Japan-Europe JEUSPISTE Project Innovation Workshop No.1

Jose Gonzalez (UPM) attended last October 13th at Brussels the JEUPISTE Project Innovation Workshop No.1, named “Smart Communities in a broader term”. The FP7 project “Japan-EU Partnership in Innovation, Science and TEchnology (JEUPISTE) is engaged in several activities to reinforce Europe-Japan cooperation in different areas of interest.Throughout the event was remarked multiple times how relevant such international cooperation is in order to find similarities, and to establish a common strategy with 2020 as objective. The EC is willing to stress this partnership towards energy, transport and ICT sectors.

This particular workshop represents the first one of a series, paying attention to identification of issues, ideation and team building. The workshop No. 2, planned in Turin on November 13th, will focus on the downstream side of the innovation value chain, getting funding and bringing research into market (especially in ICT-related fields). It was discussed with Dr. Toshiyasu Ichioka, coordinator of the event and Project Manager of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, about the possibility to attend such second workshop since the vision of the FIWARE initiative would also fit.

The workshop was clustered in 3 different parts, where the presentation “FIWARE and ICT-enabled smart communities” was given within the identification of issues and development of concept. Such presentation aimed at browsing the whole FIWARE ecosystem, giving a brief introduction about the main pillars. FI-LINKS was also introduced due to the nature of the meeting. In general terms, the audience had a possitive impression of the whole programme, and some of them (e.g. Tim Fawbert from Hitachi Europe) had special interest in the vision of Smart Cities and the management of Open Data.

One of the most valuable things from the event was the perception of Smart Cities from the Japanese side. Mr. Wataru Takahama, representative of the Japanese goverment, revealed the interpretation of smart communities and supporting policies that are currently being enforced. Since the energy management is a crucial issue in Japan, this field is almost the only one considered properly as Smart City oriented. Research strategies in Big Data, Open Data or Cloud computing are considered as the means to reach the efficient management of energy. Mr. Naoki Mimuro presented the Yokohama Smart City Project-YSCP  as one of the most recognized case studies beyond Japan, provisioning an efficient management in the consumption of energy in 4000 households in the city of Yokohama. He concluded that technology is not the main cast in Smart Cities, but the citizens