Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Cisco center in Barcelona to spur smart lighting, energy management innovation

Iain Morris
July 29, 2014
Technology giant Cisco has unveiled plans to set up a global Internet of Everything (IoE) innovation center in the Spanish city of Barcelona aimed at cultivating the development of services such as smart lighting and energy management that could lead to massive cost savings for city authorities.

The Global IoE Innovation Center is being established in partnership with Barcelona’s city council and is intended to provide a platform for research into and development of smart city technologies.

Spanning 1,720 square meters, the center will pool expertise in engineering, application development and research and receive approximately $30 million in funding from Cisco (San Jose, CA, USA).

Cisco expects the center to open in the summer of 2016 and says it will be one of five sites it maintains globally that are focused on IoE and related market opportunities.

The other four include existing centers in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Songdo (South Korea) besides facilities that are being developed in Germany and Canada.

Providing further detail on its plans, Cisco said the space would allow it to meet with customers, partners, start-ups, governments and research bodies, and also host two kinds of innovation activities.

The first – the IoE innovation lab – will work on designing urban services such as smart parking, smart lighting and energy management, while the second will be a showcase area for Cisco solutions – demonstrating how these have a practical value for urban residents.

Cisco says the innovation center will also help private and public companies understand how they can generate value from the IoE, estimating there is “$19 trillion global value creation opportunity in increased revenue, decreased costs, business process improvement and innovative urban services creation by 2022”.

Energy-saving services such as smart lighting could vastly reduce a city’s costs by enabling street lights to power down automatically unless there are pedestrians in the vicinity.

“This global innovation center in Barcelona will help to bring up and demonstrate new solutions in such critical areas for cities as parking management, energy efficiency, safety and security and new communications architectures which will shape up the way cities are managed and interact with their citizens in the coming years,” said Jordi Botifoll, Cisco’s president for Latin America and Barcelona executive sponsor.
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