EU and Japan collaboration expansion targets smart cities

27th July 2016
Daisy Stapley-Bunten

Following validation of its innovative smart-city tools that combine IoT and cloud-computing technologies, the EU-Japan ClouT consortium will expand its goals and add cities and partners in the new BigClouT programme. The expanded programme will focus on distributed intelligence with edge-computing principles, big-data analytics capability and self-aware property.

ClouT’s European participation was coordinated by Leti, an institute of CEA Tech. The original project was the first collaboration jointly funded by the European Commission and NICT of Japan involving European and Japanese cities, companies and research institutes. It began in 2013 to develop infrastructure, services, tools and applications for cities to create, deploy and manage user-centric applications that capitalise on the latest advances in IoT and cloud computing. Its achievements include a virtualisation framework that provides a uniform way of representing various city data sources, such as IoT devices, legacy devices, social networks, mobile applications and the World Wide Web.

“Our EU-Japanese collaboration built a platform that provides secure access to real-time and historical data with easy-to-use tools that enable municipalities, citizens, service developers and application integrators to rapidly create, deploy and manage smart-city applications,” said Levent Gürgen, the Coordinator of the ClouT EU consortium. “And our applications, ranging from environmental monitoring, context-aware coupons, citizen safety and elderly care social networks, were validated via field trials in the four ClouT cities: Santander, Spain; Genova, Italy; and Fujisawa and Mitaka, Japan.”

Leti has built an IoT platform, sensiNact, that provides access via generic application programming interfaces to thousands of heterogeneous physical and virtual devices deployed in the ClouT cities, which use different protocols. With a basic PC-based configuration, the sensiNact platform can easily handle more than 10 protocols and simultaneous connections to more than 10,000 devices. sensiNact is part of the European open platforms initiative ( and will soon be released as open source.

ClouT, which stands for 'cloud of things', has produced several other reusable software components from the IoT and cloud domains that are available as open source for the community.

Taking the ClouT results as the baseline, the BigClouT follow-up project will add big-data aspects such as distributed intelligence and real-time data mining. The core of the ClouT consortium remains the same in the new project: (CEA, Engineering, NTT East, Keio University, NII, NTT R&D). BigClouT has invited new partners, in particular from the big data domain, (Lancaster University, National Technical University of Athens, Tsukuba University and YRP-IoT). In addition, the project has welcomed three new cities: Grenoble and Tsukuba, Japan, (which are twin cities), as well as the Bristol city, U.K., via its joint venture with the Bristol University, Bristol is Open Ltd. Fujisawa will also remain as a pilot city.

ClouT 2016 Field Trials final results
Final field trials are fully implemented within the ClouT Reference Architecture. The applications aim at enabling end users (citizens, municipality technicians, tourists, policy makers, etc.) to naturally interact with the city, its services and other end users, while demonstrating ClouT platform robustness and advantages from Cloud + IoT benefits.

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