1 November 2013 was set to be a milestone in the SMARTSPACES project: Operation started officially in 11 pilot sites.
The SMARTSPACES project was launched on 1 January 2012. The following month were used to intensively prepare the operational start. Focus groups, architecture and testing methodologies were designed and carried out. Recently, the project focused upon measures for recruiting and training staff and visitors in SMARTSPACES pilots were designed and carried out. User training consists of introduction into the system and instructions on how to manage the services, including advice on how to best communicate with other users and influence their behaviour. Most widely used methods of training were focus groups and sessions. Specific users with a wider reach among their peers (e.g. managers, directors) have been selected to serve as ‘champions’ and contribute to the wider uptake of the SMARTSPACES services at the sites.
In addition, a database facilitated the recruitment process by providing a place to share training and recruitment materials among the consortium partners. In this way, the time for development and production of new items was reduced dramatically.
Pilot operation has started at all eleven pilots and it is hoped that the developed strategies ensure high user participation and interest in SMARTSPACES and other related projects and initiatives. In total more than 250 events have been organised and 90 print materials have been distributed until the day of submission. Communication strategies and ‘champions’ in each building will continue to advertise for the SMARTSPACES service and remain as contact persons.
The SMARTSPACES project will last for three years in total. It is set up in 11 pilot sites in 11 cities in 8 countries and it is operated by 24 partners with an overall budget of almost 7 million Euros.
The project is co-funded by the European Commission within the CIP ICT Policy Support Programme.