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A supplement of:

SMART CITIES REPORT

the challenges of data YousEf Khalili of nxn grouP BrEaKs down thE issuEs around Big data collEction building a smarter tomorrow ExPErts discuss how to gEt a sMart citY off thE ground

Visions of the future

Big Project ME looks at the future of smart cities in the Middle East, and examines the challenges ahead In association with:


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Introduction

PUBLISHING DIrEctor RAZ ISLAM raz.islam@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5471 EDItorIAL DIrEctor VIJAYA CHERIAN vijaya.cherian@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5472 EDItorIAL EDItor GAVIN DAVIDS gavin.davids@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5480 oNLINE EDItor BEN FLANAGAN ben.flanagan@cpimediagroup.com SUB EDItor AELRED DOYLE aelred.doyle@cpimediagroup.com ADVErtISING coMMErcIAL DIrEctor JUDE SLANN jude.slann@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5496 SALES ExEcUtIVE TOM BROMLEY tom.bromley@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5496 DESIGN Art DIrEctor SIMON COBON cIrcULAtIoN & ProDUctIoN DIStrIBUtIoN MANAGEr SUNIL KUMAR sunil.kumar@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5476 ProDUctIoN MANAGEr VIpIN V. VIJAY vipin.vijay@cpimediagroup.com +971 4 375 5713 WEB DEVELoPMENt MOHAMMAD AwAIS SADIq SIDDIqUI FoUNDEr DOMINIC DE SOUSA (1959-2015) PrINtED BY pRINTwELL pRINTING pRESS LLC PUBLISHED BY

City of the future

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A Vision of An Autonomous And ConneCted future

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his year’s edition of the Smart Cities Report takes in a variety of interesting topics, with experts from a variety of fields talking to Big Project ME about everything from Smart Cities development, all the way through to cyber-security and protecting digital infrastructure assets. It’s been absolutely fascinating to hear from these experts, and it’s never been more pertinent, given the developments in the region over the last year, especially in Dubai. However, what really grabbed my interest was the issue of cyber-security and protection. As we’ve seen with the spate of attacks on digital infrastructure and networks around the world, it’s absolutely essential to protect our resources. On a more positive note, it’s very exciting to see how we leverage smart city technology going forwards, and Dubai is proving to be the perfect place to watch it unfold!

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deliVering intelligent teChnology

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KeePing Cool

Licensed by TECOM to registered company, CpI Trade publishing FZ LLC whose registered office is 207 – 209, Building 3, Dubai Studio City, Dubai, UAE www.cpitrademedia.com

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A supplement of Big project Middle East © Copyright 2017 CpI. All rights reserved

while the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

Gavin Davids Editor gavin.davids@cpimediagroup.com

Augmented future Smart Cities Report 2017 1


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Future Trends

A Vision of An Autonomous And ConneCted future Aaditya Thakrar, senior engineer and project manager at AECOM, takes a look at how technology is changing the way we move in a city 2 Smart Cities Report 2017


Future Trends

Smart Cities Report 2017 3


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Future Trends

t

vehicles, and it is evident that there is still work to do to before they function as seamlessly as traditional ITS systems. One such area of work is the requirement for an autonomous vehicle framework of secure and high-speed connectivity for real-time data sharing.

he desire to make our dayto-day life more efficient, safer and environmentally sustainable is reflected in the transportation sector around the world. While transportation has always been at the forefront of integrating IT applications in the management and operation of transport networks, the trend still continues and the vision for a connected future seems to be more achievable than ever. We have seen the rise of ride sharing, car sharing and ride-on-demand mobile apps that provide a wider choice of transport beyond the need to own a private car. For example, Dubai has recently seen the introduction of two car sharing apps with around 200 vehicles currently available around the city. This is in addition to ride sharing app Sharekni and the ride-on-demand services provided by Uber and Careem.

The advent of cloud computing and storage, more secure and faster long- and short-range radio communications, increased levels of automation and other such updates in technology, in addition to cheaper costs of data sharing, have opened up an ocean of service possibilities within ITS and the wider transportation technology sector.

Traditional ITS

Connected Infrastructure

Intelligent transport systems (ITS) have traditionally supported traffic and incident management, real-time information sharing, dynamic road capacity management and enforcement of policies, among other services. The need for ITS, in several cases, arises from the need to optimise the use of road and highway infrastructure, parking facilities and integration of transport infrastructure with the surrounding land-uses.

Connected infrastructure is the primary step towards making CAV and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) a mainstream reality. Tests and small- to mediumsize demonstrations have been taking place to check the feasibility of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications using dedicated short range communication (DSRC) and 4G, as well as trials with 5G LTE services. There have been various tests of autonomous

4 Smart Cities Report 2017

CAV

step to reality Connected infrastructure is the primary step towards making CAV and mobilityas-a-service a mainstream reality.

“In Dubai, the expectation that 25% of all trips will use a selfdriving mode of transport by 2030 is a major step towards promoting and believing in the potential of CAVs in making the roads safer and traffic management more efficient�

Progress in the transportation technology sector is generally treated as research until such initiatives are echoed and adapted in urban planning and infrastructure planning initiatives. CAVs are vehicles capable of sharing and receiving shared information from other vehicles and infrastructure, and involve a range of automated functions including primary driving controls. The Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) set a standard for levels of automation using six broad categories in their International Standard J3016. The majority of the successful trials of CAVs have been for SAE Level 3 autonomous vehicles. However, there are a few examples of CAVs being trialed to serve as a mode of transport or being observed to be satisfactory enough to be deployed as a mode of transport after the trial. Key issues for adoption are battery charge time, interaction with traffic signals and the wider traffic technology systems, other cars and road users, and the impact on infrastructure. In addition, local weather conditions and cultural demands pose their own list of requirements from any CAV. In Dubai, the expectation that 25% of all trips will use a self-driving mode of transport by 2030 is a major step towards


Future Trends

promoting and believing in the potential of CAVs in making the roads safer and traffic management more efficient. Working closely with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on various opportunities, it can be appreciated that there is an all-round scientific effort being put in, to carefully prepare the roads and infrastructure in Dubai for the 2030 target. There is also a need for a comprehensive legal framework that identifies clear lines of liability and responsibility. This has been highlighted by several key stakeholders in this sector, along with federal governments in the US, Singapore, Australia and Germany, as well as the UN, which is investigating this aspect at present. It will not be long before the Dubai government starts developing necessary updates to the policy framework in the emirate. Insurance companies have been finding mechanisms to

“Mainly driven by the amount of data readily available to the wider public, the newer on-demand transport services opportunities have become widely adopted and have created a market of their own”

support various trials so far, but these ‘policies’ are limited in number and perhaps not suitable for sale to the mass market. Shared Mobility and MaaS

