FI-WARE Open API Platform Offers 140M to Entrepreneurs

A project partnership funded by the European Commission has today announced it is making €100 million ($USD140 million) available to entrepreneurs and startups around the world who use the Future Internet’s Open API Platform FI-WARE to create a prototype ‘smart city’ application.

FI-WARE is a smart city European private-public partnership funded by the European Commission and with investment from Spanish telco provider Telefonica. FI-WARE provides a range of open source, API-enabled tools intended to help developers and innovators create smart city applications. Developers can use the Sandbox environment at FI-Lab to trial their prototype creations and gain valuable feedback from a network of smart city experts and fellow developers.

To encourage a new wave of developers to make use of the open source tools on the platform, FI-WARE runs regular hackathon competitions to foster engagement on the platform ecosystem. The FI-WARE partnership team has announced its next “Campus Day” Challenges, with initial ideas due to be submitted by 31 March.

The Challenges are divided into two categories.

The first Challenge invites developers to create an application with a social benefit, such as Integration of data and services aimed at improving citizen education, health or participation in the local community. Ideas proposed by 31 March will be shortlisted, with the top 20 entrants sharing €56,000 in initial prize money. Those shortlisted entrants will then go on to compete for a further €145,000 in the second phase of the Challenge, in which entrants will then build up their idea. (Previous winners have created apps such as FoodLoop, which seeks to minimize food wastage by leveraging supermarket discounts on fresh produce as it approaches its expiration date.)

A new, second Challenge category has also been created for this latest competition. This is aimed at encouraging developers to create any type of prototype they like, as long as it makes use of the open source tools provided on the FI-WARE platform. Again, €56,000 is available to shortlisted entrants who submit their ideas by the end of 31 March, with winners sharing a further prize pool divvied up amongst categories including prototype excellence in:

  • IoT
  • Robotics
  • Real-time data and media stream processing
  • Big Data
  • User Interface
  • Safety.

All shortlisted entrants will attend Campus Party Europe, where they will present their prototypes to a jury panel in July 2014.

Speaking today at the launch of the FI-WARE Challenges and the announcement of a FI-WARE Node to be located in Seville in Southern Spain (where a data center for the smart cities platform will be located), President of the Andalusian cluster of ICT companies (ETICOM), Baltasar Fernández Ávila said:

“Smart cities are playing a fundamental role in the development of FI-WARE. Technology like FI-WARE is opening the way for companies, and we see startups as one of the most important stakeholders in the development of the FI-WARE platform. The opportunities are infinite. This is a market that is wide open, and while there is a lot of development now, there is still a lot of opportunity that has not been realized yet.”

Throughout this week, ProgrammableWeb will be reporting on FI-WARE, including an in-depth look at the open API platform and what it means for smart city product development, and a summary of smart city ideas that will be made possible by using the FI-WARE platform.

By Mark Boyd. Mark is a freelance writer focusing on how we use technology to connect and interact. He writes regularly about API business models, open data, smart cities, Quantified Self and e-commerce. He can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

Be sure to read the next Government article: FI-WARE Opens Up the IoT Future to Everyone