ODALA: a new initiative of the European Commission to promote Artificial Intelligence and Big Data


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ODALA is an initiative that aims to promote the use of Big Data to facilitate and speed up decision-making in public administrations. This initiative has a social focus and is designed to help the use of Smart Cities technology simply and practically. In this way, ODALA seeks to facilitate the implementation of data-based tools in European public administrations.

This initiative is contextualized within the framework of Smart Cities, a sector in a continuous process of innovation and growth, which is focusing on the use of data as a source of knowledge for citizens, which allows them to improve their quality of life and anticipate future challenges.

Odala is an initiative promoted by town halls, companies and organizations of the European Union as a strategic project to improve data management in cities. Its mission is to create a large data market formed by a data lake, which will serve as an open-source of information, where any administration will be able to dump its data sources on air quality, public transport management, smart parking, statistics, local economy, among others.

With this horizon, the ODALA project "Collaborative, Secure, and Replicable Open Source Data Lakes for Smart Cities” was born, co-financed by the European Commission with a budget of 2,3 million euros until 2022.


The strategic objective of the ODALA project is to improve data management in cities, taking advantage of open source technologies and digital transformation for the benefit of people and local public administration, creating an interconnectable data lake within the European Union, that will serve to create better public services and improve the urban quality of cities based on evidence.


"ODALA will allow public administration, companies and universities to connect various data sources, both historical and in real-time, to join forces, thus improving urban health and development opportunities." Andrea Gómez, CMO of HOPU


The European Union's Digital Services Infrastructure (DSI) 'Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Blocks' will be used to connect these data lakes, a tool developed by the European Commission to enhance the EU's single digital market, providing infrastructure and cross-border digital services.


For the creation of this extensive Data Lake, entities and organizations will be able to share their data safely and reliably through the CEF Context Broker, essential to establish this European space with open standards (NGSI-LD).



The ODALA project brings together a total of 15 partners from Belgium, Germany, Finland, France and Spain such as the cities of Heidelberg (Germany), Saint-Quentin (France), companies as Sirus (Belgium), Contrasec (Finland) and organizations such as the FIWARE Foundation (Germany), among others. Spanish participation in the project is represented by HOPU and the Town of Cartagena, both from the Region of Murcia, thus contributing the experience carried out in the development of the potential of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to contribute to the urban environment and bring cities to their smartest version.

FIWARE's participation in ODALA as an open-source platform is essential to guarantee that the data model is accessible and standardized, integrable in the management of Smart Cities.


The collaboration of HOPU and the Cartagena City Council towards a Smart City model based on FIWARE technology has promoted Spanish participation in the ODALA project. HOPU recently received the Le Monde 2020 Urban Innovation Award thanks to the work of implementing a technology that allows the collection of a multitude of high-precision data on the environment, such as emissions of gases, particles, heat islands, influx of people, etc. for sustainable management of the municipality. These data allow us to develop a complete picture of the challenges of the city of Cartagena and help urban planners to make informed decisions.

"The launch of ODALA will allow municipalities and international organizations not only to share their data securely but also to gain benefits from the digital transformation that will mean having access to the resulting Big Data of the project. This fact will favour local competitiveness and economy, people's quality of life and will stimulate the creation of new market niches” Antonio Jara, CEO of HOPU.

Andrea Gómez & Antonio J. Jara

CMO & CEO, HOPU (HOP Ubiquitous S.L.)

Andrea Gómez (CMO). She has a strong experience in creativity/design, marketing and communication. She holds a Master in research & dissemination of the Cultural Heritage and a PhD in Communication / Marketing about Smart Destinations, which verses about the use of ICTs for the dissemination and protection of the cultural heritage based on the needs of the new generations as Millennials, Z and Hashtags. Andrea works actively in product/service development, working on solutions that are focused on the final users (citizens & visitors) with methodologies as Design Thinking & co-creation, developing solutions that are directly based on the social & cultural needs. /// Antonio J. Jara (CEO), founder of HOP Ubiquitous S.L. (www.hopu.eu), and chair of Data Quality and IoT in IEEE. He did his PhD (Cum Laude) at the University of Murcia (UMU), Spain. These PhD results present a novel way to connect objects to Internet-enabled platforms in an easy, secure and scalable way. He also carried out a MBA and entrepreneurship formation in the ENAE business school and UCAM (2012). He received entrepreneurship awards from ENAE (sponsored by SabadellCAM financial services), emprendeGo (sponsored by Spanish government), IPSO Alliance Award (Sponsored by Google) for its disruptive innovation in the IoT, selected and mentored by the acceleration program FIWARE. Antonio Jara as part of HOPU is focused on the Smart Cities market with solutions for citizens engagements and environmental monitoring (air quality sensors). Antonio Jara has also participated in over 100 international events about Internet of Things as Speaker, over 100 international publications / papers (~5000 citations and impact factor h=37), he holds several patents in the IoT domain and finally he has advised in the IoT domain to companies such as Microsoft and Fujitsu.