Mainly driven by the amount of data readily available to the wider public, the newer on-demand transport services opportunities have been widely adopted and have created a market of their own. Between car sharing, ride sharing, e-hailing and car pooling, the market has proven that people are choosing to call for a transport service when required, rather than own cars. MaaS is a concept that allows a user to choose between various modes of transport, including on-demand services and public transport, to plan journeys through a single portal with a high level of confidence. Supported by accurate realtime information of congestion levels and accidents, and

offering users a choice MaaS is a concept that will allow users to choose between various modes of transport, including on-demand services and public transport solutions, to plan their journeys.

available by subscription rather than through payment for each change of mode, MaaS is seen as the ‘Netflix of transportation’ that could change the way people and goods are transported. Transportation technology will play a crucial role in MaaS, such as the possibility of connecting with users’ calendars to preempt and suggest changes in travel priorities. The Road Ahead

CAVs have a substantial gap to close before a fully connected and autonomous fleet of vehicles hits the road. There are parallel efforts focusing on various aspects related to autonomous vehicles, such as procurement modes, legal frameworks, and communication with other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure. However, we need to be prepared for the uncertainties that the transition phase brings from the current manual-driven vehicles to fully autonomous vehicles. The prime concern currently is interaction and potential conflicts with other vehicles and road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists, and how these can be reduced going forward. There is a growing confidence in CAVs and their use within MaaS to obtain the safest, most efficient and sustainable balance between transportation and landuse planning. An increasing number of engineers, master planners and city planners are considering the potential impacts of CAVs on the public realm, parking, infrastructure and the overall urban fabric. They are developing concepts that are less conservative and more encompassing of the upcoming trends in transportation technology. Smart Cities Report 2017 5


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Smart Cities

Keeping pace with technology A major challenge for government authorities is making sure that its data laws, policies and regulations keep pace with the changes in technology.

The Challenges of DaTa

Yousef Khalili, senior partner at NXN Group, talks to Big Project ME about the challenges that lie ahead for smart cities in the GCC, and what can be done to surmount them Why should cities get smart?

Globally, cities are embarking on smart transformation journeys to overcome two main challenges: urbanisation and the efficient use of scarce resources. They also want to become more attractive to business and talent. The GCC is no different. While urbanisation is not a true challenge because all the cities

6 Smart Cities Report 2017

in the region are relatively new, the efficient use of resources and attracting new investments and talent remain the main drivers behind launching digital transformation initiatives. What are the major inhibitors for the GCC countries?

Today, there is a lack of local talent within the GCC

countries in the domain of digital transformation and data science. It’s a new domain, and governments in the region need to work in tandem with the education system – universities and even schools – to start implementing curriculums and disciplines, which will be able to graduate talent that will take over the smart city implementations

and operations over time from foreign talent, because the model of today is not sustainable. Another inhibitor is the legislative and governance system. Policies, laws and regulations need to be quickly revolutionised and adapted to run in parallel with technological advances that are taking place. Cities can always implement


Smart Cities

Tomorrow, if new smart business models are originating from the region, it’ll be the same case. So my view is that cities need to seriously look at their own laws, policies and standards, and get ready to revisit them, so they are ready for the ‘new economy’ wave and become attractive for such investments. Dubai has the most advanced smart city plans in the GCC. What is it doing right?

the latest and greatest in terms of smart services, but if the legislative system and governance model are not in place, a lot of those implementations will fail. Let’s take for example Uber or Careem. When they started their operations in the region, almost every city in the GCC was taken by surprise and didn’t know how to handle them.

What Dubai is doing is exactly the reverse of all those challenges mentioned. So from a talent point of view, you can look at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University and Higher Colleges of Technology and Zayed University. There are also private schools like RIT. They’ve all introduced smart city and digital transformation curriculums, which is wonderful. It’s good to see that those universities are embracing such topics to prepare the youth to come out and be ready to handle such roles in the future, and take charge of their own destiny. From a policies and standards point of view, Dubai is the first in the world probably to have issued a comprehensive Data Law that governs data sharing and opening, managed by a dedicated data governing body named the Dubai Data Establishment. The UK doesn’t even have that level of legislation. So, Dubai has a Data Law which stipulates exactly the mechanism of sharing data and also puts the government’s model in place, creating what is called the primary registries for the city, and puts together a nice model of how this data is aggregated, with a lot of implementation policies attached to the laws and bylaws that address privacy,

“Today, there is a lack of local talent within the GCC countries in the domain of digital transformation and data science. It’s a new domain, and governments need to work in tandem with the education system to start implementing curriculums that will be able to graduate talent”

technical standards and the sharing and opening of data criteria, as well as the intellectual property copyrights and so on. If you look at the wider policies and standards issued by the forward-thinking Smart Dubai Office and its technology transformation arm, the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, there are nice guidelines available about smart neighbourhoods and districts. There’s a flood of policies, and, potentially, laws coming out to govern interesting, challenging areas like digital identity, digital signature, digital payment, geo-spatial data, IoT, ICT infrastructure investments and so on. These are all key initiatives that Dubai has already worked very hard on. When all those laws/policies are out, Dubai will be ready with a bulletproof, world-leading legislative system before the technology even catches up, which is the right thing to do. How do cities approach the challenge of data?

There are two things to do. The legislative system needs to adapt, and we’ve spoken about that. The second thing is the technological layer that should be in place. Cities need to have a smart city platform that houses a solid big data layer which can ingest, aggregate and analyse data to predict trends. That’s what cities need to do. Coupled with the laws, the data starts flowing. Think of the mechanism as oil and the engine. The data is the oil – without it, the smart city engine will not run. Where does data come from? What challenges come with collection and usage?

In terms of collecting the data,

Smart Cities Report 2017 7


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Smart Cities

sensory overload One of the major challenges of data collection in a city is duplication, where various government entities plant their own sensors that are all connected to the same city data layer, leading to duplication.

that’s a bigger challenge. There’s always the risk of what we call sensor pollution in a city as it attempts to become smart. If the various government entities start planting their own sensors, even if they are all connected to the same city data layer, there might be duplicates. Sensors today can collect multiple types of data at the same time. For example, the same sensor can probably collect traffic, environmental and security data at the same time. The smart way to do it is to have a policy around sensor standards and how they technically connect to the data layer of the city, to rationalise investments and prevent sensor pollution. If you think of any city as a stack, as an enterprise, really what happens is that you do sensing at the bottom, whether it’s wired or wireless. Then you do data aggregation and analytics in the middle, and then you open up the enablers, the key core enablers of a city, like the digital ID and signatures, the payment, the geo-spatial block chain and others. And then there’s the apps and the IOC – the Integrated

8 Smart Cities Report 2017

“Dubai is the first in the world probably to have issued a comprehensive Data Law that governs data sharing and opening, managed by a dedicated data governing body named the Dubai Data Establishment. The UK doesn’t even have that level of legislation”

Operations Command and Control Centre. Really, this is the brain that takes all the data, analyses it and then makes the decisions – whether it’s decisions for urban planning or to manage the day-to-day. Or if it’s to actually give insights into feedback as to what’s supposed to happen in the future. So I see that as a very important layer. Cities need to pay great attention to make out where the investments are made within a city. How can NXN help cities and government authorities cope with the challenges of large volumes of data?

