Today the FIWARE Open Day marks the successful completion of the Public-Private partnership between the European Commission and industry by passing the baton on to the FIWARE Foundation. This guarantees the long-term evolution of FIWARE by its open-source developer community and establishes the FIWARE platform as an open-source alternative in the market place.
Future Internet PPP
In 2011, the internet had nearly two billion users around the world, The European Commission launched a € 300 million Future Internet Public Private Partnership (FI-PPP) to increase and share the social and economic benefits of the future internet for consumers, citizens, businesses and the public sector. The Future Internet PPP developed FIWARE, which merged the best technologies available to create an open platform of components which could be used to build smart applications. For example, it led to the creation of AGRICOLUS, a smart farming application which aims to provide a complete system for managing pesticide and growth treatments for agricultural crops. The Future Internet PPP also linked and supported entrepreneurs and startups, companies and researchers, engineers and academics using the FIWARE building blocks from the research and innovation stage until their products and ideas reached the marketplace.
The FIWARE advantage
More than 5 years later, there are more than 3.75 billion users of the internet. Companies such as the Finnish Adminotech, hundreds of startups and dozens of municipalities in Europe are providing advanced digital services and have created smart apps, developed faster and at a lower cost thanks to FIWARE. FIWARE avoids vendor lock-in, helps to remove commercial and technical barriers and grow a data driven economy based of standard open service platform components. ETSI, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, is working to develop European standards based on a key FIWARE component:
For example, more than 100 cities have joined the Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) Initiative, and rely on FIWARE-based products and services in their quest for city-wideopen service platforms and re-use of services. Through this initiative, the cities are developing a Europe-wide open market for smart cities services, boosting innovation and competitiveness.
Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of Regions says: "Smart cities and pioneering regions are the cradles for innovation in Europe. By developing an open and sustainable ecosystem, the FIWARE Foundation encourages organisations to become even smarter and take advantage of today's digital opportunities. These developments are crucial for the EU open service platform and the data economy to thrive".
From PPP to FIWARE foundation
The European Commission supported FIWARE under the FP7 R&I innovation programme with € 150 million matching investment coming from industry. In autumn 2016, companies including Atos, Engineering, Orange and Telefonica launched the FIWARE Foundation established in Berlin to promote, augment, protect and validate FIWARE technologies. They were soon joined by companies, large and small who wanted to also support the activities of the FIWARE community, empowering its members, including end users, developers and rest of stakeholders within the entire ecosystem. The foundation is financed by its members and participates in several H2020 projects, through which it receives funding.
Khalil Rouhana, Deputy Director General, DG CONNECT notes "The FIWARE Foundation is a visible commitment of European businesses to bring more innovative internet services to consumers, citizens, businesses and the public sector. Therefore, the European Commission welcomes the FIWARE Foundation as an important contributor in making the European Digital Single Market a reality, digitising our society and economy, and helping innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive in the EU."
With FIWARE fit for market take-up, the Foundation becomes the central interlocutor between the open-source developer community, industry and the users in different vertical business segments. The Commission continues supporting FIWARE, wishing to see that it succeeds on the market place, however also because the principles behind FIWARE support our vision of a European digital single market. Two recently launched large scale pilots, IoF2020 in the agrofood sector and SynchroniCity in the Smart City sector make use of FIWARE as their open platforms for service development.