How the FIWARE Platform Drives Innovation

Posted on: May 27, 2015 by Malena Donato

Technology is moving at lightning speed. With new trends and innovations cropping up on a near daily basis it’s no surprise that some businesses are struggling to keep the pace.

Most organisations can see the benefits of these new technologies but too often are left unable to access them. The costs and complexity involved in trying to build new applications from scratch is beyond many businesses. Even in today’s digital world, where bringing a product to a global market has never been easier, a good idea is sometimes not enough.

FIWARE has been set up to solve this issue. Ostensibly it is a cloud-based resource platform for developers, aiming to provide users with a fully-stocked library of APIs that will allow organisations to access the basic building blocks for any application. Known as ‘functionalities’, these building blocks allow developers to spend time focusing on the unique selling points of their application, effectively outsourcing the development of the back-end frameworks which are common to most apps – whether these are ‘big data’ or ‘Internet of Things’, for example.

Additionally, FIWARE also offers businesses access to a huge amount of open data – helping developers to make their applications relevant to their specific industry, and get up and running as quickly as possible.

Aiming High

But FIWARE is much more than just a library of APIs – its potential impact is immeasurable. With aims to become the de facto standard for Smart Cities, the project is set to go far and wide over the next few years. Although currently based in Europe, the FIWARE Mundus programme is reaching out to other areas of the globe, with agreements already in place for Chile and Mexico to start using the technology.

Crucially, FIWARE is focused on creating an open experience. Applications will be shared across all regions, not tied to any specific geography or local compliance laws: if a traffic control application is designed by a team in Madrid, it may also work in Helsinki or Berlin.

Using open source technology and open standards is a big part of the FIWARE ethos. The technology is available with open specifications and open APIs, again making accessibility the priority.

Creating a Firm Foundation

Such a ground breaking new model - API-as-a-Service - needs a strong foundation. Step in XIFI (the eXperimental Infrastructures for the Future Internet). The XIFI project has been developed to help support FIWARE by offering a viable production environment in which new applications can be developed and tested.

XIFI runs as a federated infrastructure marketplace. As a vast network of nodes running across the entirety of Europe, the market will offer near limitless scale – vital for FIWARE’s ambitious deployment plans. Originally a research project for Atos, the organisation’s work on both the XIFI and general FIWARE projects is now part of the Atos Research and Innovation Unit (ARI). Atos has committed to helping spread the adoption of technology – creating the tools needed for organisations to access. We also play a big role in shaping the strategy of the project; we want to drive towards sustainable business, giving all organisations and cities the opportunity to join the digital revolution. To find out more about the FIWARE project (How FIWARE is shaping the Smart Society), check out the recent blog looking closely at some of the most innovative uses of the platform…

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About Malena Donato
Senior Project Manager and Business Consultant
Malena Donato is a senior Project Manager and Business Consultant, with broad experience in European Research Innovation and Development projects in the Telecommunications and Internet industries. Her expertise focuses on business planning, market analysis, exploitation and dissemination activities. She has been working within Atos Research and Innovation since 10 years. Currently, she’s SMART-FI Project Coordinator and Exploitation Manager in ElasTest and STAMP (all H2020 projects). Previously she worked in FIWARE, XIFI, SUPERSEDE and MARKOS as a business analyst and on market research and commercial exploitation and dissemination activities. Malena is an Innovation and Design Thinking Educator among a team organizing internal workshops on Innovation and Creativity. She has extensive experience as a consultant for market trends on ICT in the fields of Smart Cities, Future of Internet, Software Engineering and testing.