Finding the right formula for building in smart city infrastructure is not an exact science. The strategists involved with Helsinki's innovation share some of their wisdom.

Helsinki is involved in bIoTope, an EU-funded initiative that lays the foundation for open innovation ecosystems. Companies can – with minimal investment – innovate by creating new Systems-of-Systems (SoS) platforms for connected smart objects. To achieve this goal, bIoTope provides the necessary standardized Open APIs to enable the publication, consumption and composition of heterogeneous information sources and services from across various platforms, including FI-WARE, OpenIoT, city dashboards and so on.

Big data is also an issue, and making it open and available. In Helsinki, the state, and large cities have open public data repositories for anyone to use including Open Data Tampere, Oulu, Open Data and Open Data Jyväskylä. It’s machine-readable, in a structured format, with an open license, available free of charge. The data includes information on the local living conditions, infrastructure, public services and transport. This information is valuable for city organizations but also businesses, health organizations, learning institutions and citizens.

Smart Kalasatama is a former industrial precinct that houses the Suvilahti Power Plant. It’s gradually being turned into an experimental platform to co-create smart infrastructure and services. When I visited, I found a lot of the area to be building sites, a testament that the best is yet to come. By the 2030s, the Kalasatama district will offer a home for approximately 20,000 residents and jobs for 8,000 people. Currently, 3,000 people live there in homes that are part of connected trials for future technology.

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