Start-ups Optimizing Urban Life with Future Internet (SOUL-FI for short) is one of 16 accelerator projects aiming at growing innovative web-based solutions for smarter urban life of Europe’s citizens. It is funded by the European Commission in the framework of FI-PPP Future Internet Public-Private Partnership, a European programme for Internet-enabled innovation. The FI-PPP will accelerate the development and adoption of Future Internet technologies in Europe, advance the European market for smart infrastructures and increase the effectiveness of business processes.
The primary objective for SOUL–FI is to enhance the development of FIWARE to make cities smarter, more sustainable and more cohesive and thereby boost web entrepreneurship and citizen empowerment. The SOUL-FI accelerator will focus specifically on business ideas that improve quality of life, mobility and resource efficiency (energy, water, materials and waste). It is intended that the new products and/or services that are created take advantage of real time information, open data and crowd-sourced data.
The project provides funding (over €5 million in grants) through open calls to Micro, Small and Medium-size Enterprises and Web Entrepreneurs eager to develop innovative internet applications with FIWARE technology. It is structured around 2-round open calls:
- Round A invites ignition/business plans for FI applications and services, offering € 10,000 for up to 100 projects.
- Round B intends to fund the development of an app or service from the idea stage to a working prototype. Grants of up to €75,000 will be available for some 50 promising projects.
Besides, Soul-FI also provides a wide range of support services to speed up the development stage process (tutoring, matchmaking and networking events) so that each selected start-up or web entrepreneur makes the most of FIWARE technology and can achieve tangible success in their innovative Future Internet project/business. The ultimate ambition is to accelerate the development of at least 1.300 businesses by 2016.
What is FIWARE?
FIWARE is an open initiative aiming to create a sustainable ecosystem to grasp the opportunities that will emerge with the new wave of digitalization caused by the integration of recent Internet technologies. The initiative is based on the following pillars: FIWARE platform, FIWARE Lab, FIWARE Ops, FIWARE Acceleration Program, FIWARE Mundus (http://www.fiware.org/)
SOUL-FI is coordinated by IPN – Instituto Pedro Nunes, based in Coimbra (PT). F.R.I is one of the partners.