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Session I.4 Smart Cities and FIRE: Experimentation and Living Labs for the Future Internet

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2 hours, Session 1.4, on Wednesday 18 May 2011, from 10.30 to 12.30


Roberto Santoro (ESoCE Net), Anastasius Gavras (Eurescom), Hans Schaffers (ESoCE Net), Timo Lahnalampi (Dimes), José Hernandez-Muñoz (Telefónica), Jerker Wilander (Dimes), Jacques Magen (Dimes), Annika Sällström (CDT), Michael Nilsson (CDT).


FIRE projects are working on setting up federated and interconnected experimental facilities and engaging in experimentally driven research. Experimentally driven research on the Future Internet primarily aims to investigate and validate innovative networking architectures and service paradigms. Several projects are targeting technologies and service concepts of high importance for user applications, such as Web TV over mobile (PII/Panlab), travel e-commerce and healthcare (TEFIS), on-demand applications (BONFIRE) and Internet of Things (Smart Santander). Other projects in FP7-ICT like FI PPP as well as CIP ICT-PSP also address both Internet technologies such as Internet of Things and sensor networks as well as end-user involvement in experimentation and evaluation (ELLIOT, PERIMETER, N4C).
The FIRESTATION portfolio study has observed a need to enhance user support and user involvement, which is considered a new and untested concept. The Living Labs community on the other hand has brought together a rich variety of experiences on user engagement in ICT-based innovation. Important areas of application, such as smart cities, are considered as excellent playgrounds for Future Internet research and experimentation.
Apparently, and as a follow-up to the last three successful sessions in Stockholm, Valencia and Ghent, and exemplified by the Open Calls in FIRE, there is a need for gaining and understanding practical experiences in projects currently exploring experimentation and user involvement, getting insight in the ‘interworking’ of living labs and future internet experimental research, and proposing new initiatives and collaborations. Furthermore the FIREBALL and FIRESTATION co-ordination and support actions are supporting the communities to identifying workable collaboration and partnerships schemes.


The over-all objective of this parallel session is to discuss practical experiences of user involvement and ‘living labs’ in future internet experimentation projects and to suggest new directions for methodologies and projects in this respect, keeping also in mind the importance of experimentation and validation. The focus is on how Testbeds and infrastructure for experimental research can also be used by users in cities and in regions (user driven innovation, UDI); and how common resources and services provided by different facilities e.g. living labs and experimental facilities can be made accessible and shared.  Other focus area is on implications of the methodologies side i.e. how real user`s requirements can be captured to enhance Future Internet researchers activity in domains such as Internet of Things and Internet of Service. The session aims to bring together interested members from different Future Internet, Living Labs and Smart Cities communities in order to share the initial concrete examples of Future Internet technologies in a city and urban environment, and discuss the sharing of capabilities and resources offered by existing smart city platforms and Living Labs facilities. It aims to identify the gaps for integrating the technology driven experimentation methodologies with the smart-city based experimental facilities and the user driven innovation methodologies with the living labs approaches. The session also aims to lay the foundation for wider scale and sustainable collaboration between the different communities and raise the awareness of real life experimentation possibilities and pilot requirements to benefit Future Internet innovation as well as urban and city development.
The session establishes a matchmaking environment for innovative methodologies and project initiatives across the communities of Future Internet and Living labs with a view towards large-scale user environments (“critical mass”) such as provided by ‘smart cities’.


The session is structured in two parts of 45 minutes each, followed by an open discussion of 30 minutes with the audience. Each part starts with two presentations of 10 minutes each, followed by a 25 minutes moderated panel discussion with the session participants. Each panellist will have the opportunity to provide his experience from additional project cases and his suggestions.

Part 1: Learning from current projects in real-life experimentation and user Involvement for the Future Internet
This part focuses on learning from current projects in real-life experimentation (such as smart applications and smart city initiatives) using Future Internet test bed facilities and making use of living lab concepts to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders including researchers, business and end-users.
The main objective of Part 1 is to show practical cases in the approach for Future Internet experimental research and user involvement, and in particular how the technology driven  and user driven elements are integrated and what lessons have already been and can be learned. Experiences from several projects addressing Future Internet experimentation and user involvement will be presented. Good practices will be highlighted and existing gaps identified.

Part 2: Bridging the existing gaps in experimentation and user involvement methodologies and practices
This part focuses on bridging the existing methodological and practical gaps for establishing effective models of collaboration across FIRE and Living Labs communities, to exploit available experimental facilities, experimentation methods and user involvement approaches.
The main objective of Part 2 is to present mature mechanisms for involving users in test beds for Future Internet experimentally driven research, for example  in smart cities environments, that are used in actual projects. The discussion will focus on harmonizing the Living Lab and Testbed methodologies, on providing access to the various resources necessary for Future Internet experimentation and innovation, and on extending the actual mechanisms to create a European sustainable collaboration platform for experimentation on the Future Internet and its applications in large-scale user environments such as smart cities. Representatives of the major communities of Living Labs, Test Beds and Smart Cities will present their views towards partnerships for mutual collaboration and for making accessible a European Research and Innovation Experimentation platform to Business, SMEs, Citizens and Researchers.


1)    Learning from current projects in real-life experimentation and user Involvement for the Future Internet
Moderator: undefinedTimo Lahnalampi, DIMES (FIRESTATION)

  • undefinedItziar Ormaetxea (Software Quality Systems S.A., TEFIS): Real-life experimentation: experiences from the TEFIS project
  • undefinedJosé M. Hernández-Muñoz (Telefónica, SmartSantander): Experimenting the Internet of Things in the SmartSantander project


  • Martin Dobler (PERIMETER)
  • undefinedAnastasius Gavras (PII/Panlab)
  • Roberto Santoro (ESoCE Net, ELLIOT)
  • Dimitri Papadimitriou (Alcatel-Lucent Bell and ECODE/EULER).

2)     Bridging the existing gaps in experimentation and user involvement methodologies and practices
Moderator: Michael Nilsson, Luleå University of Technology (FIREBALL)

  • undefinedAnna Ståhlbröst (Luleå University of Technology and Botnia Living Lab): Living Labs Methodology for User Involvement
  • undefinedMarija Zlata Boznar (MEIS Slovenia, N4C): Experimentation and User involvement -future needs based on past experiences.

Panellists presenting proposals to bridge the gaps:

  • Pieter Ballon (IBBT, APOLLON)
  • Dave Carter (MDDA, EUROCITIES)
  • Hans Schaffers (ESoCE Net, FIREBALL

Moderated discussion and interaction with audience (30 minutes)
Moderator Hans Schaffers (ESoCE Net, FIREBALL)

The aim of the discussion is to exchange additional insights, identify key lessons for future work, and provide inspiration for new activities in the area covered. Key discussion topics:

  • What do we learn from the presented initiatives to integrate user involvement approaches into future internet experimentation.
  • What are the limits and opportunities of integration of user involvement into experimentally driven research, or will there be limits.
  • What are the  “models” that can be envisaged of involving users in the experimental process. What kind of lessons can we draw from the open calls.
  • What kind of arrangements and mechanisms will be necessary to facilitate easy access to a diverse set of experimental resources and facilities.
  • What kind of methods and tools do we need to get users involved more extensively and fruitful in Future Internet experimentation projects and conduct experimental research.
  • How can we enhance the benefits of user-driven experimentation for target groups such as SMEs and larger companies, for cities / citizens, and others.