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BT Hopes IoT Competition Winners Can Aid Smart Building Management

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BT IoT contest declares smart building startups the winner and could bring their ideas to customers

BT hopes the two winners of its Internet of Things (IoT) competition for SMBs will contribute to the creation a Building Management System (BMS) that controls equipment such a ventilation, lighting, power, security and safety systems. 

Norwegian startup Disruptive Technologies and Cumbrian firm Invisible Systems emerged victorious from a pool of 100 entrants to the contest, which was launched in May, and culminated in a pitching session at the BT Tower, judged by BT executives and smart city experts. 

BT said it had seen entries in numerous areas including buildings, asset tracking, warehouse and fleet management, data and platforms, and sensors and networks. 

BT Tower

BT IoT 

The winners will now gain access to BT’s Research & Development (R&D) labs at Adastral Park in Suffolk, alongside other resources and trade missions in a bid to commercialise their ideas. It is possible the technology could be offered to customers using BT Ventures or even in BT’s own digital transformation projects.  

“We were amazed by the quality of entries and the fact that we have chosen two winners, offering very different sets of products, shows the breadth and standard of the finalists,” said BT’s Chris Sims, who judged on the panel. 

“IoT enables us to deepen our relationships with our customers, working with a host of innovative partners. The BT Infinity Lab competition has highlighted a range of companies who we can work with going forward through our ventures businesses in particular.”        

Disruptive Technologies sensor platform can monitor the efficiency and security of buildings, as well as how to best use space. This means it could manage office resources, temperature and seat occupancy. Invisible System’s idea uses Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) sensors and cloud-based real time monitoring, which has obvious benefits for building management. 

BT bought EE for £12.5 billion last year, strengthening its IoT credentials, and has a nationwide network of Wi-Fi hotspots. The BT Tower itself is the world’s highest IoT base station and forms part of the Things Connected network launched by Digital Catapult in September. 

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