, without any lock-in, with the aim of maximize the opportunities for developers to launch new products. From 2011 to date, FIWARE Generic enablers have crossed different phases of a path of development aimed at create and test the technologies. The first phase had the goal of define and realize the Generic Enablers. In the second phase a number of trial sites which tested the enablers were set up. In the third phase, started this year, has the objective to launch them in the ecosystem of the entrepreneurs and developers. An interesting example of implementation of projects through FIWARE is represented by FINESCE, a second phase consortium, which set up 7 trial sites to test Enablers application in the energy field. In the city of Terni, where 22% of energy demand is covered by renewable and the problem of balancing between demand and supply of energy is high, FINESCE created a system based on a mix of demand-side management and innovative techniques of citizens’ involvement, whose technology leverage on 8 FIWARE Generic Enablers which allow the management of the large amount of data coming from the different sources. In September 2014, the third phase of the project was officially launched in Munich: FIWARE Accelerate program received 80 millions of euros to be distributed by 16 Accelerators as free grant to startups willing to develop new product and services leveraging on the Generic Enablers. Moreover, the 16 Accelerators will also offer an acceleration program to each start up selected in order to speed the launch of their products in the market. You can find the entire list of WIFIRE accelerators on the program website. Among the other, INCENSe Accelerator is the only one dedicated to cleantech technology, an evergreen trend we analyzed in a recent post by Ermanno Cece. INCENSe is a Consortium composed by Enel, Endesa, Accelerace and FundingBox which will select up to 42 startups to finance with € 150.000 each and an acceleration program which will take advantage from the network and the opportunities that can be offered by Consortium’s partners.