ENEL X: New smart city solutions enabled by open data

Abstract

In recent years, the amount of Public Administration Open Data has increased substantially, as well as other datasets publicly available produced by Research, Academic and No Profit institutions, but the maximum benefit from this information has not been fully realized and there are few relevant and impactful services exclusively based on open data analysis. Enel X is looking for new ways of leveraging the open data to create tailored solutions for municipalities.
This is a Reduction to Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and experimental proof-of-concept data.

Overview

Enel X is a global business offering smart, simple, and fast technologies and services to help our customers make more intelligent decisions about the way energy is created, stored and managed. Enel X is interested in identifying new and effective technologies/solutions – ideally based on the open source paradigm – that leverage open data as main input and synergize with the current solutions to deliver added value within our Public Services Offering. Solutions have to be cost-effective making Enel X competitive in tenders while diversifying and enlarging our offer. In particular, solutions have to focus on:

  • public lighting: innovative solutions to improve the performance and /or simplify operation & maintenance (ex. planning, performance, and predictive analysis)
  • architectural lighting evolution: to enhance the visual impact of historical and valuable buildings
  • urban mobility (including e-bus)
  • city analysis: relevant analysis to produce indicators and actionable insights that can help public administration in planning and managing their services in a most effective way and that can improve citizens quality of life

Enel X thinks it is also particularly useful to monitor the status of the services and the related trends over time, and offer an “intelligence layer” to discover important and significant correlations among the various data points.

Optimal solution can address a real pain point of cities, producing through open data valuable outputs for cities, analysis useful to improve infrastructures/services operation & maintenance or to increase city resiliency and citizens quality of life.

This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. SDG 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  2. SDG 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Background

Public Administrations (PAs) need to diversify and enlarge their services offer without increasing substantially their public budget because citizens demand innovative services to make their lives easier and safer with no increment of their local taxes. Open data are a huge and untapped resource, the goal of the challenge is to use those datasets stand-alone or combined with Enel X solutions to create a virtuous circle / win-win relationship with municipalities.

It is important to identify solutions that can link to the main services that Enel X provides (video analysis, artistic lighting, adaptive lighting, city analytics; https://www.enelx.com/it/en/smart-cities) in order to diversify and expand the offering. The management of public lighting, the mobility of people and goods taking into account green policy can be considered relevant areas in which data can give a valuable contribution to increase the operational efficiency. Furthermore these technologies/solutions must allow for the creation of a Real Smart City with long-term guarantees.

Some examples of Enel X Services in cities vs not Enel X services in cities yet are:

Enel X Services in cities

  • Infrastructure to charge the bus
  • Infrastructure for public transportation
  • Management of Public Lighting infrastructures and services
  • City Analytics: user presence estimations, OD Matrix trough geo-location data

Not Enel X services in cities

  • Mobility of goods
  • Bus provider
  • Manufacturing Lamp posts
  • On field people counting using work-force

In our technologically advanced world, data can be collected and analyzed from a wide range of sources (e.g. Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, Wi-Fi in public locales, remote control for all types of lighting, app to integrate other municipal services, control room to monitor all technologies). By identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor service status and related trends over time, Enel X and city analysts could quickly discover meaningful relationships that exist between multiple data points, thereby leveraging the potential of IoT and exponentially increasing the value of the platform for the client.

Data analytics must be a key decision tool and necessary differentiator to create a compelling value proposition. So far, few solutions have addressed this problem in the field of the e-bus. When it comes to smart lightning several cases are already on field – but improvements are always welcomed. Public Administrations need support to better address their most relevant expenses. A deeper understanding of PA data on energy-related issues and utility requirements would enhance e-City’s offering and implement value-added services to complement Enel X portfolio of solutions.

Given Enel X relevant positioning in urban infrastructures and digital services for cities these topics are under continuous investigation – also embracing the open innovation paradigm to empower collaborations with startups, research centers, administrations and companies

Some examples of Public Administration Open Data, Enel X Data and more info are available to the challenge page.

Two main concrete areas to be supported by the above priority solutions could be: smart lighting and e-bus. On the one hand, it can be valuable to produce innovative KPIs that leverage open PA data to enrich areas of city analytics, “business intelligence” and market decisions. On the other hand, open PA data can also be used to enrich the “content” of the solutions, especially for the digital “fruition” of the two solution clusters (i.e. smart lighting and the e-bus will have the digital management of the PA or related digital services for citizens, which can be improved through the use of open data).

The Challenge

Identify an innovative approach and perform a demonstration project to leverage Public Administration open data and create added value for the current Enel X Public Services Offering (public lighting, architectural lighting, mobility, City analytics). Ideally, the solution is scalable and applicable to various geographies worldwide.

Examples of IN and OUT. What kind of solution Enel X would like to receive vs. what kind of solution Enel X would not like to receive:

IN

  • Models, algorithms… best if released as open source code and with easy integration (APIs, dockering) in pre-existing Big Data Architectures and Platforms
  • Extract different value from a typical data set with simple elaboration. For instance, transform an INPUT from Open Data in an OUTPUT as “Quality of life INDEX”
  • Know-how in Open Data
  • Know-how and capabilities to release MVP leveraging on open source

OUT

  • PLATFORMS just as a capability
  • Solution based on data that are not available as OPEN DATA
  • BIG DATA ARCHITECTURES requiring acquisition of license or expensive installations

Note: solutions must not utilize any data outside the public domain. Furthermore, suggesting a “platform provider” or big data architectures is not sufficient.

Submissions must have the following Solution Requirements:

  • The innovative solution must be able to be applied to established Enel X activities such as those listed above or equivalent
  • The innovative solution must demonstrate an added value to the current Public Services Offering, leveraging Public Administration open data (examples above)
  • The innovative solution, fully working with Open/Public data only, can achieve higher values/impacts or grant additional features/insights when combined with Enel X solutions
  • Any best practices have to be verified and documented (not just an “idea”)
    The innovative solution must demonstrate “on field” its capabilities (“reduction to practice” needed)
  • Solutions that focus on the following geographical areas (Europe, United States, South America)
  • All solutions must be safe and comply with any local regulations and be sustainable environmentally and economically
  • Solutions should support Enel’s commitment on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) with specific emphasis on SDG9 and SDG11.
  • The proposed technology should offer Enel “freedom to practice” or be available for potential licensing. There should be no third party patent art preventing the use of specific equipment and materials for their commercial application.

In addition, the following qualities are highly desired but not required:

  • Easy installation
  • Reasonable investment costs
  • Existing commercial solution (or minimally at a pilot/demonstration stage)
  • Applicable in a global context (that is, they would be transferable to different parts of the world)

Project Deliverables

The submitted proposal should include the following:

  • Detailed technical description of an approach/algorithm that can meet the above Solution Requirements
  • Rationale for the proposed technology/best practice, including direct cost
  • If a best practice, provide documentation of its proven record and savings
  • If available, drawings for any devices, schematics for installation and rough estimations of costs (e.g. investment, operational, maintenance) and power consumption
  • Provide data and elaborate on any known limitations
  • The Solver has to provide as deliverable within the idea of the model the Input Data and Output Data. The Solver will be asked to supply the algorithms, the mathematical models and related scripts using standard languages (Java, Python, R…). It will be also required to release the visualization layer/ open source tool (including source code) to enable the Seeker to compile, execute the algorithm, and validate the method using the relevant data sets.

For the top ranked submissions, the Seeker may request the source code and/or an executable with sufficient documentation to enable the Seeker to compile, execute the algorithm, and validate the method using additional data sets.

Challenge Expiration Date: September 10, 2020 – Reward: $30,000

 

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