Launched: £10m Internet of Things competition for UK cities

This report was 1st published on our sister Site, The Internet Of All Things

UK cities and businesses, here’s some cheer. You can now apply for a £10m fund in a competition that claims it will “revolutionise” the way the Internet of Things (IoT) benefits citizens by offering environmental improvements, economic opportunities, and more efficient and effective delivery of services such as transport, healthcare and energy.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Innovate UK are offering up to £10 million for a single collaborative research and development (R&D) project to demonstrate the capability of IoT in a city region. The competition is part of a wider £40 million government investment in IoT announced in March 2015. The contest ends on Sept. 30, 2015.

Examples of IoT at work in cities already include:

  • Smart lighting and sensing allows a city to gather and share information on footfalls, air quality and noise pollution levels
  • Measure passenger journeys and provide location-based services to help speed up journeys and enhance passenger experiences across various forms of transport
  • Data collection from traffic and road sensors helping ease congestion and reduce emissions within the city

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said the IoT was rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. The UK technology sector was renowned for its creativity and pioneering research and development, and this would be instrumental in discovering new connections between city services and their users.

The IoT was a major area of growth and was expetced to have a transformative effect on society – a recent report by Arup had estimated that the global value of the IoT sector would exceed £255 billion a year by 2020.

Added Nick Appleyard, Innovate UK’s Deputy Director for government partnerships, “The Internet of Things is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce across the UK. The transformative technology will make our lives more connected, allowing us to make more informed decisions based on data and drive the productivity of companies.

Innovate UK is also being positioned as playing a vital role in working with companies and local partnerships to make this happen.

The organisers explained participating projects must be collaborative in nature and led by a local authority or local enterprise partnership (or an equivalent body outside England). Projects should involve at least one local authority, one local enterprise partnership and several businesses.

All competition entries must involve IoT. Additional requirements include:

  • A specific benefits for citizens, the city region and the environment
  • Economic benefits for businesses and local authorities, both during and after the initial trial
  • Appropriate security and privacy features
  • Entries must be able to work across a variety of sectors, for example social care, transport and housing.
Image Credit: Innovate UK



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