The Smart City Mission is developing a platform for cities, industry and researchers to share Smart City data with each other that could be monetised in the future, similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for bank accounts and digital payments. The India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX) could create “new revenue sources” and will have “payment gateways which will form the foundations for a data marketplace,” according to a white paper by the Indian Institute of Science, which will build the platform.
A Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) official said that while the concept of paid contracts is not in the discussion currently, this will be a precursor to a monetised marketplace of Smart City data.
The white paper about the project proposes the example of fire, traffic and hospitals sharing data for emergency responses. In another example, it states that streetlight timers can be connected with traffic density patterns to optimise power consumption.
Other data sets named in the paper include air quality, property records, legal registrations and more. The project will begin in Electronics City, Bengaluru, before scaling up nationally.
The MoHUA official used the example of mobile phone location as a potential data set that could illuminate public movement patterns for public infrastructure management or law enforcement.
The white paper also proposes a non-profit, start up company called the Open Smart Cities of India (OSCI) with central and state government officials, Smart City officials, researchers, and industry players to set up and scale IUDX.
The Smart City Mission will also launch a ‘Data Smart Cities Policy’ which will allow cities to open their data to public view, such as number of hospitals, gardens, people, public toilets and other city management, the official added. It will be a separate portal for Smart Cities under the data.gov website.
The white paper also stated that smart cities are currently “largely independent, created in vertical silos, with no standardization of software components or of their interfaces, or of the underlying data models. Data created by a specific application is usually available only to that application and cannot be leveraged more broadly.”