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Michigan Smart City Data Streams Marketplace in full compliance with Privacy Laws.

A data streams marketplace where citizens can share and monetise securely and easily their IoT data streams for a more efficient city.

Photo of Giada Zanatta
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  • Overview of a Smart City Project by Ecosteer 

EcoSteer, a company that produces software for the Internet of Things (IoT) in the Industrial and Smart City sectors, proposes an approach that allows an organic growth of the Smart City without the need for long-term planning and without prohibitive investments. EcoSteer software converts devices, sensors, meters and machinery into "tokenizable" data streams that are immediately available to any number and type of applications for collaborative Smart City scenarios. New applications can be added over time, without the need for planning and high-risk financial allocations.

The foundations of the Smart City are Smart Citizens and Smart Communities. The objective of the Pilot presented is to empower people - i.e. residents, workers and visitors - to digitized the Central Station Area, sharing their personal data securely and easily with other stakeholders within Smart City in exchange for services – or cash. In fact, in order to involve citizens, they need 

  • to be rewarded, for sharing their data
  • to be in control over their data, personally granting and revoking the consent to use it
  • to feel part of a community. 

Thanks to the Michigan Smart City Data Stream Marketplace, citizens, companies and institutions can share and monetize their IoT data, while having full control over it, in full compliance with Privacy Laws.

Having real time IoT Data flows generated by smart devices and digitalized assets means real time visibility over the environment where people live and move, thus allowing more efficient and sustainable services.

In this first phase, the Pilot will start with the mobility data - from Ford cars' telematic box and from public transportation - but the technology offered by Ecosteer will allow to extend the scope and scale of the project with data from any kind and number of sensors. 

Real time mobility data will allow to have visibility over the people and assets that move around the area, thus being able to design more efficient and sustainable scenarios.

  • The Ecosteer technology 

In cities there will be 75 Billion of connected IoT devices by 2030. The availability of IoT real time data through data exchange hubs will make our cities smarter, safer, cleaner and more efficient, but people do not want to give up control over our personal data to achieve them.

Ecosteer software technology - the Data Ownership platform – is a data sharing governance layer based on blockchain smart contracts – currently the implementation is on a fork of Ethereum that allows to stabilize the price of the gas – that allows not only data monetization – aka tokenization – but most importantly it gives data owners complete visibility over any stakeholder requesting access to their data flows, and they will able to grant and revoke data access to any of them, at any time, thus automating the compliance with Privacy Laws. This technology is an overlay network, technically independent form both the data source – i.e. sensors - and the data brokering platform, making it a completely retrofit solution that works with any existing technology.

The user interface - i.e. the frontend - of our Data Ownership Platform is the Michigan Smart City Data Streams Marketplace that allow data owners to share and monetise their data, while controlling data flows access. 

  • Data Interoperability

The project described here defines interoperability as the ability for everyone, everywhere, at any time to access any unprocessed, unaggregated data stream generated by any citizen, corporation and institution (by any participant to the community). Based on our researches, very few Smart City related initiatives embraced the same paradigm. Amongst these the best example is provided by the municipality of Helsinki, which has implemented a data exchange hub (broker) accessible by anyone, anywhere in the world. Through Helsinki’s broker anyone can access real time information (position, acceleration, heading, etc.) related to each tram in the city. In an environment rich in diversity like a city it would not be effective to reduce interoperability to data format standards, as there are already several mainstream methods and practices that facilitate parsing and transformation. Also, the open source community has produced along the years a set of de-facto standards that will be very likely embraced by any citizen, enterprise and institution willing to join a community gravitating around the willingness to share data. Thus, in order to enable interoperability, the project described here will adopt a broker centric API-less architecture that will be deployed using third party server components (brokers), implemented by the open source community and exposing a very high horizontal scalability.

