SCOPE Research Project


SCOPE, a Smart-city Cloud-based Open Platform and Ecosystem, is creating a cloud platform that exposes the digital pulse of the city for innovators to develop smart-city services. It is based on a unique  new eco-system of stakeholders, technology, organizations and information.  SCOPE is a National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation (NSF PFI) project at Boston University and in close collaboration with its partners, with over $1 million in NSF and partner funding. Read the 9-23-14 press release.

Housed within the Institute, the SCOPE project interacts with RISCS and CCI by leveraging MACS project developments and utilizing the MOC eXchange model, the enabling technology of SCOPE.

The Open Cloud eXchange (OCX), a plug-and-play architecture, allows many partners, not just a single provider, to compete and cooperate on the same infrastructure, effectively creating an multi-sided cloud marketplace where innovation can flourish in support of new applications, currently under-served by prevailing [public] cloud operators. SCOPE investigators and their collaborators will work with partners to develop specific SCOPE-enabled smart-city services, including:

  • Transportation and mobility services to reduce traffic congestion, save time and wasted fuel, and reduce pollution;
  • Energy and environmental services that monitor/estimate greenhouse gas emissions for congestion management and coordination of smart-grid energy demand-response solutions;
  • Public safety and security services for big-data-driven dispatch of police/traffic details, snow removal, coordinated public works scheduling, and municipal repairs; and
  • Tools for management of city assets through mining of large data sets and crowd-sourced coordination of asset use.
  • Social, institutional and behavioral mechanisms to facilitate adoption of new services, such as incentive programs and community report cards to promote transparency and sustainability.

SCOPE leverages current Boston University projects that use sensor networking and decision & control capabilities, for example in smart parking, adaptive traffic light control, public transport scheduling, and emissions-aware traffic modeling.  Implementation of SCOPE entails the development of novel application programming interfaces, adding capabilities that are currently not available in public cloud offerings, including support for predictable operation of cyber-physical systems; data-quality management; and data security, integrity, privacy, and provenance services.

Designed to start small so as to innovate quickly upon existing data, applications and governance structures, yet big enough to have meaningful policy and environmental impact.  SCOPES’s goals are to:

  • Enable urban stakeholders to collectively harness, learn, innovate and monetize unused ‘big data assets’
  • Spur a generation of new public and commercial goods
  • Innovate with state-of-the-art technology, with sensor-based information, with plug-and-play architectures
  • And ultimately create new spaces for public [data-driven]  policy debate, and enhance quality/equity of services and innovate new services for transportation, healthcare, energy distribution, emergency response, business, commerce, and social applications, among others.

SCOPE is scalable and flexible, a template for other US cities, enabling growth for more widespread deployment. A catalyst for a number of broader impacts, SCOPE’s platform will help break technological and institutional silos; facilitate institutional transformations and deep citizen engagement;  lead to technology commercialization and business development; and act as a template for widespread adoption of smart-city services systems.

Even more about SCOPE