KTH – VTT, Helsinki summit

Last Tuesday November 25th, the Tele-Economic team part of KTH Communications Systems department had the opportunity to meet and discuss with a representative from VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The goal of the summit was to get in contact with a relevant research institution, share the ongoing and finalized recently projects and discuss on possible future collaborations and joint projects.

The Tele-Economic team presented the more recent projects: M2M Rise and LTE4SmartEnergy.

M2MRISE is a research project, launched on January 23th 2014 as part of the EIT ICT Labs action line Networking Solutions for Future Media. Ericsson AB, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Aalto University, Nokia Research Center and Orange S.A. constitute the constellation of partners. The project fosters the development of a framework that enables services based on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications and Internet of Things (IoT), within current and future cellular networks, by taking into account overall system, service and business model aspects.

LTE4SmartEnergy project aims to evaluate and demonstrate how LTE technologies can enable Smart Grid applications, from monitoring to real time control. In particular, the project will produce a holistic view on the economic and technical tradeoffs for delivering Smart Gird services using public LTE infrastructure. Running under the “Smart Energy Systems Action” Line, the project brings together the following partners: Siemens, Ericsson and KTH.

VTT representative, Thomas Casey, introduced to KTH staffs its main research fields and projects which are mainly focused on Smart Cities. The topics discussed regarding Smart Cities where the following:

Smart city services examples.

  • Master thesis research from Sonja Heikkilä, student from Aalto university, introduce an alternative to the ownership of cars in Helsinki. This goal is achieved by the adoption of new car-sharing schemes, like Uber or Hailo, and usage and purchasing of transportation tickets. This vision would change radically the way people uses public transportation, and therefore how we interact with our city.
  • Smart Waste management. Solutions for Smart Management of waste in neighborhoods and complete cities. An example of company providing these solutions is Enevo, Finnish company providing services on Smart Waste management such as: sensing, alert services, collection forecasts or real-time measurements.
  • Smart Local communities. Mini-Social network that enables the householders to access and share information and common patterns from its neighborhood.
  • 3D City modelling. Map application that enables the citizens of a city to access and see the future evolution in the city i.e. new constructions or modifications in the current buildings.

Key challenges for Smart Cities.

Fragmentation is the key challenge for Smart Cities. Nowadays there are only fragmented vertically integrated solutions and that creates fragmentation between cities and sectors (energy, transportation, built environment). In order to impulse Smart Cities development an open and modular system is needed.

How could the value system around smart cities evolve towards a more open structure?

This is the main research question in ongoing VTT research, focused on how the Smart Cities value system should shift from a closed and centralized model to a open and decentralized one. In this sense, we can see examples of this evolution in GSM technology. In addition to that, alliances between cities and creation of consortium would be a key driver for the development. In Finland the six bigger (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku) cities are collaborating in joint projects and activities.

After presenting the different research activities, the interest on having collaboration between KTH and VTT became clear. M2M communications and IoT (Internet-of-Things) services can play a key role in Smart Cities development and in following meetings we will continue to pursue and define joint projects and collaborations.

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