When you become smarter, when you have a sensing layer in the city and we have everything connected, then you have huge amounts of data generated every second. We see this as an opportunity. Without a unified smart platform acting as the central nervous system for the city, then you’ll have, first of all, a waste of very precious data that could have been gathered and analysed. But you’ll also have a technical challenge in terms of the systems being jammed and

not being able to work efficiently. The right way to do it is to have a big data, smart layer platform. What we at NXN did was work with the city of Dubai and identify the challenges it faced. We then conceptualised for Dubai the idea of having its own smart city platform. At the same time, we realised that as a company we were also advocating that cities need to have a smart city as a service model. That means a provider like NXN should step up, build this thing and offer it as a service over the cloud or on premises, depending on the city’s requirements. So, now we’ve built this platform and it’s operational in three cities – Dubai, Riyadh and Kuwait City. The way we’ve approached it is that we don’t sell it as a platform, but we sell it as a smart city service. For instance, you can have energy and facility management as a service, smart parking as a service, smart traffic intelligence as a service, smart safety and security as a service, and so on. What we do with that is give options to cities to click and choose.


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Opinion

Collaboration and Technology – Making a Smart City Smarter Abdul Azim Azeez, senior consultant at Bentley Systems, discusses how governments, industries and citizens must work together to have a smart city Determining the definition of a smart city is essential before using big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve infrastructure and make a city smarter. Finding the optimal definitions for ‘smart’ and figuring out what constitutes a city are important steps in mapping out a plan to build a smart city. First, one needs to decipher what components of a city make up its infrastructure, from transport, utilities and living and working spaces, to commerce, public and emergency services, and agriculture. A true smart city initiative includes all these facets.

The smart aspect of a smart city is explained through the triangle of Efficiency, Sustainability and Happiness (or Quality). If a city is running efficiently and sustainably while its inhabitants are happy, then a city is smart. Happiness, efficiency and sustainability are moving targets; therefore,

10 Smart Cities Report 2017

a smart city will evolve to become smarter. This means the triangle is actually a square, with a corner reserved for continuous improvement. Data alone cannot sustain continuous improvement. Any city that is growing and intends to be smarter needs to take advantage of the large volumes of data it generates. This data is provided not only from the assets contained within it, like buildings, vehicles and industries such as utilities, but also by the people living within it. Leveraging the IoT or the Urban Internet of Things (UIoT) and combining it with new technologies like digitisation, reality modelling and machine learning can make a city even smarter and its citizens even happier. Helsinki, Finland is a prime example of a smart city. A $1.19 million project was launched to produce

a 3D representation of the city, in an effort to improve Helsinki’s internal services and processes, promote smart city development and share city models as open data with citizens and companies, for research and development. The generated information was shared among other city infrastructures, such as academic organisations and universities, utility networks, and energy agencies concerned with low carbon output and solar energy. This collaboration, using the same connected source data, will lead to a smarter city. Bydgoszcz, Poland is another example of how modelling can help fast-track a city to becoming smarter. A model of the city was created to showcase different scenarios of what planned development (particularly the transport system) would look

like and how it would affect the city visually in terms of aesthetics. By combining multiple data sources, such as geodetic, orthophotomap and photogrammetric data, the city created models to make more informed decisions and justify development plans to the necessary authorities. In the future, cities will be able to advance further as technology progresses. Bentley’s first foray into machine learning, which will extend the analytical and predictive power of AssetWise, will be able to bring further benefits to a city’s infrastructure. As an example, machine learning can be used to predict energy usage from meters and offer recommendations on how to be more efficient. The same applies to water utilities, where growing supply and demand can be more achievable by taking into consideration current and historical usage,

reserves, the environment, delivery and cost. We see smarter cities in the movies and soon in real life, with machines and technology planning the day and alarm clocks waking you up earlier to take into consideration traffic congestion and the fact that a meeting was rescheduled to an earlier time. Better yet, will we see the day when the smart city will reduce traffic so you can sleep in? We have a long way to go, but there are real examples of smartness all over the world that can only be enabled through a smart, connected city. The examples of Helsinki and Bydgoszcz help pave the way for those now embarking on this initiative, such as Dubai. Through collaboration and investment in new technology, governments, industries and citizens need to work together in achieving the goal of a smart city.


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Smart Infrastructure

in the blink of an eye Effective smart infrastructure should enable split-second decision making.

Kamal Mokrani

Wireless Way-Finding: a roadmap For a smart City

Kamal Mokrani, global vice president, InfiNet Wireless, explains how having the right smart infrastructure can benefit a city We now find ourselves steeped in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – an era that could potentially see every human, and every piece of machinery that we use seamlessly networked together. Every aspect of our lives, from our classroom experiences to our daily commute, is being digitised, as we move inexorably towards the smart city paradigm.

and embarking on long-term economic visions that leverage technology to lay the foundations for smart cities. This is evidenced by the region’s conference venues becoming regular hosts for smart city themed events, all aimed at creating awareness and igniting the spirit of innovation.

