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Accenture to build smart city API marketplace for Japan

The professional services firm will work with the University of Aizu on the project, which will also focus on using a smart city operating system and AI to help bring about behavioural change in citizens.

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Accenture wants to support individual cities and build a nationwide smart city framework
Accenture wants to support individual cities and build a nationwide smart city framework

Professional services firm Accenture and the University of Aizu are conducting a joint research project to develop the first standard application programming interface (API) marketplace for smart cites in Japan.

 

The project will also explore the utilisation of a smart city operating system to make better use artificial intelligence (AI) in public services and promote behavioural change in citizens. It will focus on the city of Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima, as a model case.

 

Smart city model

 

Accenture has been working with the city of Aizuwakamatsu since 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake. As well as help with its regional revitalisation efforts, it is working with the city and its citizens to enable it to become a next-generation city using technologies such as AI, big data and the Internet of Things. Its aim is to create a smart city model that can be rolled out across Japan.

 

Accenture will develop the API marketplace on the cloud environment of the University of Aizu’s Advanced ICT Laboratory (LICTiA). It aims to provide a channel for sharing and disseminating standardised code for creating and linking software.

 

The planned site will help local government, companies and other local stakeholders develop and benefit from new data linkages and integration between smart city and industry initiatives.


Shojiro Nakamura, co-lead, Accenture Innovation Centre Fukushima, said the Japanese government is promoting a standardised smart city architecture “for the good of society”, in particular to support sustainable development in urban areas.

“Creating standards for applications and data is key to our efforts to support work in individual cities and a nationwide smart city framework”

Nakamura added: “Creating standards for applications and data is key to our efforts to support work in individual cities and a nationwide smart city framework, as well as central to our collaboration with the University of Aizu to promote regional development.”

 

University of Aizu was the first university in Japan to specialise in computer science and engineering.

 

“Since its opening in 1993, the University of Aizu has been fostering world-class ICT talent and conducting research on ICT that contributes to the sustainable development of Japan and the world,” said Toshiaki Miyazaki, president of the University of Aizu. “Through this joint research, we will work with Accenture, one of the world’s leading consulting companies, to improve Japan’s competitiveness.”


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