The concept of a sandbox is highly essential in the urban development context as ‘smart cities revolve around initiatives that use digital innovation to make urban service delivery more efficient and thereby increase the overall competitiveness of a community.’[OECD].
A multi-functional sandbox -U-Box- is proposed to be established for serving the innovation needs of the urban development sector in an integrated manner. U-Box builds upon and expands the scope of the conventional ‘regulatory sandbox’, by adding to it the dimensions of digital technologies, emerging technologies, business models, proof-of-value, and regulated access to production data. The federated nature of the subject of urban development and the roles of the central and state governments, and urban local bodies would be factored into the model to ensure its sustainability. In essence, U-Box would act as the one-stop-shop and offer Innovation-Support-as-a-Service for the entire urban development sector.
U-Box shall catalyze innovation through an environment that enables entrepreneurs to test their solutions in urban development space comprehensively in a near-real world operational environment.
- Testing of Digital Technologies – Test Digital Solutions for functionality, performance, security, usability and user experience
- Testing of Emerging Technologies – Test Emerging Technologies, algorithms, and devices for conformance to norms of performance, transparency and ethics.
- Conformance to Regulations – Test conformance to regulations and NUDM’s principles.
- Proof-of-Value – Establish Proof-of-Value quantitatively and qualitatively through user experience and feedback.
- Business Viability – Establish Business Viability to assure affordability and long term demand for the intended users.