But unlike the jetpacks and flying cars we looked forward to in the 1980s, smart cities are not only more viable, but are taking shape around us as you read this. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) governments have shown unparalleled ambition in creating these digital societies,

The way forward

12 Smart Cities Report 2017

So, what is the blueprint for the smart society? What constitutes best practice? And how can we ensure the foundations are sound enough to support value-adding solutions that revolutionise everyday life? The first thing to recognise is

that legacy cable infrastructure can only take the smart city pioneer so far. Many of the unique selling points of smart cities involve the necessary feature of mobility. Traffic optimisation, automated public safety and remote health monitoring are just three examples where key elements of the ecosystem (vehicles, CCTV cameras, people, etc.) can be anywhere, with data made available to/from them in real time. Hardwired solutions severely hamper the delivery of such solutions. In addition, these cabled solutions are extraordinarily disruptive in their deployment,

requiring significant undertakings from the perspective of both civil engineering and the public purse. Both factors also amount to considerable lifespans for cabling projects, thereby dampening the momentum of smart city initiatives. Wireless presents itself as an obvious candidate for any government intent on crafting its own smart city. But, care must be taken when selecting the platform on which all future smart solutions will be built. Choose the wrong one, and visionary advances could quickly grind to a halt. Mobile matters

According to GSMA Intelligence’s


Smart Infrastructure

latency. Even 5G, projected to deliver response times of 1-5ms, will be delivered as a series of shared networks used by millions of consumers and businesses, with all the known bottlenecks at different times of the day. Quality of service

“Wireless presents itself as an obvious candidate for any government intent on crafting its own smart city. But care must be taken when selecting the platform”

2017 Mobile Economy report, MENA mobile internet subscriber penetration reached 36% in 2016 and is projected to top 46% by 2020. In a previous report, GSMA Intelligence predicted 327 million smartphone connections in the Arab world – or around two thirds of the total connection base – by 2020. Figures like these call for diligence when selecting wireless platforms built for the future, as many smart city solutions involve continuous data feedback to/ from citizens as well as municipal authorities. Certainly, significant capacity is required to serve the rising numbers of connected

citizens and their mobile devices. Always-on reliability is a standard assumption among solutions providers and government innovators, and flexibility in configuration is also a must, so that policy-makers and enterprises can respond quickly to unexpected shifts in citizens’ behaviour. Effective smart infrastructure also needs to enable split-second decision-making, on the order of 3ms or lower for most known applications today. Adopting a 3G platform with latencies in excess of 100ms clearly will not meet the stringent requirements of anything ‘smart’, and 4G networks only reach 50-60ms

A suitable quality-of-service mobile internet solution needs to be IP-based, provide guaranteed delivery of each and every packet, and be capable of connecting seamlessly to any data source and any current or future sensors. Consider the CCTV-based public safety system mentioned earlier. Real-time image-processing is computationally expensive. Low latency, reliability of data transfer and fast processing capabilities come together to deliver features such as instant facial recognition, ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) and a host of other crowd-based analytics services that ultimately translate into safer and more secure environments. These examples also illustrate the need for smart infrastructure to mitigate interference and radio noise, especially as the number of wireless networks will undoubtedly increase within a fledgling smart city as more services are rolled out. Failure to do so will lead to a degradation in accuracy and reliability of data transfer. The more interference there is, the less desirable the results from real-time analytics engines will be. Stay the course

Our journey towards the smart cities of tomorrow must be less of a sprint and more of a methodical march. Healthcare, education, security and public safety all await the innovators. Their solutions – if built on the back of a robust, flexible, responsive and reliable wireless platform – will usher in that new smart city age we have all been waiting for. Smart Cities Report 2017 13


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Smart Buildings

Delivering intelligent technology Big Project ME speaks to Michael Lofty of ABB about how the Swiss giant is taking on the smart building challenge tailored solutions With the rise in building technology solutions, residents and end users now expect tailored solutions and smarter buildings.

14 Smart Cities Report 2017

What challenges face the commercial and domestic buildings of tomorrow?

The buildings of tomorrow not only need to contribute towards the sustainability objectives that governments around the globe are committing to today, but they also need to respond well to the demands of consumers for a more efficient, connected and safer solution – at work or at home. Creating buildings which

deliver these objectives brings its own set of challenges, the greatest factor being the age of the building itself. It is perhaps unsurprising that the challenges involved are amplified when considering a retrofit solution for an existing, occupied building. For new build, however, while legislation dictates the need to implement connected and sustainable solutions within the construction process, the challenge comes in the form of


Smart Buildings

the budget available, which is often not in line what is needed to fully deliver the brief. This challenge is made even more pressing by the surge in demand for new build apartments, with UN reports predicting an increase in the percentage of people living in big cities from 50% in 2017 to 70% by 2025. What role should smarter buildings play in meeting these needs?

Digitisation has already

revolutionised so many elements of our day-to-day lives, from how we work and play to how we raise our children. Buildings, regardless of scale and usage, have the potential to further transform how we live and work, using digitisation to connect buildings to people and buildings to other buildings. People expect tailored, individual solutions and smarter buildings to fulfil this need, enabling commercial,

living and industrial spaces to respond to the requirements of different occupants in different areas of the building. How long has ABB been operating in the smart building sector?

ABB has driven innovation within the smarter buildings sector for more than 20 years, developing a portfolio of pioneering digital solutions. Today we are continuously innovating under the ABB

“The integration of smarter building technology means the immediate remote detection of any issue on a room by room basis, facilitating the more efficient dispatch of maintenance engineers and the ability to cost-effectively maintain the highest standards for the customer�

AbilityTM platform – our full range of connected and software-enabled solutions. At ABB, our job is to both deliver the intelligent building technology and convert the data gathered into useful information, enabling our customers to know more, do more and do better together. What solutions does ABB offer, and how have they been developed?

ABB recognises that the needs of commercial, industrial and living spaces are intrinsically different and as such has created tailored solutions for each of these three types of building, making us a one-stop-shop for electrification solutions. A commercial building can be as diverse as a hotel, office, airport or hospital, each with its own bespoke automation requirements. ABB has therefore developed a comprehensive range of low- and mediumvoltage solutions for everything from heating, ventilation and air conditioning to lighting control, energy metering and security. Meanwhile, ABB AbilityTM solutions enable the digitisation and automation that are crucial to maintaining competitiveness within the industrial sector, offering huge potential for optimisation, with a predicted $3.7 trillion in savings to be made in smart factories by 2025. Finally, designed to transform homes into intelligent spaces, the use of ABB-free@ home means homeowners are able to control all their appliances and systems, from washing machines, blinds and lighting to heating and door communication, through either a switch on the wall, a laptop or a smartphone for added convenience and flexibility.

Smart Cities Report 2017 15


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Smart Buildings

The straightforward exchange of data among devices by different manufacturers is also crucial. ABB’s goal is therefore to promote and enable interoperability between all providers in this market, and that is why we announced the creation of a joint venture with Bosch and Cisco and created mozaiq GmbH, through which we are collaborating to develop an open standards software platform that enables the smart living environment. What are the key tangible benefits of smarter buildings for the end user?

While home owners are keen to reduce electricity bills and mitigate their personal impact on the environment, smarter buildings enable commercial and industrial operators to improve energy efficiency to save both costs and meet the stringent standards enforced by international legislation. Indeed, smarter buildings in which all functionality is

automated, all systems are connected and which can be remotely monitored have the power to not only reduce energy consumption and associated costs by up to 30%, they can also make us safer, make our lives easier and enhance the enjoyment of the end user both in and out of the home. How does ABB integrate multiple systems into buildings?

