Smart Platforms Enabling the Creative Industries for the Future Internet



SPECIFI will combine NGA and IoT infrastructures and platforms for setting up an European Creative Ring of Smart Cities and Regions facilitating the set-up, customization, delivery and sharing of innovative, user co-designed arts, media and leisure services locally, regionally, and across Europe. Such Creative Ring will provide the considered services over Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) as well as wireless infrastructures. 

The project’s guiding principle is that Smart Cities need to go beyond upgrades related to control tasks (pollution, traffic…) and public data. The promise of employing open Future Internet platforms and infrastructures in a smart, citizen-centered way, is to forge creative links between citizens, administrations and Creative Industry SMEs, between cities and their larger region, and between cities across Europe.

SPECIFI will demonstrate the positive impacts of a European Creative Ring of Smart Cities and Regions, with real-life Future Internet (Fiber-to-the-Home and wireless) infrastructures, with real-life users and producers, and 3 in 5 real (certified) Living Labs active in 3 Smart Cities and their surrounding regions. The cities involved in the pilot are: Kortrijk (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain) and Trento (Italy).

SPECIFI is a European project in the framework of the CIP, Competitiveness and Innovation framework programme, which aims to promote the use of Future Internet infrastructures for the promotion of culture and creativity in the Smart Cities.  The final objective is to capitalize on the cultural and creative richness and diversity that emanates from European cities.


Three pilots will use Future Internet technologies as the basis for sharing knowledge and innovation between three European smart city cores, embedded in their surrounding region: Kortrijk embedded in Flanders in Belgium, Barcelona embedded in Catalonia in Spain, and Trento embedded in Trentino in Italy. 

The prototype services tested in Kortrijk (Belgium) pertain to the IoT (Internet of Things) and the mash up of sensor data with audiovisual content; Barcelona (Spain) will pioneer HD real-time video; and Trento (Italy) will experiment with IPTV services and interactive video services for the tourist sector.

The Creative Ring Paradigm and its Innovative Features

A Creative Ring links creative and cultural facilities connected via future-proof digital infrastructure and aims at promoting and enhancing the network applications in cultural creation/capturing and distribution. The objectives of the European Creative Ring are:

(1) The testing of co-creation and sharing of content and initiatives between local, regional and European (creative and cultural) facilities; 

(2) Research, experimentation and innovation in the field of the creative industry; and, 

(3) Opening and linking Future Internet platforms for the development, management and distribution of creative artefacts.

It is the aim of SPECIFI to pilot ‘Creative Rings’ of urban media that overcome technological limitations, geographical fragmentation and lacking business models, by opening and linking Future Internet platforms and creative industry ecosystems.


SPECIFI has three target user groups:

(1) Cities and their Living Lab partners

(2) Citizens either living in or visiting a city and/or region

(3) Creative Industry SMEs.

These users are targeted in their needs to deploy, consume and co-create innovative, rich, real-time multimedia content facilitated by open, Future Internet platforms in the media,arts, leisure and urban discovery domains.

The specific benefits for the first user group are:

  • Provides more efficient and effective innovative cultural creative and services to a wide audience,
  • Brings new services to market faster and reduces the cost of service delivery,
  • Enhances the relationship with citizens and businesses (which could imply co-creation process),
  • Cities became a more desirable place to live and work,
  • Creation of new business models and working relationship with other cities, regions and countries.

The benefits identified for the second group of users are:

  • Enhanced and enriching participation and leisure opportunities in the Creative Industries,
  • New business and services opportunities, and the consequently benefits it implies,
  • The use of Future Internet infrastructure accelerates the marketing and the uptake of the new cultural services developed across Europe.

For Creative Industries SMEs and other businesses, benefits are:

  • Receive support to publish their exploitation-ready services through the Creative Ring Marketplace,
  • Access to Future Internet technologies and infrastructures,
  • Opportunity to pilot with real-life users and producers in different environments,
  • Get benefited from the different platforms and stimulus offered for the three cities during its pilots.
  • Iminds VZW (Belgium)
  • Buda kunstencentrum VZW (Belgium)
  • Stad Kortrijk (Belgium)
  • Fundacio i2CAT, Internet i Innovacio Digital a Catalunya (Spain)
  • Departament de Cultura - Generalitat de Catalunya (Spain)
  • Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (Spain)
  • Alcatel-lucent Italia S.P.A. (Italy)
  • Create-net (center for research and telecommunication Experimentation for networked communities) (Italy)
  • Interplay software SRL (Italy)
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)
  • Dialogic innovatie & interactie bv (Netherlands)
  • The Egg Exploitation SA (Belgium)
  • European Network of Living Labs (Belgium)
  • Alcatel-lucent Bell NV (Belgium)
  • Zeticon nv (Belgium)
  • Gruppo Editoriale Trentino srl (Italy)
  • Belgacom SA (Belgium)

Creative Ring @FIA Event - distributed performances

Barcelona Festival Of Song 2014 - distributed performances

Barcelona Creative Ring and Institut del Teatre - distributed performances using the Video Mixer

Creative Ring @ICT Event 2013 - Virtual Performances

01/2013 to 06/2015
EU contribution (CIP – Pilot actions)
5.774.002 €