Smart Society Data Charter Eindhoven

Guidelines for the City and Stakeholders

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The Smart Society Data Charter is fundamental to Eindhoven as a Smart society. A crucial aspect of a Smart Society is that people experience the benefits of the co-evolution of digital and analogue, virtual and physical, online and offline. With Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and increasing volumes of data being generated, it is inevitable that IoT and data-driven services will have a significant impact on our lives. The Smart Society Data Charter lays out the principles Eindhoven wishes to promote to address the challenges that new technologies bring. It calls on all stakeholders to adopt, extend and reflect on these principles when building new or improving existing IoT and data infrastructures, platforms, services and applications.



The aim of creating the Smart Society Data Charter is to develop a set of principles that reflect the city’s common values and contribute to the development of the city. The charter gives a set of clear rules and guidelines for anyone wishing to and so that all stakeholders can understand and apply to their interactions with the city. These principles aim to:

• Safeguard public interest

• Stimulate economic development and support the local ecosystem

• Support the existing organic approach by creating a framework

• Be futureproof and prepare for change


The city has a clear vision of how a Smart Society will operate. Using a series of workshops, consultations and discussions, the principles were developed in cooperation with commercial partners, start-ups and small enterprises, independent IoT developers, academic and research institutes, citizen-driven initiatives and other public organisations.

The process began in 2015 when the city developed a series of open data principles as a first step in the Eindhoven data strategy. A year later, a co-creation approach was used to develop and formulate IoT guidelines. In 2017, the IoT charter and the data principles were broadened through work with cities in the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, and other cities in the EU. The charter is regarded as a “living document” that will adapt and change according to the needs of the city.

Success factors

There are many different interests. It is the city’s role to make sure the public interest, in particular the interests of citizens, are served. With this in mind, the city took the lead to create a set of rules and guidelines using a process of co-creation.

It was fundamental to define what a ‘successful’ charter would be and it addresses the social challenges that technologies bring.

For stakeholders there was a definite need for clarity on the position of Eindhoven as a leading city on data and IoT guidelines. This was identified early on in the process. The aim was to address it not from an insular, government point of view but to incorporate a broad range of stakeholder groups from across a wide set of interests.



A wide range of representatives contributed including research institutions, SME’s, (local, regional and central) government along with large corporations e.g. Phillips.

Challenges & solutions

The challenge was addressing the conflicting interests of stakeholders, while creating a set of rules and guidelines that offer scope for innovation and stimulate the local Smart ecosystem. There were numerous conflicts of interests to be resolved, for example maintaining a valid business case while ensuring openness on all level and ensuring privacy and transparency whilst maximising reuse of data and platform solutions. The area that presented the biggest difficulty was how to resolve demands around the implementation of Smart platforms.

Maintaining a focus on the central aim of the guidelines was important i.e. a clear vision of how a Smart society will operate by collecting social issues from the bottom up. It was important to focus on achieving a consensus so that the principles could work for all parties and have the potential to scale up for other cities.

It was essential to have subject experts who could provide a layered approach for both policy and technical guidance. The document will continue to evolve and remaining open to change is part of the process.


Eindhoven is very ambitious in their Smart City initiatives with the aim that everyone can make use of data in a safe and secure way. The city believes that the charter makes a significant contribution to this process.

The use of a co-creation approach was important and this has generated relationships which can be drawn on for the future.

An important element in the development of Smart cities and societies is that instead of everyone reinventing the wheel, it is more beneficial to look at ways of cooperating.Sharing this charter beyond Eindhoven isa good contribution to that process.

More information

Ran Haase –

Niels Wiersma –