Travel Study Course 4 Units


Building Smart Cities Leveraging Open Innovation

Travel Module to India: (Jan 3, 2016 – Jan 15, 2016)

Professor: Solomon Darwin

E-mail Address:

Class Hours: Tue 4:00pm -5:00pm,  Room: Bechtel Engineering Center – Sibley Auditorium & Thursdays 4pm – 7pm. Rooms: Haas C335

Office Hours: Thursdays 7pm – 8pm in F402J

Graduate Student Instructor: Carlo Liquido –

Prerequisite: Passion for Building & Creating Things

Corporate Advisors: Tyco, Cisco, IBM, Siemens, Wipro, HCL, GE, Intel, EMC, VMWare & Applied Materials

Textbooks: Readings assigned by the Instructor as needed

Course Objectives:

1. Learn “The Smart City Architecture in the Making”. Study and evaluate the concepts and ideas behind the design, layout and technology employed in a smart city. We will study the city of Vizag that was sponsored by President Obama and approved by USTDA for US investment in India and serve as a Model for 100 Smart Cities Plan in India.

In September 2015, Diane Farrell, Acting-President of USIBC, led representatives from 25 major U.S. companies, including IBM, Microsoft Cisco, Dow, GE, 3M, AECOM, Applied Materials, CH2MHill, Hospira and United Technologies Corporation, in detailed discussions with State government officials to create a roadmap and advance the goal of developing Visakhapatnam into a smart city as articulated in the joint statement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi

2. Capture the lessons currently being learned in India by the architects, engineers, business partners, investors, city managers, supply chains and the government to formulate your recommendations through interviews and surveys.

3. Evaluate Cost-Benefits of the Public Private Partnership investment at a very high level. Independent return on investment analysis to the stakeholders will be in order.

4. Based on research, data mining and analysis, recommend an Innovative Business Model for Vizag that will lower the operating costs via cost effective technologies and capturing new and enhanced revenue opportunities. Cashflow projections with relevant key assumptions will be in order

5. Develop a technological solution (a working prototype) and a business model for the city of Vizag that curtails costs or enhances revenues while solving issues related to: Safety, Security, Transportation, Traffic, Telecommunications, Internet Access & Connectivity, Power Distribution & Usage, Energy Management, Education and Entertainment. (one technological solution/group accompanied with a business model). (one app/group)

6. Provide an independent assessment about the effectiveness of the proposed plans, layout, architecture, design, infrastructure, technologies, resources, and talent employed.

7. Suggest Open Innovation processes and platforms for urban and rural community engagement to drive decision making through public consensus as well as to solicit external ideas and innovations. A Smarter City never stands alone, the whole region surrounding it must participate especially the rural villages.

8. Group Project: Final Presentations to the office of the Chief Minister on January 9th 2016 in Vizag. th 2016 in Vizag.

Group Assignments:

The project deliverables are technologies as well as a business model to make Vizag smarter. The class will be divided into six groups. Each group will consist of 5 students or less and are expected to focus on solving key problems in one of the following areas supported by a smart technology and a sustainable business model to enable better stewardship of resources:

  1. Energy & Pollution: procurement, distribution, storage, access, cost management, recycling, and waste reduction.
  2. Food & Water:  procurement, distribution, storage, access, cost management, recycling, and waste reduction.
  3. Housing & Transportation: design, layout, access, affordability, convenience, utilization and time save for members of the ecosystem.
  4. Communication: channels, connectivity, access, cost reduction, speed and bandwidth.
  5. Safety & Security: availability, access, delivery, speed, cost effectively in real time
  6. Education & Entertainment: access, personalized, customized, collaborative, competitive, progressive, relevant and high quality.
  7. Capstone Group: Will be formed two months following the start of the semester consisting of one member from each of the above six groups to connect all pieces together for a summary presentation to communicate the value proposition of their model for Vizag. This will be like the executive summary that will precede the five presentations to the Chief Minister. The six presentations the follow will be more like drill down presentations to address specific areas and problems they are trying to solve.

The students are expected to come up with an independent smart city proposal for Vizag by studying smart city models that are under construction or from those that already claim to be a smart city.


