UK creates visionary £10m ‘internet of cities’ fund

17 Jul 201563 Shares

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The internet of things is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce across the UK and a £10m fund has been set up to spur it on.

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Cities and businesses in the UK are being encouraged to take part in bidding for a £10m government fund to revolutionise the way the internet of things can benefit citizens in cities.

The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Innovate UK are offering up to £10 million for a single collaborative research and development project to demonstrate the capability of IoT in a city region.

The competition is part of a wider £40m government investment in IoT announced in March 2015.

“The internet of things is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives,” Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said.

“The UK technology sector is renowned for its creativity and pioneering research and development.

“This competition will be instrumental in discovering new connections between city services and their users, and identifying many more advantages that the internet of things could offer.”

IoT is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce

Examples of IoT at work in cities in the UK already includes smart lighting, and sensing allows a city to gather and share information on footfalls, air quality and noise pollution levels.

IoT is also being used to measure passenger journeys and provide location-based services to help speed up journeys and enhance passenger experiences across various forms of transport.

It is also enabling data collection from traffic and road sensors, helping ease congestion and reduce emissions within the city.

IoT is a major area of growth and will have a transformative effect on society – a recent report by Arup estimates that the global value of the IoT sector will exceed £255 billion a year by 2020.

‘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’

– NICK APPLEYARD

Cities can use IoT to improve services for their citizens, increase quality of life and make better-informed decisions more quickly. The success of cities will depend on them working in new ways with new partners.

“The internet of things is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce across the UK,” said Nick Appleyard, Innovate UK’s deputy director for government partnerships.

“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.

“The UK has the opportunity to become a world-leader in this sector, boosting the economy and creating the jobs of tomorrow. Innovate UK has a vital part to play in working with companies and local partnerships to make this happen.”

Interested parties can get more information either online at the Innovate UK website.

Projects must be collaborative and led by a local authority or local enterprise partnership (or an equivalent body outside England).

Projects should also involve at least one local authority, one local enterprise partnership and several businesses.

London image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com