The project is articulated on 4 main axes:
- Education: this axis includes a number of actions, such as the Tech Labs in schools, the STEAM training for teachers, the STEAM resources platform’s development and the Code Hero program. All these activities aim at providing in schools the equipment necessary for teaching pupils STEAM subjects and at providing teachers skills and professional training.
- Training: this axis includes a number of actions, such as the Labour Observatory’s deployment, the STEAM training in Academia and local businesses, the Tech City Bootcamps and the Criatech artistic residences.
- Technology, Services and Apps: this axis includes a number of actions, such as the Urban platform’s development, the fibre infrastructure and sensors’ network, the 5G communication infrastructure and the living lab’s use cases deployment (mobility, environment and energy use cases).
- Challenges: this axis in more crosscutting and it includes a number of open contexts, such as the 5G challenges, the Aveiro Urban Challenges, the Mobility challenge.
For the Aveiro local authority (MUA), among the numerous activities carried out in 2020, the most important results of the year – also given the COVID-19 pandemic - are surely to be linked to the Tech Labs’ (axis 1) set up. Through the efforts of the civil servants from the Municipality it has been possible to install 31 Tech Labs in Primary Schools, to provide training for 76 teachers and to now guarantee the support to the teachers in classrooms. The main goal here is to provide STEAM competences and 21st century skills (resilience, critical thinking, teamwork) for young generations, hence starting from school kids.
The University of Aveiro consolidated the Aveiro Labour Observatory’s research team (axis 2): over the last year the Labour Observatory (LO) has conducted activities aimed at collecting and analyzing data to finalize the report “Fore sighting the demand for skills and competences for the future of digital work” and “Assessment of labour gaps in digital economies and related qualification demands” http://observatoriodoemprego.web.ua.pt/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ebook_final_7828.pdf
Workshops and interviews were conducted with Industry, ICTE and Tourism representatives. Over the year the LO’s team prepared and distributed monthly newsletters, plus an additional newsletter to acknowledge the COVID implications for the organization of activities of LO. The LO maintained regular online presence and content delivery via social networks and platforms (LO web page, LO Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram pages), keeping a regular flow of communication with local stakeholders every week. The LO’s team highlighted the huge benefits coming from the collaboration with Inova-ria, an Association of companies, operating at a regional scale, that creates a strong Innovation Network. With more than 60 associated members, it was a precious collaboration as the vision coming from Inova-Ria added value to the research team, giving many concrete inputs, helping to fill the gap among Academia and Companies.
Through the efforts put in place by Altice Labs, despite the pandemic situation, new data streams from project's stakeholders, namely daily electric power consumption (city public lighting and total municipality consumption) and waste collecting, as well as data from environment and mobility use cases, have been integrated in the Urban Platform (axis 3). Enhanced views of these data were shown during Aveiro Tech Week event, held in October 2020. A 5G-NR access infrastructure, covering the town area and the Aveiro University campus, was fully deployed to support Aveiro 5G Challenges initiative (axis 4). Technical workshops and several mentoring sessions (both in-person and remote) took place during this period.
Regarding the Instituto de Telecomunicações, the last year efforts were mainly dedicated to the fiber optic infrastructure installation (axis 3). The major achievements were the finalization of the infrastructure, with 17 points operational for equipment installation and 9 of them fully equipped. The Key Access fiber infrastructure, with 16Km all over the city of Aveiro, was also deployed, together with new radio and edge stations (8 out of 44 installed and working).
Regarding the Aveiro Living Lab’ use cases (see project axis nr.3) and the mobility use case in particular, its worth’s mentioning the installation of:
- the communication and sensing equipment in buses and garbage collectors’ vehicles (12 in total);
- the passive radars, to measure people and cars’ flow, as well as the spectrum of the different communication technologies.
This infrastructure has been integrated with the data platform, through end-points providing real-time data from vehicles (location, velocity, temperature, noise and humidity). Integration between the infrastructure and the environmental stations fixed in the city has been performed through Lora WAN connectivity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa#LoRaWAN) and servers cloud integration. These data are also transmitted to the urban platform.
The work on the environment use case has advanced. University of Aveiro finalized the installation of the network of environmental sensors. These sensors are currently feeding the urban platform with a data stream. This work was done in cooperation with the consortium partners mostly regarding the location, connectivity and data formats. Despite all the problems motivated by the pandemic state, the network of environmental sensors was put into place, due to a remarkable commitment of all the partners and external companies involved.
About the energy use case, the charging station provider has been identified through a public tender. By July, the MUA expects to have completed the installation works.
Regarding the Business Model deployment and testing, coordinated by CEDES, an Annual Needs Assessment for all the activities developed by each project partner was carried out, which included all the assets that will come out of the project and that will need to be managed and maintained after its end as well as all the human, financial and other resources required for the management and maintenance of the previous assets and the implementation of the activities.
Besides this, CEDES also defined the Usage Rules of the Aveiro Tech City Living Lab, which included the terms and conditions to be complied by its users and also the technical characterization of the Living Lab, the rules for data protection and other proceedings.
The Indicators’ model was totally revised leading to the desired outcome of an easy and simple evaluation of the project and ensuring a greater focus on result indicators (outcomes). While the indicators of the first model were set by Work Packages (WPs) in the new model they were defined across all WPs, given the main objectives and expected results of the project (and leading to SMART impact, result and output indicators). Some of the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of the model are being collected (for the activities that are already being implemented) and the model is being iteratively fine-tuned in the light of the feedback gathered from participants of all activities.