Government Launches £10m IoT Competition For Smart Cities

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DCMS and Innovate UK invite local authorities and businesses to submit city-wide collaborative IoT proposals

Local authorities and businesses have been invited to enter a government-funded internet of Things (IoT) competition that will see £10m awarded to the best proposal for a smart city application.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Innovate UK want to a fund a project that can provide benefits for citizens, economic benefits for the private and public sector, and can demonstrate “appropriate” security and privacy features.

All entries must be collaborative, with at least one local authority, one local enterprise partnership and several businesses across a variety of sectors. DCMS says examples could include smart health, transport, traffic or energy applications that could ease congestion, save energy or reduce carbon emissions.

IoT competition

city pavement“The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives,” said Ed Vaizey, digital economy minister. “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 a major area of growth and will have a transformative effect on society…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 funding will come from a £40m pot announced in March, with Chancellor George Osborne claiming in his budget that the IoT was the next stage of the “information revolution.” The deadline for registration is the September 23 and all submissions must be made by the September 30.

In its former guise as the Technology Strategy Board, (TSB), Innovate UK held a £1m competition in June last year, offering up to 60 percent funding for particular projects. Many believe IoT and smart city applications can help local authorities become more efficient and save money at a time when budgets are contracting.

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