“Buildings, regardless of scale and usage, have the potential to further transform how we live and work”

ABB’s i-bus KNX technology, based on the internationally recognised KNX standard for building automation, sits at the heart of flexible and smarter buildings. It connects ABB solutions to any other communications technology and building management system, including our own innovative Newron platform for building management. Connectivity to the cloud also enables full visibility and analysis of everything from energy consumption to security, safety and building occupation and usage. hospitality focus Moving forward, ABB intends to strengthen its focus on the hospitality sector.

How does that allow building operators to improve performance and expand the possibilities of intelligent buildings?

Let’s take the hotel sector as an example. Imagine a hotel operator with multiple premises across the world. The integration of smarter building technology means the immediate remote detection of any issue on a room by room basis, facilitating the more efficient dispatch of maintenance engineers and the ability to cost-effectively maintain the highest standards for the customer. The hotel operator also has the ability to remotely monitor occupation levels and control energy usage in accordance, reducing expenditure without compromising service levels. And with all data, including customer preferences, stored safely on the cloud and accessible 24/7, it can be used to both enhance the experience for each individual customer and shape the hotel installations of tomorrow. What is next for ABB in the smart buildings sector?

ABB’s aim is to stay at the leading edge of innovation in the field of smarter buildings, delivering real solutions that can improve people’s lives. Moving forward, ABB will be strengthening its focus on the hospitality sector, supporting businesses in delivering an elevated experience for customers. ABB is also preparing to make a number of exciting announcements during the forthcoming months regarding third-party collaborations, to integrate even more functionality within the smart homes sector.

16 Smart Cities Report 2017


In association with:

Smart Cooling

A holistic approach For cooling, having a holistic apporach is essential as it’s not enough to look at building management in isolation, says Bogers.

18 Smart Cities Report 2017


Smart Cooling

Keeping it cool

Koen Bogers, senior executive vice president, Building Technologies, Siemens Middle East, looks at how intelligent control of cooling infrastructure can reap major energy efficiency benefits for cities in the Middle East Real estate is frequently the second largest expense for a business, and in the Middle East cooling is responsible for as much as 60-70% of annual energy bills. We also can’t afford to ignore the environmental impact of the cities in which we live: buildings use more energy than either industry or mobility, accounting for some 41% of global CO2 emissions.

Clearly, it’s time our infrastructure worked harder to mitigate the environmental impact of our increasingly urban lifestyles.

The question is: how do we use technology to reach maximum energy efficiency without compromising the comfort of the occupants? For cooling, a holistic approach is essential. It’s not enough to look at building management in isolation, for instance. It’s important to assess the entire cooling value chain, identify where efficiencies can be gained and ensure that we are not simply shifting inefficiencies from one system to another. The supply side of cooling offers huge opportunity to gain efficiencies, both with physical and digital technology. By assessing the five major elements of a chiller plant – cooling towers, condenser pumps, chillers, chilled water pumps and air-handling units – we can increase the deliverable tonnage of the plant, while simplifying its operations. Our technology for this, Demand Flow, can reduce a plant’s total

“In the Middle East, the economic and environmental benefits of this are clear. When both these technologies are implemented together, they could realise efficiency savings in cooling of up to 40% in the region”

energy consumption by 20-50%, using algorithms to ensure that energy is not being moved from one plant subsystem to another. On the demand side, building management technologies are playing a major role in mitigating unnecessary energy used for cooling. There is a clear trend toward intelligent control and operation of a building and its technology, with the ability to bring much of the monitoring and control into the realm of the smartphone. In commercial buildings, of course, the intelligent combination of heating, ventilation and air conditioning is key. Real-time monitoring and control allows us to reduce a system’s dependence on human intervention, automating routine work, analysing data and taking corrective action if required. For this, a building automation and control system (BACS) is essential if you are to maintain a high level of energy efficiency in a building, including cooling. It is the tool which will ensure the interplay of all technical systems in accordance with the operational requirements of a building, and also enable continuous commissioning or fine tuning of the system. Over years of use, automatic adjustments are periodically needed to meet changing operational and usage requirements, as well as factors such as weather

Smart Cities Report 2017 19


In association with:

Smart Cooling

conditions. Only a building automation and control system is capable of achieving this, and it will additionally be the interface to the smart grid, receiving and processing control information from the electrical supply network. This is also what allows a holistic approach to the cooling value chain. When a cooling plant is designed, it is built to cope with peak annual demand. But these conditions may occur only a

small percentage of the time, and individual building requirements will change constantly. By monitoring and controlling the demand side of cooling with a building automation and control system, and with intelligence built into the supply side, it’s possible to synchronise both, dramatically reducing unnecessary energy use. The next-level building management technology required for holistic approaches such as these

depends on cutting-edge industry IoT operating systems, such as Siemens’ Mindsphere. This type of technology facilitates the connection of a city’s buildings and infrastructure for data analysis as well as user-building interaction. In the Middle East, the economic and environmental benefits of this are clear. We have calculated that when both these technologies are implemented together, they could realise

efficiency savings in cooling of up to 40% in the region. It should be noted that architecture also plays a large role in the efficiency of a building. External shading, such as on our Masdar City HQ, can dramatically reduce the need for cooling while maximising natural light. When this is combined with advanced building technology, it can realise significant efficiency gains over a traditionally constructed building.

“It’s not enough to look at building management in isolation, for instance. It’s important to assess the entire cooling value chain, identify where efficiencies can be gained and ensure that we are not simply shifting inefficiencies from one system to another” Architecture and efficiency Architecture plays a large role in the efficiency of a building, especially when combined with advanced building technology.

20 Smart Cities Report 2017


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Augmented Reality

Augmented Future

Big Project ME talks to Suhail Arfath, head of Autodesk Consulting, Middle East, about the value augmented reality and other technology can bring to construction

Autodesk is championing the use of software in the construction segment, and held its inaugural Futures’ Forum at IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai May 2017. The event shed considerable light on what state-of-the-art software has to offer in the architecture, building, construction, manufacturing, media and entertainment industries. Talk to us about augmented reality software and its impact in the regional construction industry.

