City also nets £10m prize from DCMS for investment in IoT projects
The government has named Manchester as the UK’s Internet of Things (IoT) City Demonstrator, and will act as the country’ centre of IoT development and innovation.
It will also benefit from a £10 million fund to be used towards projects ranging from health and fitness drives to safer public transport services.
Manchester’s win was spearheaded by the CityVerve consortium, a collection of organisations and companies including the likes of Manchester City Council, Cisco UK, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, BT, Manchester Science Partnerships, and local SMEs.
This collective developed a proposal that looked to utilise the power of technology to “revolutionise and improve” areas including health and social care, energy and environmental management, transport, cultural interaction and connecting communities.
Manchester will now be the home of a UK IoT Centre of Excellence, located at Manchester Science Partnerships’ city centre campus, which will provide start-ups and SMEs from the Greater Manchester area and across the UK with access to a world-leading open innovation programme, working alongside leading global companies such as Cisco to develop and test new smart city solutions.
“The lessons learned from this project should benefit the country as a whole,” said Sir Richard Leese from Manchester City Council.
“The pioneering work Manchester is doing on devolution, finding innovative ways to respond to local needs and priorities, makes us the perfect test bed for this work. Our plans are firmly focused on creating the conditions for economic growth and helping connect people with the opportunities created – whether that’s helping them to monitor their own health to help avoid preventable illness or giving them improving transport information to help them move around the city more easily.”
The competition was launched back in July as the DCMS aimed to a fund a project that could provide benefits for citizens, economic benefits for the private and public sector, as well as demonstrating “appropriate” security and privacy features.
This followed an earlier report by Arqiva which found that 96 percent of Brits were unaware of any such “smart city” programs in the country. The survey also found that many of us are unsure about the benefits of smart cities, with nearly one in four (23 percent) saying they were unclear on any one main benefit such projects could bring.
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