Research database

SmartShires - Smart Shires: Sustainable Smart Services for the Countryside

Duration:
24 months (2023 - 2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
Nationally funded research - PRIN
Funding body:
MINISTERO (Ministero)
Project identification number:
2022N2NH42
PoliTo role:
Partner

Abstract

In recent years, advances in the ICT domain were focused mainly on "smart cities", offering a set of strategies aiming at improving and optimizing services offered to citizens. All these services have been mainly devoted to dense metropolitan areas. In the long-term, these efforts will have two relevant social effects: on one hand, they improve the life of the citizen. On the other hand, they will strengthen the differences among different areas of the same country or region. The problem is not just a matter of "digital divide", and it is not possible to trivially replicate smart cities services, or ask to deploy the same technological infrastructures, in a decentralized area. Indeed, the different economic circumstances make smart cities related solutions not feasible in the considered contexts. The need to rethink the way we design smart services is confirmed by the EU strategic research agenda for 2021-2024, which considers a balanced development of vibrant rural, coastal, peri-urban and urban areas as the main objective of a European Green Deal (35% of Horizon Europe budget). The aim of this project is to devise a software architecture promoting the development of sustainable, secure and opportunistic solutions for the deployment of smart services in decentralized areas. These solutions must be cheap and not strictly dependent on the presence of classic ICT infrastructures. Digital resource scarcity must be overcome through sharing and adequate organization of data, computation and communication facilities. This must be accomplished by integrating legacy access network infrastructures with alternative cooperative approaches, based on opportunistic and community-based mesh networks. Similarly, based on the specific service to host, computation might be performed over cloud, edge computing or completely decentralized architectures, by guaranteeing the desired level of privacy. Even decentralized storage is a potential solution that allows storing data without having to rely on centralized data silos. The overall sharing of network, computing and storage resources must be securely traced and rewarded. To this extent, scalable blockchain based techniques will provide accountability and incentives management, since they offer proof of cooperation, which can be automatically awarded via smart contracts and the distribution of crypto-tokens to be employed in the smart services ecosystem. The SmartShires project will combine all these technologies, and through the design of novel algorithms and methodologies, it will enable the development of novel services devoted to the creation of sustainable smart shires. We will focus on a use-case related to eHealth monitoring and on the development of a Proof of Concept for securely handling transmission of sensitive data, in absence of Internet connectivity, through trusted data mules.

People involved

Departments

Partners

  • ALMA MATER STUDIORUM UNIVERSITA' DI BOLOGNA
  • POLITECNICO DI TORINO
  • POLITECNICO DI TORINO
  • UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI URBINO "CARLO BO" - Coordinator
  • UNIVERSITA' DELLA CALABRIA

Keywords

ERC sectors

PE6_1 - Computer architecture, pervasive computing, ubiquitous computing
PE6_2 - Computer systems, parallel/distributed systems, sensor networks, embedded systems, cyber-physical systems
PE7_8 - Networks (communication networks, sensor networks, networks of robots, etc.)

Sustainable Development Goals

Obiettivo 9. Costruire un'infrastruttura resiliente e promuovere l'innovazione ed una industrializzazione equa, responsabile e sostenibile

Budget

Total cost: € 329,994.00
Total contribution: € 227,911.00
PoliTo total cost: € 77,364.00
PoliTo contribution: € 56,427.00