5GIC Partners Digital Greenwich For Smart City

New commercial smart city applications will be tested in London after a partnership was announced between the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey and Digital Greenwich.

5GIC will offer its “technological foundations” to allow Digital Greenwich to “build test beds and trials leading to commercial Smart City solutions”.

Smart City Trial

This is not the first smart city trail going ahead in the east of London. Earlier this year the Royal Borough of Greenwich signed up to the Smart Cities and Communities Lighthouse programme, as part of a €25m project to demonstrate how new technology can help develop and improve the lives of residents in a growing city.

But this partnership with 5GIC will see Digital Greenwich host a 5G Smart City Incubator space.

The partnership will utilise both the facilities and expertise at the University of Surrey in Guildford and at Greenwich to help with the challenge of delivering ‘smarter’ solutions that address transport, health, energy and the environment for local communities.

The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) is hosted at the University of Surrey’s main campus in Guildford. It was created in the past few years and is now said to be Europe’s largest research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications.

Communication Platform

“Fundamental to next generation Smart City applications is the creation of a robust communications systems,” explained Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of 5GIC and Institute of Communication Systems.

“Working with Digital Greenwich will enable the 5GIC to develop solutions targeted at multiple use cases in a city context,” he said. “The partnership will also provide the foundation to drive standardised solutions for all of the UK to benefit from the technology.”

“I am delighted to welcome the 5G Innovation Centre to the Royal Borough of Greenwich as a highly respected partner and as a valuable catalyst to our comprehensive smart city strategy,” said Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. “I am confident that this engagement will help strengthen our economy and deliver the best possible services to Greenwich businesses and residents.”

Previous smart city trials in London include a scheme to use the River Thames as a renewable energy source to provide affordable heat to local homes, and smart parking bays that aim to optimise parking spaces and help drivers find a space quickly and conveniently.

Other tests concern shared electric bikes to see if these support a shift from private cars.

“We want to make Britain the most digitally advanced of all nations,” said Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Matt Hancock. “We are already a world leader in the development of 5G technology, so I’m delighted by the new partnership between the University of Surrey and Digital Greenwich. Collaborations like this will help make our cities better places in which to live, to work, and to play.”

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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