We offer a variety of software that can play a major role in the construction industry. Consider, for example, Autodesk Live (now called Revit Live), Stingray, Infraworks and others. They can have a significant positive impact on major projects, whether you are an end user, a stakeholder responsible for approvals, and even those that are financing the project. Lets look at Dubai Expo 2020 or the World Cup in Qatar. These projects have multiple stakeholders, and here augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) make it easy for the design and AEC community to communicate with stakeholders for their buy-in. This wasn’t possible in the past, as we dealt with 2D drawings and physical models that, once they were

22 Smart Cities Report 2017

approved, never incorporated changes at a later stage. AR allows visualisation of the experience, which has a big impact on critical decisions, which will in turn have a big impact on costs. Moving forward, we will see that AR will prove to be a significant benefit in terms of reducing schedule as well as reducing cost. What are some of the pros and cons of consultants using AR software in their workflow?

We will see more consultants bring AR and VR in to their dayto-day jobs for work on projects. It starts with designers and consultants having an opportunity to explore their designs beyond the traditional methods of doing things. If a designer, architect or artist is able to experience a project, that means they are able to evaluate multiple options and share that experience with stakeholders for their buy-in. This would not be possible in the past, when we used to have a few renderings and visualisations created alongside a physical model (if time permitted). Today, this cycle can be reduced, providing the artist with the ability to translate what they are visualising for the end user. At the end of the day, it is all about experiences, and moving forward each design


Augmented Reality

firm will vary in terms of the experiences they offer, aside from the brand quality and cost (which AR can greatly help in). What’s the learning curve like? Does it disrupt existing workflows in any way, or was it designed to integrate into existing processes?

Seeing things in context Construction supervisors can use augmented reality software to see things onsite in context of the overall project design, even if it’s not yet ready.

“AR software can not only provide companies with the calculations of the carbon footprint, the lifecycle costs and the LEED certification, but also provide them with suggestions on how they can leverage natural resources such as walkways, trees, etc.”

From a workflow perspective, it is not disruptive but rather complementary, because we are not talking about something being made specifically for AR or VR. There are tools today like Autodesk Revit where you build a whole building model, and in just a few clicks it switches to Revit Live. This helps end users or design firms experience the design through AR or VR, using Hololens or Oculus Rift, and so on. The whole process, which used to take days or months, now happens in just a few clicks and a matter of hours. AR and VR has come a long way in terms of complementing the workflow versus having a different pipeline of data or users to do the job. What benefits does AR software offer to construction crews during and after construction?

We are seeing more and more cases where construction supervisors can see things in the context of the project, even though it is not yet ready. Thanks to this, the supervisor can identify all the challenges that may have to be dealt with. The future will feature a fusion between the digital and the real world, essentially blurring the lines between the two. This will save a lot of time with regards to construction work, which will translate into cost reductions and savings. What acceptance has Autodesk AR software had in the region?

Our users appreciate the fact

Smart Cities Report 2017 23


In association with:

Augmented Reality

that Autodesk Live, Revit Live or Stingray have a seamless workflow with our existing building information modelling (BIM) tools like Revit, which has facilitated their move to leverage and benefit from it. What ROI can consultants expect once they invest in Autodesk AR software? Does the software pay for itself in the near or long term?

An important factor to highlight here is the concept of rework. Imagine a situation where every time you create a design, then you might have to make changes due to client feedback. This process takes time; however, AR and VR removes all of that – you just make a change to the model, which will end up producing the drawings later. This model will then be sent to Autodesk Live, where the end customer can experience it. The best part is companies can keep making changes on the

“If a designer is able to experience a project, that means they are able to evaluate multiple options and share that experience with stakeholders for their buy-in. This would not be possible in the past”

go. So if you can reduce your current workflow time by 15%, in the long term not only will the software pay for itself, but you’ll also be saving a lot of time. Tell us about the integration with BIM software, and the benefits this offers.

BIM tools like Revit, which is integrated with the likes of Autodesk Live or Revit Live, ensure a seamless experience in which with only a few clicks you translate the whole model into a live experience. This can then even be taken to the gaming world, with the likes of Stingray. This used to be a time-consuming activity in the past, but now it only takes a few clicks with no expertise required, which in itself is a big game changer. What role can AR play in terms of developing sustainable environments and smart cities?

developing smart cities Augmented reality will give companies and city authorities the ability to calculate things as varied as the carbon footprint, LEED certifications and lifecycle costs, while also suggesting how natural resources can be leveraged to the benefit of the overall city plan.

24 Smart Cities Report 2017

AR software can not only provide companies with the calculations of the carbon footprint, the lifecycle costs and the LEED certification, but also provide them with suggestions on how they can leverage natural resources such as walkways, trees, etc. Essentially, it is a matter of how the experience will change the preview of the project. From a numbers or ROI perspective, to make a project viable for sustainable investment, we still need to run those simulations to give clients a full view that will help them make the decision, in order to save money on the project. At the end of the day, it is also our moral duty to ensure a better future for tomorrow’s generations. What technology will make an impact in the construction segment in the future, in terms of achieving more efficient designs, reducing costs and helping to create sustainable developments?

3D printing, robotics and more integration between BIM and these tools will allow us to see more machines come into play. They will streamline labour jobs, as long as we are able to visualise the challenges and risks in advance, which will enable companies to have the desired results of the projects once they are completed. In short, in the construction industry it is said that if we plot the project over the lifecycle stage from concept to the actual handover, the cost of change in the beginning is significantly less, and the impact is considerably higher. As we progress, the cost of change goes higher. Tools like VR, AR, BIM and robotics can help the project stakeholder team visualise risks and take action, so that the projects are delivered efficiently, on time and on budget.


In association with:

Smart Development

26 Smart Cities Report 2017


Smart Development

Building a Smarter tomorrow

Can you upgrade an existing city? How do you get a smart city project off the ground? How do you approach the development? Jason Saundalkar discusses all this and more with four regional experts

S

mart cities are connected environments that can access data from a multitude of sources within the city. Data can be read from sensors on streets, from security cameras, and even from applications and connected/ smart devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Smart cities can ingest this data, analyse it, and take or suggest actions in relation to specific goals such as enhancing quality of life, conserving power, increasing efficiency and even reducing costs. Around the world, smart cities are a hot topic; and within the Middle East, and more specifically the UAE, there has already been significant progress.

