The two researchers of the Technological Institute of Aragon ITAINNOVA, have achieved the certification of FIWARE, which is a European initiative that aims to promote an open source platform where data can be shared to enable the development of new intelligent applications in very different sectors such as logistics, agriculture, environment or Smart Cities.
The certification of these two researchers allows placing Aragon IHL as an international reference in this platform, making it more visible so that partners who want to launch certain projects, partnerships or apply for grants, can contact the Aragonese IHL.
For companies, it means new opportunities to access funding calls and projects that they could not access before. “The objective of the Instituto Tecnológico de Aragón and Aragón DIH is to help companies, mainly small ones. The certification is one more door where we can collaborate with them,” explains researcher Vega Rodrigálvarez. “In addition, as it is within the framework of the European Union, we have the opportunity to work on proposals that include partners from other countries,” adds Carlos González.
Aragon IHL is the Aragonese initiative that makes tangible, under a European cooperation framework, Aragon’s Economic and Industrial Promotion strategy and Aragon’s intelligent regional strategy. The three founding partners of Aragon DIH are the Technological Institute of Aragon ITAINNOVA, the Aragonese Institute of Development and the University of Zaragoza.
“Fiware aims to build, at a European level, a data platform where companies can share them and from the DIH we try to help them by showing them those added values,” says Gonzalez. One of the fundamental points is the creation of new business models based on this shared data, for example, if a company is interested in becoming a consumer of data that another company shares (weather, pollution, traffic, etc.). This philosophy is currently being promoted, always bearing in mind that the data remain their property but that commercial agreements may be established. In addition, “FIWARE is used in conjunction with another platform called iShare, which makes it possible to promote the business side, secure the data and establish contracts for access to certain data,” he adds.
Belonging to an international community makes it possible to create a knowledge exchange at the European level: “Any questions we might have we can ask and open them up to the community. They respond to you and can guide you,” says Rodrigálvarez. A consultancy work among the members of the platform, whose common objective is the digitization of companies.
Another fundamental aspect is the calls for funding through the i4Trust platform, which combines FIWARE with IShare. With different areas and sectors, “they launch these calls so that companies, together with the IHLs that are certified, can carry out small projects or pilot tests using this platform,” explains the researcher.
The Aragon Institute of Technology has a cognitive systems and artificial intelligence laboratory so that companies can work with these researchers through private contracts, European proposals or different collaboration options. “Companies can come to work with us as usual, just the certification allows more opportunities,” Vega Rodrigálvarez points out, and continues, “it means they can access certain European calls for proposals and we can guide them to show them what else they can do with their data.”
Regarding commercial agreements with data, Carlos González explains that the IHL does not intend to change the business model of the companies, but to show the opportunities that may arise from participating in other projects by sharing their data. “Explain that, if companies publish their data on certain platforms, with their corresponding licenses and contracts, other initiatives can use that data, exploit us and get a return, which otherwise would be stopped. It’s a bonus,” explains the researcher.
Regarding commercial agreements with data, Carlos Gonzalez explains that the IHL does not intend to change the business model of companies but to show the opportunities, which can involve participating in other projects by sharing their data. “Explain that, if companies publish their data on certain platforms, with their corresponding licenses and contracts, other initiatives can use that data, exploit us and get a return, which otherwise would be stopped. It’s a bonus,” explains the researcher.
However, the change of perspective regarding data is one of the challenges, along with digitization. “In general, companies are very afraid to open up and prefer to keep everything closed. This philosophy is a bit the opposite, but granting a secure framework. The change of mentality is important, we are all jealous of our data. They have to provide you with a suitable, secure and reliable environment, but also one that you believe is reliable so that you dare to go for it,” explains the researcher.
“We are giving added value, but not only because we are in FIWARE, but also because we are IHL Aragon, because we are the Technological Institute of Aragon and because it is our mission, our goal is to help companies,” adds Rodrigálvarez.