  • Next step: project scale up

Thanks to the Ecosteer technology it will be possible to transform every asset in a city – cars, buses, taxis, parking lots, street lighting, buildings, homes etc. - into tokenizable and controlled data flows. The Michigan Smart City Data Streams Marketplace will make these data flows available to citizens and companies, who will be able to use them for the creation of new applications, which in turn will generate new data flows - in a virtuous circle that will lay the foundations of a new Data Sharing Economy.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

A real "Smart" City scenario is possible only if citizens, enterprises and institutions can generate and consume highly pervasive, real time data in an economically viable way, thus allowing real time visibility over the environment and more efficient and customized services. The reward for sharing personal data is tokenisation (monetization) of any data stream generated by the citizen, where a token might, for instance, be converted into services - free parking or a discount on transportation tickets - or by other citizens and enterprises that are accessing and using - in a variety of ways - the same data stream, and thus producing more value and benefits. In order to be rewarded, however, the citizen must be able to control who has access to her data streams; control is necessary also to improve trust. Regarding control, the project will adopt Blockchain in order to expose a high degree of decentralization and thus remove the traditional necessity of a centralized authority.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We are running a Project in Bolzano (Italy) creating a Data Streams Portal where citizens, companies and institutions will share their data easily and securely. We are starting digitalising some public buildings, deploying environmental senosors to monitor air quality and temperatures. We are proving how is easy and inexpensive to connect different kind of sensors to the platform, and start streaming data.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are a team of 7 people with business, technical, legal and UX expertise. Daniel Grazioli, the CTO, has over 30 years of experience across the whole spectrum of ICT technologies, working with highly transactional and distributed software architecture in telecoms and aerospace corporations in Europe and US. Elena Pasquali, the CEO, worked in sales, marketing, consulting and business management in international corporations, across a variety of sectors.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

- Pilot Set up (objectives definition, identification of stakeholders and their rules, identification of technical components for the project, KPIs), Development & Deployment of communication stack, 5 months of our software (Data Ownership Platform + Blockchain + a Smart City Interface already developed by Ecosteer) hosted in our server(for a roughly number of 100 cars): $ 45.000 - Technical Support (at least one person in US for the project), wrap up & scale up strategy: $ 35.000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The Pilot’s objective is to test the Ecosteer technology, to transfer the knowledge to the Michigan city team to use the platform autonomously and be able to involve a limited number of test users, to do the gap analysis and to define the project scale up strategy. In this phase, Ecosteer will host the software in its servers to guarantee visibility over the project's KPI and guide the team. The Pilot will involve a limited number of Ford cars and a Demo application provided by Ecosteer and/or Ford. The car telematics will need a small footprint upgrade that could be done OTA. Smart contracts will establish a direct relationship between drivers and data users. Thanks to the Ecosteer frontend, all the parties involved in the Pilot will actually test the consent management function – i.e. the grant and revoke to access data. Steps are: Set up, Ecosteer software deployment, access to the platform and run phase (5 months), wrap up. We provide training & support all along the project.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Being an horizontal infrastructure – not a vertical application - Ecosteer will measure the success of the pilot proving to be a retrofit solution that does not need any system integration, as traditional known, and no a high investment to scale. On the Data Origin side, Ecosteer will demonstrate to be able to implement communication stacks in the highest possible number of devices (with different operative systems, micro-controllers, ecc.). On the Data Users side, Ecosteer will show an high degree of interoperability, enabling a seamless and not costly integration with any existing vertical application or new ones.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Ecosteer has raised €710K: founders' funds, €300K from a private fund, €300K from the province of Bolzano to develop a project similar to this one we are proposing for the Michigan Central Station. We are seeking a further €1.5M to execute our 2020-2022 Business Plan (for product development and sell our software to corporations) and we have already an investment commitment.

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Photo of Boratha Tan

Giada Zanatta Thanks for submitting your proposal. I am part of the facilitation team for City:One. I was wondering which sorts of companies would request to purchase this data. Would public transit customers also be able to benefit from this? Can the city use this data for free to provide better access to mobility?