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CESG Seminar: How to build an ecosystem for future city innovation: the case of Porto, Portugal

February 10, 2014 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am

Room 213C Zachry

João Barros, CEO of Veniam’Works, Associate Professor at Universidade do Porto

The convergence of communication, computation and control technologies in large-scale networked systems offers the promise of pervasive access and exchange of information, as well as the operation of reliable supply chains for food, water, energy and fuel for populations in large urban areas. But solving the problems of future cities requires much more than compelling technology. Empowering all stakeholders (citizens, politicians, companies, universities, etc.) to join forces and leverage ground-breaking technology to improve environmental sustainability and quality of life remains a daunting challenge for cities all over the world. In this talk, I shall draw from the ongoing future city projects in Porto, Portugal, to illustrate how a city can build an effective innovation eco-system of industry, political authorities and end user communities. Hundreds of connected vehicles and end users such as taxi drivers, bus drivers, firemen and ordinary citizens, are currently involved in implementing a city-scale mobile sensing platform supported by a cloud-based urban information system, funded by the European Commission and private companies. This talk is about the lessons we learned so far.

BIO: João Barros is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Porto, Founder and CEO of Veniam’Works, and Founding Director of the Institute for Telecommunications (IT) in Porto, Portugal, which counts almost 100 active members. He was a Fulbright scholar at Cornell University and has been a Visiting Professor with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2008. He also teaches at the Porto Business School and co-founded two startups, Streambolico and Veniam, commercializing wireless video and vehicular communication technologies, respectively. Between 2009 and 2012, Dr. Barros served as National Director of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program, a five-year international partnership funded by the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology, with a total budget of 56M Euros. In recent years, João Barros has been Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI of numerous national, European and industry funded projects, co-authoring one book and 150 research papers in the fields of networking, information theory and security, with a special focus on smartcity technologies, network coding, physical-layer security, sensor networks, and intelligent transportation systems. Dr. Barros has received several awards, including the 2010 IEEE Communications Society Young Researcher Award for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, the 2011 IEEE ComSoC and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award, the 2012 BES National Innovation Award, the 2013 MIT Portugal Venture Competition Prize “Building Global Innovators”, and a state-wide best teaching award by the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts. Dr. Barros is frequently invited as an expert speaker by international organizations such as the European Commission, OECD, ITU, IGF, EuroDIG, IGF and IEEE. He also worked as an independent consultant for various organizations and projects. Dr. Barros is fluent in Portuguese, German, English, French and Spanish. He received his undergraduate education in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Universidade do Porto (UP), Portugal and Universitaet Karlsruhe, Germany, a performing arts degree in flute from the Music Conservatory of Porto, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), Germany.

Host: Dr. Kumar


February 10, 2014
9:30 am - 10:30 am