Sirus is writing a new chapter in its Smart City story. We recently won the tender for the Brugge-Roeselare-Leuven (BLR) urban data platform!
Why is this so exciting?
Since it’s the first time cities in Flanders enroll this kind of project on such a large scale. The cities Brugge, Roeselare and Leuven will join forces and combine their data on one platform and that’s somethings that has never been done before, not in Belgium, but – as far as we know – not in Europe either. What is even more exciting is that six other Belgian cities have showed interest in this platform as well and might join in the future, resulting in large data sharing across multiple cities.
This is very good news, since cities now have the capability of working together and use less resources (one platform) to generate much more value for citizens and companies (combined data from different cities in Belgium). The combined data will make comparison and deeper insights much easier and the gained insights more valuable. The uniqueness of this project is that it fills in the dream of Open standards and Shared Data Modelsat large scale. The cities are in the driving seat in this story, they are the ones who have decided to work together in order to create this wonderful dream.
The journey to winning this project
It all started in November 2019, at a Microsoft dinner in Barcelona. Sirus was talking about the dream of sharing data across different cities with two Brugge city’s spokesmen. Wouldn’t it be great if cities broke free from their data silos and if they could gather all of their data on one platform? You could then compare air quality from your city with other cities. By sharing data we could all learn so much more. Later that night, we all dreamt sweet dreams of Shared Data Models and Open standards, data being shared across the country.
The cities of Brugge, Roeselare and Leuven launched a tender for a combined Smart City Data Platform. Our attention was immediately drawn by this: we wanted to do our very best for this Urban Data project! We strongly believe in the power of an ecosystem and the strength of combining knowledge to offer the best answer to a diverse and complex question, so we decided to partner with CEGEKA .
CEGEKA is one of Belgium’s largest IT providers. When it comes to Smart Cities, CEGEKA strongly focuses on mobility, interoperability, customer service and helpdesk support, whereas Sirus has more data knowledge. We unanimously agreed that both skills would pledge a great case and earn Brugge, Roeselare and Leuven the Smart Data Platform they deserved and asked for.
When the candidacies were narrowed down to a shortlist of 4 players, we geared up to create the best offer. We run our components on the KPN Data Services Hub (DSH), a high speed data streaming platform built by KPN which adheres completely to requirements of the BLR project. This has proven to be a strong foundation to which we could add more urban data platform functionality. So we added specific Sirus components to this existing platform, like Context Broker, Fact Store, User Management, Supplier Management, Open Data Portal, Device Management, Data Lake and Data Harmonization. All of these components are developed by Sirus. We worked hard in perfecting our offer and generating a perfect fit for Brugge-Roeselare-Leuven. After submitting our offer, a pitch moment followed where we could present our solution and answer all related questions. We made our Best Final Offer and then we waited…
At the end of September we finally received the superb news. Our solution offered the best fit to the requirements of the BLR-board. At Sirus, we were over the moon and we are now ready to successfully launch this project.
The following months and years Sirus and CEGEKA will further develop the platform and onboard several use cases. We’ll have the platform up and running by January 2022 for Brugge-Roeselare-Leuven. At that point we can start onboarding the cities’ first cases, by gathering data from the Smart City solutions the cities already possess. For example, for the city of Leuven, we’ll start onboarding its noise measurement, Brugge wants to onboard its pressure measurement and Roeselare its existing water level measurement (temperature, amount of precipitation and voltages…).
On The Urban Sense platform you only need to set up the specific use case once and at that point other cities can easily join in when they install similar smart solutions in their city. For example when Brugge follows Leuven’s example and installs noise meters in its city, their data is almost automatically added to the platform, without further onboarding costs.
Brugge, Roeselare and Leuven have some exciting times ahead. And when all goes well, other cities can join the platform. Kortrijk, Gent, Hasselt, Turhout, Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas have also applied for a possible join in on the platform. So this BLR project could get even more exciting.
Requirements of the BLR project
The BLR project had some specific requirements when launching its tender, including:
FLEXIBILITY – SCALABILITY – ELASTICITY – ROBUSTNESS – PRIVACY – OPENNESS – INTEROPERABILITY – MONITORING – EVOLUTIONARY – SECURITY
Why is this a big step for Sirus?
This project corresponds perfectly with our vision for Smart Cities. This is what Sirus wanted to achieve from its very beginning: creating an open Urban Data architecture, sharing data and making interoperability possible. And there’s more to the story! Since the platform is compliant with VLOCA’s architecture, cities who do decide to build their own platform in the future, according to VLOCA’s standards, are interoperable with the BLR-platform. By now working on a platform for several cities in Belgium, Sirus is well on its way of becoming the data expert in Smart City platforms.
SIRUS X CEGEKA: URBAN SENSE
Since Sirus and CEGEKA will be working together on this BLR project, we developed a new temporary partnership, named Urban Sense. This way both parties can approach the customer, the cities, as one team. According to the customer we are now one company, one talking point: Urban Sense.
What Sirussers will work on this project?
Jens will lead the BLR project as Project Manager, Joris and Thomas will be working as Data Engineers and Gert will join them as Enterprise Architect. Together with CEGEKA, these Sirus astronauts will undoubtedly launch the project successfully into space!
Ready to launch into a smart future as well? Do not hesitate to contact us.
Or read more about our other Smart City and Smart Company projects.