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Business Model Development for Smart Cities

  • The buzzword “smart city”, which describes the integration of digital technologies in different areas of cities, is on the rise worldwide. Even though there are various megatrends pushing towards the uptake of smart cities, both public sector and businesses struggle to indentify viable sources of financing and business models for smart city initiatives. This also holds true for the smart city business of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, which includes various smart city projects in initial stages. Therefore, the topic of business model development in the context of smart cities is being approached in this thesis, with the Gambit project in the City of York being examined as a reference project. The idea of Gambit – “Gamification for better living in cities by influencing tourist behaviour” - is based on a smartphone application for tourists, which aims to influence visitor behaviour through elements of gamification. Thereby city services should be assisted in mitigating the problem of local overcrowding in the city centre. In its initial phase, the project is financially supported by public authorities. The central question is how such a kind of project can be financially viable and how its commercial uptake can be achieved. With this in mind, the aim of this thesis is to explore business model development for smart city solutions based on the example of the Gambit project in York. To do so, a multi-method approach is used, comprising a literature review on the theoretical background of smart cities and business models, as well as empirical research based on interviews with the partner organisations of the project, as well as a workshop with other city stakeholders. This key findings show that the attraction of additional stakeholder within cities is essential for the economic success of smart city projects. This implies multi-directional value streams and multiple sources of financing within smart city initiatives. In this context, various forms of financial contribution, such as indirect payments through other offerings and the provision of advertising space to co-finance solutions should be considered. Besides, linking smart city solutions to other services within cities might form the basis for financial viability. The findings produced stress the importance of collaboration and partnering. Furthermore, it can be concluded that the diversity of stakeholders implies a diversity of value streams in smart city business models.

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Author:Celina Knöpfle
Advisor:Frank Kramer
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2016
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2016/05/02
Tag:Business model; Gamification; Internet of things; Smart city
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Business Strategy
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt