FIREBALL establishes a coordination mechanism through which a network of Smart Cities across Europe engages in long term collaboration for adopting User Driven Open Innovation to explore the opportunities of the Future Internet. The coordination process will be grounded in exchange, dialogue and learning between Smart Cities, who are considered as key demand-side drivers of Future Internet innovation. It also will be grounded in bringing together the Future Internet, Living Labs and Smart Cities constituencies. Now that Future Internet driven network infrastructures and applications are in the pipeline, and which potentially might bring economic and social benefits not only to research communities but also to Cities, it becomes all the more urgent to strengthen the role of Cities to elicit their future needs and requirements from the perspective of user driven open innovation. Identifying these needs and requirements elicitation also informs ongoing research, experimentation and deployment activities related to Future Internet and testbeds, and helps to establish a dialogue between the different communities to help form partnerships, and to assess social and economic benefits and discovery of migration paths at early stages.

The FIREBALL project is conceived as a response to a situation where different constituencies in the domain of Future Internet research of innovation are operating in a state of relative isolation and fragmentation, using their own practices, methodologies and assets (such as knowledge and facilities). These constituencies include (1) Future Internet research and experimentation (including test-beds and experimental facilities), (2) User driven open innovation (such as in Living Labs), and (3) City innovation environments (representing the demand side).

Additionally, FIREBALL recognises that open innovation and user engagement demonstrates a key potential to bridge the gap between research and development of Internet technologies and actually using Internet-based applications in cities for societal and economic benefits in areas such as healthcare, business enterprising, participative government, energy efficiency and quality of life.

In closing the gap we expect to create ecosystems of Internet innovation that are more effective, open and user driven, where methodologies, approaches and technical assets of the constituencies can be aligned and shared more easily and effectively, benefiting rapid adoption of Internet services and economic and social development in cities and stimulating more effective networking and experience sharing among cities to accelerate adoption.

The role of cities in this respect is of profound importance as they are to be considered a key driver of innovation in Future Internet services and applications. Forming Internet innovation-ecosystems across existing constituencies will increase the prospects to resolve barriers in the take-up and adoption of services, for example addressing the lack of interoperability and absence of open platforms.

Key objectives FIREBALL

  1. Achieve European-wide coordination of methodologies and approaches in the domains of FIRE and Living lab
  2. Leverage European-wide available assets for exploring Future Internet opportunities
  3. Ensure coordinated development and sharing of best practices of Future Internet innovation in pilot cities and sectors


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