As part of the technical visits and meetings our team is carrying out with the SCIS projects, I had the chance to meet in Zaragoza experts involved in the coordination and monitoring of the TRIBE project, which was co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The TRIBE project is different to what I am usually dealing with in SCIS: there are no big demonstrators, deep renovation measures with a replacement of insulation or noisy biomass boilers. The TRIBE experts work on changing citizens’ behaviour and engaging users to take energy efficient decisions. This change of mentality is based on a very innovative and engaging idea, which is, I found out, also a lot of fun: the project develops a serious social game, involving the users of the targeted pilot facilities and their social networks as players.
In order to develop this tool, a set of energy efficiency actions, which maximize the total energy savings impact and can be adopted by public building users and managers, is identified and analysed. At the same time, monitoring data is collected regarding the energy performance of the pilots and their users’ behaviour. This shows that the experience of the user rests on a serious scientific approach.
I was quite impressed by the project idea and, in turn, explained how SCIS can contribute to foster replication of this interesting approach. I introduced to the TRIBE team the new tools we are developing to collect data from the projects and we discussed how we can better tune the cooperation between SCIS and TRIBE. This provided me with valuable feedback for my work while helping to adapt our approach to the needs and experiences of the project.
For SCIS it is also important to understand what challenges and barriers the projects are facing. TRIBE’s coordinator pointed out that the language was one of the biggest issues in order to make this type of games user-friendly throughout Europe. In addition, an important technical barrier is creating a large number of simulations in the background of the game, since the players may take very different decisions. The work and effort put on the development of the game is expected to result in a large number of downloads and a real change of users’ behaviour.
After the meeting, I walked together with the TRIBE coordinator through one of the demo sites that will be monitored for the game – the CIRCE Foundation offices. The building is being monitored continuously and the collected data guides the players through the game and helps them understand how the decisions they take in the game would affect similar buildings in real life.
ABOUT ANTONIO GARRIDO MARIJUÁN
M. Sc. Dipl.-Ing. Antonio Garrido Marijuán works as a Junior Scientist at the Energy Department of the AIT, and for the last eight months he has been supporting the development of the Smart Cities Information System. He graduated as Dipl.-Ing. in Chemical Engineering at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) and holds a M. SC on Industrial Technologies. Previously to AIT, he worked in the field of energy efficiency in buildings at the Spanish Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), where he represented CIEMAT for 4 years on the EERA-Joint Programme on Smart Cities.
The Smart Cities Information System (SCIS) brings together project developers, cities, institutions, industry and experts from across Europe to exchange data, experience and know-how and to collaborate on the creation of smart cities and an energy-efficient urban environment.
Launched with support from the European Commission, SCIS encompasses data collected from ongoing and future projects under the CONCERTO initiative and Smart Cities calls in Horizon 2020.
With a focus on smart cities, energy efficiency, transport and mobility, and ICT, SCIS showcases solutions in the fields of sustainable building and district development, renewable energy sources for cities, energy efficiency and low-carbon technology applications.