Council Interview with Tomás García Fresno on SmartSantander

Will Santader be the first Spanish Smart City?  Tomás García Fresno: "SmartSantander has enough elements to transform Santander not only on the first smart city in Spain but also in Europe. The aim of SmartSantander is to deploy the infrastructure necessary to demonstrate the viability of the Internet of things, but not only from a scientific perspective but also involving end users who get real and useful services." Who are the key players? Tomás García Fresno: "SmartSantander is composed of 15 partners from very different backgrounds. The project is formed by:
  • Several universities as Universidad de Cantabria in Spain, Universitat zu Lubeck, in Germany, University of Surrey and the University of Lancaster in the UK and the University of Melbourne in Australia.
  • It is also composed by several research centers as CEA / LETI in France, Greece and Alexandra CTI Institutt in Denmark.
  • Several companies such as Telefonica I + D in Spain, Alcatel Lucent in Italy and Spain, Ericsson in Serbia and TTI in Spain.
Finally, the project is also supported by the City Council of Santander and the Regional Government through the company SODERCAN. Is the room for end user programming from citizens? The citizen is, precisely, one of the novelties of this project. SmartSantander is approached as a project for scientific and technical people but without losing sight of the end-user citizens and anyone who can benefit from the information provided by the services deployed during the project. You talk about a 'wide range of applications', can you name one or two? Tomás García Fresno: "That is an issue that has not yet been decided by local authorities. However, some possibilities which are being considered are related to environmental monitoring, urban traffic or public transportation. Of course, we must be realistic, the primary objective of the project is to establish basic infrastructure and only a few use cases will be completely developed in a end user level. However, the basis built will be expanded and developed in other future projects." How Smart will Santander be after the project? Tomás García Fresno: "In my opinion, SmartSantander will offer to the city of Santander the potential for becoming one of the most modern cities in Europe and perhaps in the world. The most visible results might not be very obvious after the end of the project since SmartSantander is aimed to lay the technological foundations of a smart city . But based on the built infrastructure, in a long term, I think Santander could be a world leader in new technologies and scientific knowledge."