Incorporating Open Innovation:

Soliciting Ideas from College Students from Indian colleges and universities:

In the spirit of open innovation, this challenge is extended to the 10 prominent technical universities in India (specific guidelines have been provided to participating universities). The Vice Chancellors of these universities are excited and are committed to participate in a competition which will be held on January 4th the day after Berkeley team arrives in Vizag.  Berkeley Students will present and Berkeley Student Innovation Awards will be issued to the top three models presented. The Berkeley teams will take a few days to incorporate some of the relevant input and ideas to refine their own models for their final presentations on January 9th. Berkeley Teams will acknowledge ideas generated by their Indian counter parts during their presentations.



No laptop and texting in class policy

Weekly 3‐min Video Blogs + 2 paragraph blog (individual)

Attendance and Puncutality (individual) 50
Personal Innovation Plan (individual) 50
Weekly Group Progess Blog (group) 50
Midterm (group work) 200
Final Group Project Deliverables (group) 400
Ideas for Peer Groups: 50
Group Contribution ‐Evaluated by your team (individual) 100
Total 1,000


What is a Smart City?

Definition of a Smart City: There are many opinions on what defines a smart city. For the purpose of this course we simply define a smart city as:

1) One that has an innovative and sustainable business model that creates value for its citizens and captures some of that value in revenue streams to meet the growing needs for its citizens while fulfilling its financial and CSR responsibilities.

2) One that attracts and retains an Intelligent Community as defined by the Intelligent Community Forum

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 10.40.06 AM

Definition of Each Indicator

3) One that uses information technology to solve urban problems. Better Data = Better Decisions.

4) One that monitors and manages energy usage, communication systems, traffic flows, water levels, sanitation, waste, recycling, security & safety surveillance in real time with sensors and cost-effective digital tools that are essentially free.

5) One that solves issues related Power and Connectivity to promote a dynamic and vibrant community.

“Smart cities are not about just e-gov. They use tech to transform core systems to optimize best use of finite resources,” says Rahul Sharma of IBM India.

Travel Phase:

Travel Study program offers an opportunity to combine academic curriculum with an international engagement through travel with a faculty instructor. The program would be comprised of an academic course with an international experience leveraging the Berkeley’s Alumni Network. Travel will consist of two weeks during winter break before spring instruction begins. The course ends on January 14th following presentations to Indian governors and corporate executives in India in charge of building the smart city infrastructure. The cultural excursions throughout the trip are meant to foster learning about India’s people, culture and relationships between the government, business and educational institutions that foster economic development.

Purpose and Background for the Course

1. Growth in Urban Population: Urban population consisted of only 3% in the 1800s and grew exponentially since: 14% in 1900s, 30% in 1950s, and 50% in 2010. It is projected to be at 75% by 2050.

2. Consumption of Resources: These growing urban populations, in combination with constrained financial and natural resources, are shaping the requirements for the evolution towards smarter, safer and greener cities – placing pressure on governments and municipalities to invest in sustainable infrastructure, deploy information and communication systems, and deliver services to their citizens.

3. Carbon Footprint: Cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy Traffic congestion costs time, money, wasted fuel and the indirect cost passed on to numerous products that depend on transportation.

4. GDP Growth: Urban areas generate new opportunities and contribute twice the economic growth when compared to the rural areas.

Why Study the Models in India? 

  • Learning from a Major Market: India is like a real laboratory where we all can learn from.

“We can already anticipate the problems that these cities face and attack them at the source, India has a fantastic opportunity where we can work outside of the shackles of existing technology” said Rahul Sharma, an executive at IBM. 

  • Source of Frugal Innovations: Emerging economies are a great source of frugal innovations as they are birthed in a resource constrained environment surrounded by many Frugal Innovations, first seen or likely to be used first, in the developing world eventually migrate to the industrialized world. The term “Reverse Innovation” refers broadly to the process whereby goods developed as inexpensive models to meet the needs of developing nations, are then repackaged as low-cost innovative goods for Western nations.
  • Commitment at the Top: Indian Prime Minister Modi wants to build 100 “smart cities” outfitted with high-tech. Gift City; “The Smart City in the Making” is his project that was started in his home town before he became elected as the Prime Minister. The government announced it will be investing over $1 trillion over the next several years, with more funding coming from private investors and abroad. Watch Modi’s City
  • India is the future:
    • Represents future growth – India is growing at 7% faster than China according World Bank.
    • India’s Strength: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    • Source of future talent: largest youth (10-24yrs) population ~400M vs China 269M; US 65M
    •  Growing middle class: 50M to 200M by 2020 to 475M by 2030 – more than the US population.