The data collected during the project development led to understand that Aveiro is considered to be an environment where start-ups, companies, R&D Centers, etc. can effectively interact in the domain of technological innovation. All these considerations depict the city as promising place to test and develop new technologies. Data collected throughout the project reflect a good performance overall and present a significant impact to city and its citizens. This evidence will not only assure the sustainability of the Aveiro Tech City Living Lab, but will also make sure that activities or actions that are expected to positively impact on citizens will continue to be carried out in the future.
Considering all the activities under analysis throughout the year of 2021, the overall evaluation is very positive. Nonetheless, some activities had notably a higher performance than others.
Regarding the creation of qualified talent, Tech City Bootcamps were undoubtably successful in redirecting individuals' careers in order to enter the labor market as developers. This activity not only provided its participants with technical skills, but also enabled them to develop soft skills such as problem solving, resilience, self-learning, communication and interpersonal skills, etc.
From a macro perspective, the Tech Labs have definitely raised the bar when considering not only the increased capacity of children and teachers in STEAM and digital skills, but also the potentiality in terms of scalability and volumes.
Taking into account the qualitative and quantitative analysis conducted to the 5G challenges, both the technical support and the infrastructure of the Aveiro Tech City Living Lab were strong and effective, and efficiently allowed the test of new solutions. The major takeaway from the data collected in this activity was that the Living Lab infrastructures effectively enable real environment testing of 5G solutions and this aspect was actually considered to be crucial and determinant for all teams as it permitted the development and validation of their products/services.
In the opinion of the writer, the ASC project will effectively conclude during the last months of work scheduled for 2022.
Therefore, there will be two challenges for the future:
- a more contingent one, linked to the ability to leverage the last year of monitoring. In fact, the UIA projects already concluded that considered the final year of monitoring as a moment of fine tuning but also of relaunching some project activities with the highest potential for scalability, proved to be smart in terms of guaranteeing the legacy of the project.
- secondly, a crucial challenge for city makers will be linked to the real communication and usage of the data providing that derives from the communication infrastructure and the digital urban platform with the departments of the Municipality, from a business intelligence perspective.
In other words, what has happened in the past with many so-called "smart city" projects is that the data capture was not followed by a true integration with policy decision making. This is certainly a very complex challenge, also because we know that in the empirical reality there is no perfect correlation between political choices and the evidence of the data. The so-called "evidence-based policy" is a fascinating science but it can’t ignore the real dynamics of the context, which are economic, environmental, political, anthropological, ecological and social. The city of Aveiro has all the premises and the potential for a reasonable work to enhance the data capture activity, so it will be interesting to follow the organizational evolutions of the city in this direction.