Badajoz Is More - the journey to become a smart province
Badajoz uses Context Broker to digitally connect public administrations, local businesses and citizens to increase innovation, entrepreneurship and overall quality of life.
- Organisation: Provincial Council of Badajoz, in Extremadura, western Spain
- Project: Badajoz Is More
- Challenge: How to create sustainable development and prevent rural exodus
- Solution: An innovation ecosystem and a central platform for smart services powered by FIWARE Context Broker
- Building Block: Context Broker
- EU funded: No
Sustainable development through technology
Even though Badajoz is rather sparsely populated, it is the largest province in Spain, located in the western part of the country. For years, the region has seen young citizens emigrate to more urban areas in search of jobs and a better quality of life. In 2018, the Provincial Council of Badajoz embarked on an ambitious initiative, called ‘Badajoz Is More’, to increase the attractiveness of the region by using technology.
The 'Badajoz Is More' initiative provides tools and services based on Internet of Things (IoT) and big data technologies in order to foster sustainable development by turning Badajoz into a smart province. Badajoz envisioned bridging the digital gap between urban and non-urban areas in order to avoid rural exodus. To do this, the provincial council decided to improve the cost-efficiency of municipal services by centralising all services into a single smart platform that would optimise internal processes, increase transparency, enhance the overall effectiveness of decisions, and empower citizens with more knowledge and control through intuitive, digital public services. They also wanted to use technology to promote local entrepreneurship and job creation.
To fully realise this initiative, work was divided into three tracks:
- Implementation of the central platform: ‘Provincial Platform for Smart Public Services Management’
- Creation of a Technical Office for strategic, technological and administrative activities
- Creation of an Innovation Ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and job creation
The ‘Provincial Platform for Smart Public Services Management’ is the central platform, which collects and processes data from the Badajoz Provincial Council and the different town halls. After the platform was created, the team connected IoT-based smart solutions to it, starting from Smart Waste Management, Smart Water Cycle Management, and Smart Street Lighting. The data collection from different sources and their collective analysis are enabled by Context Broker, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme's Building Block for making data driven decisions in real time, at the right time. The services and support offered by the European Commission's CEF programme are based on the technical specifications defined by FIWARE, an association for promoting open and interoperable IoT-based smart services.
As is shown in the illustration below, there are two different dashboards to visualise information. One is an executive dashboard with management reports and service management indicators. The other is an operational dashboard to display real-time status indicators and predictive analytics. With the platform, all connected public administrations will be able to manage, monitor and control smart services for informed, efficient and transparent decisions.
@Illustration by the Provincial Council of Badajoz
The Technical Office performs strategic, technological and administrative activities for the project. For example, it provides indicators on resource efficiency, service activity and overall territory benchmarking, which are provided by Context Broker.
The creation of the Innovation Ecosystem around technologies aims to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in the Badajoz region. The ecosystem serves as a meeting point between entrepreneurs, educational entities, local businesses, public entities and citizens to discuss and identify development and business opportunities brought by the new technologies. This ecosystem provides the community with a central contact point to learn and experiment with digital tools and services.
Results and benefits
The Badajoz Provincial Council has successfully provided digital services to municipalities, local businesses, educational entities, citizens and other stakeholders in the region. With the smart city expertise shared with local entities, the initiative was also able to digitally connect with sparsely populated areas. Through Context Broker, Badajoz now has a highly scalable, flexible and interoperable solution for smart services. The platform is secure, reliable and based on a vendor-neutral, open-source technology. This means that it will be easy for anyone to connect their IoT-based service to the platform and offer it to anyone they want.
Context Broker provides a flexible and highly scalable foundation on which, the province can easily connect new IoT and big data based public services regardless of technology or vendor.
'Badajoz Is More' has something to offer for everyone:
- Public administrations - better management of services and more informed decision making
- Citizens - improved quality of public services provided
- Service providers - possibility to offer improved services
- ICT sector - promotion of innovation, cooperation and new business development
More smart services in the future
In the future, the province plans to further pilot smart services in other areas, such as in managing parking, tourism, and sports facilities. These pilots will also be integrated into the same ‘Provincial Platform of Smart Public Service Management’, due to the vast data collection abilities of Context Broker.
The province aims to become the national reference for smart territory solutions. It will continue to create synergies between local businesses, start-ups and public administrations to further expand the free flow of information in order to connect communities.
How can you get started?
The Context Broker was established in 2018 to help organisations share data in real time, at the right time. The documentation and support services are described on our website and available to all. We would be happy to help you get started, visit us at Context Broker to learn more.
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