1. For smart cities, co-creation approach crucial: Justin Bean, Director Hitachi Insight Group

For smart cities, co-creation approach crucial: Justin Bean, Director Hitachi Insight Group

According to recent data from the ministry of urban development on Smart Cities Mission, 11 projects worth Rs935.93 crore among the 167 projects worth Rs12,000 crore under the public-private partnership model have already taken off.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2017 2:34 AM
smart cities mission, indian smart cities, smart city, which will be the next smart city, what will a smart city have, smart city india Justin Bean, director, Smart City Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Insight Group, says that his firm takes a co-creation approach with cities and organisations to implement the solutions that help them meet their desired outcomes.

According to recent data from the ministry of urban development on Smart Cities Mission, 11 projects worth Rs935.93 crore among the 167 projects worth Rs12,000 crore under the public-private partnership model have already taken off. Justin Bean, director, Smart City Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Insight Group, says that his firm takes a co-creation approach with cities and organisations to implement the solutions that help them meet their desired outcomes. “We see smart cities as not only an effort of the government, but one that helps all organisations within the city become smarter and safer,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

As a technology provider, how is Hitachi Insight Group helping build smart cities?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to roll out 109 smart cities and upgrade existing cities under the Smart Cities Mission will create new economic and social opportunities while also revealing challenges related to technology adoption and implementation to make the Digital India vision a reality.
We, at Hitachi, leverage smart city solutions to deliver on our corporate mission of social innovation—leveraging technology to make the world a better place. We see smart cities as not only an effort of the government, but one that helps all organisations within the city become smarter and safer.
Our Hitachi Video Analytics (HVA) solution provides operational, business and security intelligence using computer vision and machine learning. This turns video into IoT data that provides a wealth of insights and alerts to help cities, airports, transportation agencies, campuses and the retail sector to become smarter and safer, so that they can thrive.

Then, there is Hitachi Visualisation Suite which helps leverage IoT and video data, along with anlaytics on a single pane of glass. The suite provides situational awareness and enables smarter planning for a variety of different agencies and departments, including public safety, transportation, infrastructure, and other operational groups. Smart water, energy generation and IoT, high speed and municipal rail systems, and smart infrastructure are a few examples of what Hitachi delivers around the globe today and can be leveraged to help India along its path to even greater development and smart cities. Also, public safety and security are among the most important foundations to building a smart city. Hitachi provides advanced solutions for public safety that can help India keep its streets safe.

What opportunities and challenges does Hitachi Insight Group see in the Smart Cities Mission?
One example is improving organisational efficiency and effectiveness. For example, McKinsey & Co. recently published a report stating that the opportunity for governments to improve effectiveness and efficiency with the current resources they have today is $3.5 trillion per year globally. This represents a massive opportunity for governments to improve service delivery and effectiveness, and smart use of data can help. India has an opportunity to leapfrog many developments that have taken decades or more in western countries. Smart cities can be the overarching impetus for implementing scalable systems at a substantial and pervasive scale, while taking an inclusive approach that helps everyone share in the benefits of smart cities.

With India’s robust IT/ emerging technology training and education infrastructure in place, it will help to channel skills towards building smarter cities. A collaboration of foreign and domestic companies would also help the skill-development that could arise from building smart cities.
The most critical challenge to successfully implementing smart city solutions in India is the fact that many solutions from other countries cannot be implemented in India as-is; they need to be customised as per the Indian market and environment.

Are you working on some India-specific projects at the moment?
Hitachi has been in India for decades and we have worked on a variety of projects that give the company the expertise and experience required to deliver smart city projects as the project lead or with the appropriate partners. We are working with one of our partners to optimise wind farms of 16 turbines through data and analytics. We are helping them actively reduce their operational risk and costs through predictive maintenance, better wind power forecast and increased wind energy yields.We are also helping a partner by monitoring chillers/HVAC units at a major international hotel chain whose energy is managed in Bangalore. We are monitoring their energy and give them recommendations on how they can optimie this energy consumption and improve profitability by lowering waste and costs. Among others, Hitachi is working with the Maharashtra government and leading a consortium of partners to deliver a turnkey metro rail project that will serve over 11,000 passengers per hour over a 110 km stretch. Hitachi has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and industry leaders to form a consortium to create smart city pilots and replicate them throughout the country. In addition, Hitachi is also working with several state and local governments on smart city projects in various phases.

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