Creating and sharing knowledge for telecommunications

Aveiro STEAM City: launching a city-scale digital open laboratory

by IT on 27-01-2021
Aveiro STEAM City Aveiro Open Lab Internet of Things 5G technology Mobility Green energy

The World is constantly changing. There are new ways to communicate, to do businesses, to live and interact. Playing to Aveiro’s strong legacy of technological innovation, the Aveiro STEAM City project is changing the way city actors perform and interact, differentiating it from its competitors at home and abroad. 


Thanks to this initiative — which brings together IT, the City of Aveiro, the University of AveiroAltice LabsCEDES and Inova Ria — Aveiro is today a living trial city for 5G technologies and above. It has become the basis for the transition into a next economy, relying on knowledge and digital platforms, boosting RD&I, open data and the development of new products and services for the growth and creation of new companies and jobs.


As an outcome of STEAM City, IT is deploying the Aveiro Open Lab, within the bigger initiative Aveiro Tech City Living Lab: an advanced, large-scale communications infrastructure, spread throughout the city of Aveiro at the service of researchers, digital industries, startups, scaleups, R&D centers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders interested in developing, testing or demonstrating concepts, products or services.


Towards smarter mobility, cleaner energy and environment-friendly solutions


Researchers at IT, under the coordination of Susana Sargento (UA/IT), have developed an advanced fiber and radio access infrastructure that provides a city-scale digital open laboratory. This advanced infrastructure focuses on three areas of crucial importance for city management: mobility, environment and energy.


By making use of mobile sensing devices and other geolocation sensors installed on vehicles (buses and municipality cars), bicycles and boats, this infrastructure aims to understand citizens’ behaviour within the city, to provide new solutions towards efficient traffic management, intelligent transportation systems and citizens’ safety.


It is also able to assess the impact of transport planning in the city’s air quality, thus providing useful information towards new environment-friendly solutions.


As for energy, the Aveiro Tech City Living Lab will provide new solutions regarding the use of electric vehicles (traditional gondolas called “moliceiros”) in the water canals.


How does it all work?


Supported by state-of-the-art fiber link technology (spread across 16km), reconfigurable radio units, 5G-NR radio and 5G network services, the access infrastructure covers 44 strategic points in the urban area of Aveiro, in the form of smart lamp posts or wall boxes on building facades. 


The communications infrastructure integrates a communication network with radio terminals, multiprotocol, spread throughout the city, connected by fiber optics to a data processing centre, located at IT.


Buses and garbage collection vehicles have also been equipped with sensors, which currently record mobility and environmental data, making a complete live map of these parameters in the city, and providing the required data for traffic monitoring and safe driving systems.


All these points combine and interconnect a set of sensors with remote data collection units throughout the city, providing enough data to support a wide range of services and applications: from IoT and internet access to citizens, to mobility and intermodal services, assisted driving, environmental monitoring, distribution of information and multimedia content, emergency and health services, among others.


The Aveiro Tech City Living Lab is available for research all over IT and beyond. Researchers can test their own protocols, mechanisms, prototypes (anything that would be useful to have in a real lab), or explore collected data. If you have concrete questions, please contact


For the infrastructure map, the data being collected by the sensing network and for further information on the living lab, visit the Aveiro Open Lab website.


For a detailed look into the project's communication technologies, computing units and sensors, follow the link: