The WAZIUP project, namely the Open Innovation Platform for IoT-Big Data in Sub-Saharan Africa is a collaborative research project using cutting edge technology applying IoT and Big Data to improve the working conditions in the rural ecosystem of Sub-Saharan Africa. First, WAZIUP operates by involving farmers and breeders in order to define the platform specifications in focused validation cases. Second, while tackling challenges which are specific to the rural ecosystem, it also engages the flourishing ICT ecosystem in those countries by fostering new tools and good practices, entrepreneurship and start-ups. Aimed at boosting the ICT sector, WAZIUP proposes solutions aiming at long term sustainability.
WAZIUP will deliver a communication and big data application platform and generate locally the know how by training by use case and examples. The use of standards will help to create an interoperable platform, fully open source, oriented to radically new paradigms for innovative application/services delivery. WAZIUP is driven by the following visions:
- Empower the African Rural Economy. Develop new technological enablers to empower the African rural economy now threatened by the concurrent action of rapid urbanization and of climate change. WAZIUP technologies can support the necessary services and infrastructures to launch agriculture and breeding on a new scale;
- Tailored IoT and Big-data Technology. Offer smart sensor and data-driven applications and services addressing the end-users needs and requirements (understanding users requirements and preference delivering towards more personalized and easy users interfaces and applications) /li>
- Value-added cost and energy efficiency. IoT application and services based on WAZIUP open IoT-Big data platform will focus on ease of maintenance and low cost of solutions;
- Lower Entry Level. Provide to application developers a mature platform, as well as tools and standards that are inexpensive, easy and relevant.
In order to achieve the above aims, a strong dissemination and exploitation effort of the project will be dedicated to a) strengthening linkages of end-users with industries, b) engage innovation space and living labs to accelerate innovation coaching/training/start-up activities (e.g., community-driven development paradigms), c) promote value-addition to business outputs, d) challenge the value-chain of African agribusiness through technology for value increase.
The proposed solutions will be tested for a set of real-life use cases covering several countries. At higher level, WAZIUP will implement a regional innovation platform, where SMEs could continue to develop/plug-in solutions using the technical elements and the open data provided in the project. The ultimate target is to create large African industries, SMEs ecosystem, and induce a network- effect.
The consortium of WAZIUP involves 7 partners from 4 African countries and partners from 5 EU countries combining business developers, technology experts and local Africa companies operating in agriculture and ICT. The project involves also regional hubs with the aim to promote the results to the widest base in the region.