CITYZER project develops digital ecosystem to support decisions about weather and air quality
The three-year project aims to build an ecosystem of digital services and products around environmental information, which serves decision-making in both public administration and companies, and also individual citizens. The project utilizes expertise in weather and air quality, as well as information and tools originating from a number of previous research programs. The demonstration is scheduled to be in use in the beginning of 2018.
The system will be open, modular and easily adaptable to different geographic locations and circumstances. Different operators can generate data for the system, or process the data further. The project was launched in the beginning of the year and already includes a digital system through which information is passed and services are offered. The next step will be testing the system.
The project participants are Emtele, Sasken, Vaisala, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Tampere University of Technology, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), Pegasor, Inno-W and CLIC Innovation. The project’s main funder is Tekes.
Interesting applications based on forecasting models for air quality and rain
At the heart of the CITYZER system are the rain and air quality prediction models developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Sasken’s expertise in implementing mobile and server applications, Vaisala’s Observation Network Manager NM10 system, and Emtele solutions. These models are used as the foundation for various applications which can be integrated as part of the entire system. Furthermore, one of the project’s goals is to come up with and create a variety of applications based on customer needs. CITYZER applications offer endless possibilities. For example, an individual citizen might be interested in receiving notifications of a rain front approaching. For municipal authorities, it is important to receive information of a threat of significant rain accumulation in a flood-prone region. Individuals with asthma and other city inhabitants may be interested in knowing where and at what time it would be best to spend time outdoors to minimize exposure to air pollution. During the project, the plan is to arrange events where ideas can be collected about which kinds of new services could utilize environmental data.
The Enfuser air quality model, developed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and a web portal linked to it have already been in pilot-use in several Finnish cities. The model will be developed further within CITYZER. A fundamental part of this is the study conducted by the Aerosol physics laboratory of Tampere University of Technology, which examines the correct implementations of sensor type measurement of fine particles in urban air. For example, observing the nanoscale exhaust particles in urban air may require very different solutions than for instance monitoring and modeling road dust and pollen concentrations.
Discovering the international potential
In addition to developing a digital ecosystem, the CITYZER venture estimates business models in different markets, and also explores market potential in different countries.
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences is in charge of analyzing the services, products, target groups, and business models. Its task is to determine the potential need for services and products as well as identify working business models in target countries, which in this project are China and Brazil. The work is carried out in cooperation with the local actors making use of existing co-operation partners and contacts.
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