Our Smart Cities Belgium project was piloted by the city of Antwerp. We developed the platform for the City of Antwerp when IoT was still in its infancy. Antwerp was already smart in different ways. The city utilizes sensors to measure the water quality, sensors that indicate when the public garbage bins are full or that indicate when somebody occupies a parking spot for too long. All of these sensors provide a richness of information. When those different sensors are capable of communicating, the possibilities become endless. By combining all this data on one platform, Sirus helped Antwerp become even smarter.
Smart Cities Belgium wants to help cities combine their data on one structured platform. Antwerp set up a Generic IoT Platform (GIP) to combine data in real time so other applications can make use of this data. Thanks to this platform different objects can easily communicate. “Smart applications are often enclosed in silo’s”, indicates Gert De Tant, Chief Technology Officer and CEO at Sirus.
“They often process data in their own specific way. A producer of smart cameras can utilize a unique protocol so these cameras cannot communicate with smart traffic lights of another producer. One producer can also use a totally different data format than another producer. That’s why we translate all data automatically to the uniform European format. We also offer this data through European standard interfaces”.
Thanks to Smart Cities Belgium the different smart applications in Antwerp are able to communicate efficiently. Sirus combined the incoming data of different sensors. All this data is translated to the European standard format. On top of that, the data is made available for the public. Companies can use this data to offer their newest application to all sorts of companies in Europe. For smaller companies this is a commercially very interesting possibility. The city of Antwerp launches a strong start for further groundbreaking innovation in their city.
“Imagine a start-up having a great idea to develop a smart application. They then can effectively use the data from other smart city applications in Antwerp”, explains De Tant.
In 2016 Digipolis challenged the market to help develop a smart city architecture for the city of Antwerp. Sirus won the challenge and immediately talked strategy with Antwerp to develop the new IT-architecture. This architecture was tested during different meet-ups with the digital community of Antwerp. New smart applications were bought and the GIP was expanded.
“At the end of October, we went live with the platform. We are very satisfied with the way things are developing right now. The citizens of Antwerp are impressed by the speed with which new data streams can join the platform. It’s only a matter of two to five days”, concludes a satisfied Gert De Tant.
Every newly launched IoT application will run through this new platform.
Julie Van Nuwenborg – project leader digital innovations City of Antwerp