Dubai has in fact been in the news on several occasions. The Dubai Smart City Strategy was finalised in 2013/2014, a Smart Dubai Office (SDO) was formed in 2015 with a mandate to launch 100 smart city initiatives at the regional level, and Dubai Design District (D3) is already serving as a proof of concept for Dubai’s Smart City Strategy. Earlier in the year, Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority also announced that it would launch autonomous flying drone taxis in the summer of 2017, as the first step in its journey towards autonomous transport for residents. One question that comes up during discussions about smart cities is whether it is possible to transform an existing metropolis. This question is also normally accompanied by another, perhaps more crucial one: Is it worth it? These are valid questions if you consider that there are thousands of established cities around the world, each with its own unique challenges. With regards

to whether or not it’s worth doing, that too is very relevant as liquidity challenges continue to put pressure on budgets in the public and private sectors. “It can be done, but it will certainly be costlier and may not be on par with a new development, as there could be areas that would be quite challenging to transform or too cost-prohibitive. In addition, the legal framework and regulations may not be ready to adapt to these new technologies, either for new development or for an existing city. For example, the Danish prime minister stated that Denmark is not ready for technologically driven advancements, and said that the nation needed to be equipped to deal with the popularity of the sharing economy by modernising regulations,” explains Nour H. Kassassir, VP and MEA CIO at Parsons. In this respect, some Middle East cities are in a better position, as many regional cities

are still developing. “We are in an emerging market, it has new infrastructure and new developments, which makes it easier to inherently embed a lot of the technologies and requirements as part of the infrastructure that’s being built,” says Labib Mata, chief business officer at NXN Group. In contrast, Phillipa Grant, senior consultant at AESG, believes that transforming established cities has advantages. “Smart city elements can certainly be integrated within existing cities, in fact many of today’s smart cities were pre-existing and have adapted in line with advancing technologies. Transforming an existing city into a smart city has the added benefit of market knowledge and understanding, allowing efforts to be focused on city-specific challenges.” Grant admits, however, that there are also challenges to this approach, particularly with regard to residents. “Smart cities rely Smart Cities Report 2017 27


In association with:

Smart Development

Sponsoring a smart city Nour H Kassassir, VP and MEA CIO at Parsons, asserts that a smart city needs a business sponsor like a city governor to drive mandates and regulations.

on the support of the community to operate as designed. Gaining community engagement and commitment to smart city initiatives can be challenging, and requires a sustained effort to gain traction and achieve results.” Matta agrees. “People play a big role in smart cities. It’s about inclusion, innovation and driving innovation through people, and of course, how do you ensure accountability for those smart initiatives? It’s not just that we’re going to do this great thing and everybody is going to be happy. The reality is that there are certain things that people may want that you’re not going to be able to deliver, or you’ll deliver something else entirely.” Jason Lewis, Limah Design Consultants founder and managing director, reckons that transformations of existing cities is on the rise, and cautions that picking the right tools for the job is a must. “We are seeing more and more transformations that lead us into a smart city in 28 Smart Cities Report 2017

People power Labib Matta, chief business officer of NXN Group, says that people will play a big role in the development and evolution of smart cities.

the UAE. The challenges are first of all to bring the right tools into an already developed infrastructure. We do not want to redevelop everything from scratch, but we do want to make the best decisions and facilitate the smooth integration into a new, future-ready environment, where connectivity and user experience are at the forefront.” Smart Advantages

Smart cities can offer hundreds of potential benefits to residents and governing bodies. However, it’s important for decisionmakers to outline requirements right from the outset. In doing so, a number of pressing challenges can be addressed. “The use of technology would allow a city to run itself efficiently, and would provide a partial solution to the various problems plaguing our cities, such as traffic, pollution, water supply, electricity supply and industrialisation. A smart city could offer efficient management of limited natural

“We are in an emerging market, it has new infrastructure and new developments, which makes it easier to inherently embed a lot of the technologies and requirements as part of the infrastructure that’s being built”

resources (water and energy), connected mobility that allows for the easy transportation of citizens, and with connected mobility, fewer cars are needed. This would reduce climate change by reducing the carbon footprint,” elaborates Kassassir. Grant builds on that sentiment. “Data collection and integration of smart city technologies can result in a high-efficiency city, often with associated sustainability benefits. A good example can be found in Barcelona. Sensors were installed for public parking spaces city-wide, enabling residents to identify available parking spaces before arrival, thus reducing driving time and vehicle emissions. The data collected also enables more effective future urban planning based on parking patterns. While such strategies remain independent and relatively simple, smart cities will continue to develop and evolve over time.” Smart cities can obviously offer a lot of benefits, and in countries like India, they may also be the only solution to addressing urban expansion. A recent UN report showed that India will add the greatest number of people to its urban population in the next 50 years, with a projected 500 million people living in its cities by 2050. The report concluded that smart cities could be built to help existing cities tackle this growth in population. The Right Approach

Before governments and residents can reap the benefits of smart cities, they have to be financed, built and tested, and bulletproof legislation has to be put in place. Matta points out: “A smart city solution involves and requires a lot of stakeholders – these aren’t just people running infrastructure, but people living in the city. Their business is living in the city, and there are


Smart Development

government entities defining policies and regulations. There are also people responsible for finding technical directions within these various government entities or authorities, whether it’s at the government level or the city level.” Kassassir is quick to stress that smart cities need a benefactor to get off the ground in the first place. “You need to have a business sponsor that can drive mandates and impact regulations, such as a city governor. The initiative for starting a smart city project must be initiated by the city governor’s office or an equivalent body. An actionable smart city strategy (master plan) must be developed for the city, which should define the vision and objectives of the strategy, as well as the framework for implementing the strategy, which should be the required policies and regulations by which the public and private sectors need to abide. A smart city blueprint must also be developed to outline

High-efficiency city Philipa Grant, senior consultant at AESG, predicts that data collection and integration of smart technologies will result in a highly-efficient city.

a coordinated strategic direction for all stakeholders to implement the smart city platform.” In terms of actual execution, Grant adds: “From a sustainability perspective, we have traditionally focused on collection of energy consumption data, in order to identify target areas for energy conservation measures, as well as to encourage energy reduction through behavioural changes. However, many other smart city initiatives improve the city’s sustainability as a by-product of efficiency, such as smart infrastructure planning in response to demand patterns, to increase efficiency and reduce waste.” Lewis weighs in. “When it comes to starting new smart projects, we have no real limits and sometimes come up with some wild and futuristic ideas. But what’s interesting is often we can find the early beginning of these ideas in the market being developed. Once we present these ideas, they

“The use of technology would allow a city to run itself efficiently, and would provide a partial solution to the various problems plaguing our cities, such as traffic, pollution, water supply and industrialisation”

Pick the right tools Jason Lewis, founder and managing director of Limah Design Consultants, says that governments and authorities must pick the right tools for a smart city for it to succeed.

can be developed further into working models that can be implemented in the near future.” Digital Concerns

