Open urban data platform as key for digital transformation
- New “Morgenstadt Initiative” project supports cities and regions in data-driven transformation
How can cities and municipal enterprises use urban data efficiently, transparently and profitably? With the “Daten-Kompetenzzentrum für Städte und Regionen DKSR” (Data Competence Center for Cities and Regions), a project of the Fraunhofer Morgenstadt Initiative has been accompanied to spin-off at the beginning of the year. DKSR uses an open-source approach to help municipalities find municipal data, retrieve it in a structured way and share it securely.
Four partners from the Morgenstadt Initiative, together with municipalities, develop a platform offering as the basis for the city of the future. An independent company has emerged from the joint initiative of Fraunhofer, Deutsche Telekom, [ui!] Urban Software Institute and axxessio on February 26, 2021: “Daten-Kompetenzzentrum für Städte und Regionen – DKSR” (Competence Center for Cities and Regions) will accompany municipalities in their data-driven transformation. To do so, it will provide an open-source platform that guarantees data sovereignty, while ensuring further development and exchange on best practices in the Morgenstadt Urban Data Community. “At Fraunhofer, we work on ways to use knowledge from data for municipalities, the citizens, and business. And often, as is the case here, start-ups with established companies are a way of successfully transferring this knowledge,” says Professor Dr. Wilhelm Bauer, Executive Director of Fraunhofer IAO. Dr. Goodarz Mahbobi, CEO of axxessio and originator of the joint initiative, adds: “Digital transformation and the associated data sovereignty in municipalities is a challenge that is so complex that it cannot be solved by one company alone. Rather, it requires a symbiosis of various specialist competencies – these are bundled in DKSR.”
No Smart City without smart data analysis
Clean air in cities, networked mobility, user-centric administrative services, balancing out fluctuating use of renewable energies or rapid responses to crises – all these features of a sustainable and liveable city will only be possible with digital solutions. But the individual needs and use cases of municipalities, cities and regions require individual solutions. It turns out that the more digital services are implemented, the greater the need for an open data platform to aggregate, harmonize and integrate data sets from different systems. In the process, municipal administrations have to make many decisions regarding technical infrastructure, provider selection, as well as data organization and security.
Setting up a provider ecosystem: neutral, open, secure, and interoperable.
Through DKSR, cities and regions can access standardized solutions and a large ecosystem of quality-assured providers. To do this, DKSR itself does not use the data, nor does it offer own applications. DKSR works with all providers for digital smart city solutions according to transparent rules. Their applications are then made available to all cities and municipalities in an open ecosystem. “Openness is the basis for municipal data platforms,” emphasizes Professor Dr. Lutz Heuser, CEO of [ui!] Urban Software Institute. Full FIWARE compatibility and the use of open standards in accordance with DIN SPEC 91357 ensure that DKSR is compatible and interoperable with all current systems. With an embedded IDS standard, this is the world’s first open source data platform that already has fully integrated the technical solution for implementing municipal data sovereignty.
Joint further development through exchange of experience
Building on the Fraunhofer Morgenstadt network, the DKSR’s “Morgenstadt Urban Data Community” offers a lively exchange of information for the joint further development of solutions and the exchange of data models and use cases. This offers the advantages for cities and regions that they can easily adopt data-based applications and models via “plug and play”. Events and dedicated communication channels promote direct peer-to-peer exchange. The joint development effort also ensures a reduction in costs. In addition, the community is involved in addressing queries of the DKSR. “We are convinced that shaping the shared space of the city can also only be achieved together and in dialog. In addition to networks and communities for dialog, open urban data platforms as a basic municipal infrastructure will make an important contribution to success,” confirms Michael Frank, responsible for Smart City at Deutsche Telekom.
In Dr. Alanus von Radecki, an expert from the Morgenstadt Initiative is taking over the management of the new DKSR. He was a co-founder and longstanding head of the Morgenstadt innovation network and has built up a large network of innovation drivers in municipalities, research and industry. As Managing Director of DKSR, he now brings the results from numerous innovation and pilot projects into broad application for cities and regions in Germany and throughout Europe.