CI-FIRE and FanTaaStic at the 5th FUESCO Forum in November 2014


The 5th FUSECO Forum, 13-14 November 2014 in Berlin, brought together operators, global analysts, standard bodies and manufacturers to learn, share, network and experience everything we need to know about the new trends, developments and impacts of Cloud Technologies on all levels of converging and connected Smart Systems and Applications. Some of the main highlights of the event are summed up in the FOKUS FUSECO Forum 2014 video, where  CI-FIRE partner, Martin Potts from Martel Consulting GmbH, also offers his views on the event: "It has been a well-attended event, international and very interactive with everyone contributing something to the various sessions. The speakers are very well qualified and there have been some searching questions from the audience".

CI-FIRE and FanTaaStic presented during the FI-PPP workshop on "Bridging the gap between Future Internet Research and Innovation” - An international workshop organized by XiFi - the capacity building project of the FI-PPP programme.

Enabling Future Internet Research and Innovation has already brought a broad spectrum of initiatives worldwide. Initiatives like GENI (US) and FIRE (Europe) enable Future Internet research and experimentation by providing experimental ICT facilities predominantly targeting research communities. IGNITE (US) and the FI-PPP (Europe) programs provide platforms and environments for application development with a stronger focus on innovation and business. In face of the current momentum to bring both worlds closer together in order to bridge the gap between Future Internet research and Future Internet innovation and business, the FI-PPP workshop brings together key players from FIRE, the FI-PPP, GENI, IGNITE, NSFCloud and the EIT ICT Labs.

Session: What FIRE and EIT ICT Labs can offer SMEs

The session on what FIRE and EIT ICT Labs can offer to SMEs was part of the full-day Future Internet workshop, bringing together representatives from iMinds Future Internet testbeds and the OneLab federation,  which explained the benefits of using their test beds and how they can be used.

Milon Gupta, CI-FIRE Coordinator from Eurescom, and Alexander Willner, CTO of FanTaaStic focused on the emerging commercial offering that has been developed by EIT ICT Labs within the FanTaaStic project, with support from the CI-FIRE project. This collaboration is providing a solution to the major problems that innovative startups and SMEs are faced with: testing and validating new Internet services and applications on a large scale, at an affordable cost. These presentations highlighted the need for an offer of faster, cheaper, and better testing: Milon Gupta’s presentation on how startups and SMEs can benefit from EIT ICT Labs and FIRE concluded that the progress being made towards commercially offering FIRE facilities to startups and SMEs will offer huge potential benefit. The FanTaaStic Model follows the eTOM  Business Process Framework from the TM Forum, which necessitates that FIRE facilities must meet certain requirements, mainly from a commercial perspective, before their resources can be offered through the FanTaaStic portal at Due to FIRE facilities being originally built for research and experimentation, few can easily meet these requirements. A notable exception is Fed4FIRE. Thanks to being hosted by iMinds – which also offers commercial testing services to industry – Fed4FIRE does operate in a very business-like way.

The session provided a good overview on what FIRE and EIT ICT Labs can currently offer to SMEs and it offered the opportunity to explore crucial topics for FIRE sustainability. As the presentations documented, a number of SMEs are already using the FIRE facilities, though EC funding is one of the main attractions. It remains to be seen if SMEs will continue to use the testbeds when there is no funding.

The FUSION project has already collected much feedback on the suitability and usability of FIRE testbeds for SMEs. Their findings confirm that the lack of business services (protection of confidentiality, service level agreements (SLAs), professional support and consulting expertise for the final product and its marketing) are important factors that are lacking in most FIRE testbeds. Other SME requirements  are: ease of access, involvement of potential customers, repeatability of measurements, dedicated use of the testbed (protection of confidentiality and no interference from other traffic), Testing as a Service, use of standard testing methodologies, assurance that the testbed will be available when needed and good documentation.