At the heart of every smart city lies a digital network that ties the hundreds of thousands of individual components together. Without this, gathering and sharing data would be impossible, and unfortunately these networks can come under attack from nefarious individuals for various reasons. “Hackers are tech-savvy and continue to grow their skill sets. With every hacking attempt that is stopped before or after it occurs, the hackers use the experience to engineer new attacks. Hackers are here to stay and will not be going away anytime soon, if ever. To protect against individuals trying to compromise systems, cyber resilience should be at the core of smart services and systems, and especially a city government that’s working towards creating a smart city,” warns Kassassir. Matta’s firm is well aware of these concerns and is already working to mitigate them. “Cyber security does not only apply to PCs and servers anymore. We’re talking about cyber security from our perspective, which is more related to city infrastructure. So we’re talking about how we protect the electrical grid, the water grid, how do you protect the airport and other transport systems, the critical infrastructure. Cyber security has been there for a while, and yes, it’s now becoming an even bigger thing, but we also don’t want to miss the point that there is a bigger picture here, which is the infrastructure of the city or the district. We feel that the protection of the data and the attacks on that infrastructure is very critical to the success of any city or nation.” Smart Cities Report 2017 29


In association with:

Cybersecurity

impacting the industrial ecosystem As the world’s major industries undergo a digital transformation, businesses have an unequalled opportunity to impact the industrial ecosystem, says Jay Abdallah.

Real-time PRotection Jay Abdallah, global director – Cybersecurity Solutions, speaks to Big Project ME about how Schneider Electric’s partnership with Claroty will help protect its infrastructure projects 30 Smart Cities Report 2017

How did the partnership with Claroty come about?

At Schneider Electric, securing our customer’s digital operations against cyber threats and protecting critical infrastructure is a priority. Toward this end, we have developed a robust approach which includes actively adding security features to our core products, providing cyber security services to customers and actively partnering with best-in-class security service companies. This led to our partnership with Claroty.

Claroty’s real-time threat monitoring and anomaly detection solutions will be added to Schneider Electric’s Collaborative Automation Partner Program (CAPP). Moreover, Claroty will also protect products and edge control solutions within our very own IoTenabled EcoStruxure platform. What sort of dangers does the world’s infrastructure face in terms of cyber security and data protection?

As the world’s major industries


Cybersecurity

industrial control systems and monitoring networks for glitches. A key characteristic of the Claroty platform is its ability to explore the deepest level of industrial network protocols using a passive monitoring approach. This enables end users to safely identify anomalies while protecting sensitive industrial networks. How will the data collected be shared and used by Scheider Electric, its partners and the country’s authority bodies?

are rapidly undergoing a digital transformation, businesses have an unequalled opportunity to impact the industrial ecosystem. However, digitisation has raised serious concerns, especially due to the rise in cyber-based threats. Cyber security remains high on the international agenda, as high-profile breaches could endanger critical infrastructure and data. Reports suggest close to $400 billion is lost due to cyber attacks in the form of security breaches and sabotage each year. In addition to commercial

losses and the disruption of operations, cyber attacks can also cause loss of trust among customers and suppliers. How will this partnership help protect Schneider’s projects and clients?

In the face of mounting cyber threats, Schneider Electric recognises that working hand-inhand with security vendors such as Claroty is an effective way to tackle cyber-based complexities. The Claroty platform will proactively engage in protecting

“Cyber security remains high on the international agenda. Reports suggest close to $400 billion is lost due to cyber attacks in the form of security breaches and sabotage each year. In addition to commercial losses and the disruption of operations, cyber attacks can also cause loss of trust among customers and suppliers”

Schneider Electric and its partners will be able to capture real-time data from sensors, manufacturing equipment and other devices, with the help of Claroty’s solutions. The extracted data will provide insights that engineers, partners and government entities can extract, aggregate and exchange across the economy. Additionally, context-rich alerts will be provided to plant and security personnel, which will help reduce costs and improve overall productivity. How can this model be used in the GCC region?

As cyber security remains a growing concern in the GCC region, there is a lot that policymakers and regulators are doing to strengthen the security posture of industries. Within the operational technology (OT) domain, cyber security is still maturing and governments are implementing standards and introducing mandates to enable critical infrastructure and minimise vulnerabilities in cyber attacks. Claroty’s solutions are now available to all Schneider Electric clients in the GCC and can be used across power generation services, construction and oil & gas, among others.

Smart Cities Report 2017 31


In association with:

Last word

Smart Cities Need Smart Data Protection Nicolai Solling, CTO at Help AG, explains how governments play a key role in establishing the security frameworks required for a smart city to succeed While the concept of smart cities has been widely embraced in the Middle East, the one fundamental pillar on which the success of these initiatives will rest is undoubtable cyber security. Given their scale, it’s not a surprise that smart city initiatives are primarily being driven by regional governments, which must also play a key role in establishing the security frameworks required for these initiatives to succeed.

The first area where governments are able to add a lot of value is around legislation of information security. Here, the Middle East is taking massive steps, with governance organisations documenting and requiring that certain information security standards be followed specifically by government entities and organisations deemed to deliver important services for the country,

such as banking and finance, amongst others. Another area where governments can and should get involved is in raising cyber security awareness within the general population. Especially in our region, with the cultural diversity coupled with the tremendous drive in both government as well as private initiatives to deliver innovative IT-enabled services, we need to diligently educate our citizens. One of the most important elements of cyber- as well as other types of security is the human element, and here culture has a huge impact and must therefore be addressed. Being able to control the risk, operate, sustain and manage smart cities requires cultivating the right skills and resources. Sharing information from governments to organisations and individuals can make

32 Smart Cities Report 2017

“The Middle East is taking massive steps, with governance organisations requiring certain security standards to be followed specifically by government entities and organisations deemed to deliver important services for the country”

sure that we can tune defences. This is typically done in the form of CERT advisories. For example, in the UAE this is done by aeCERT, which sends out information bulletins to government and private organisations. Another area vital to many smart city initiatives is the Internet of Things (IoT). A vast number of sensors will be involved in any deployment. Globally, we are talking about as many as 50 billion sensors by 2020. Most of these sensors will be cheap, low-cost devices – a major factor, as there are so many of them. When you buy a low-cost smart sensor, how much security do you think they were able to design into the hardware? There is also the question of software: an IoT device uses software like any other device on the internet; some of them have generic operating

systems like embedded Linux. How do you patch 50 billion devices in case of a general vulnerability, such as what we saw with Heartbleed in OpenSSL or the WannaCry vulnerability? To ensure the smooth functioning of a smart city, security needs to be given due attention from the very first stages, with emphasis on the areas outlined above. Nicolai Solling is CTO at Help AG. He has been heavily involved in the design, deployment and operation of some of the most challenging network and security infrastructures for some of the largest enterprise organisations in various industry sectors in the Middle East. He is also a leading commentator on the region’s IT security landscape and how consumers can safeguard themselves from cyber threats.


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