Wins £10 million prize to become UK leader in smart city technology
An innovative project in Manchester aimed at improving the services for its residents has today been chosen as the winner of a £10 million Government-led technology competition.
The Manchester CityVerve Project aims to test better services using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. It includes plans for talkative bus stops, which let bus operators know when commuters are waiting, and a network of sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage people to do more physical activity.
The Government and Innovate UK offered up to £10 million for a single collaborative research and development project to demonstrate the capability of applications at scale across a city region. The competition is part of a wider £40 million government investment in IoT announced in March 2015 to make the UK an international leader in these pioneering technologies.
Out of 22 entries involving 34 cities across the UK and with a shortlist of six finalists, the City Verve project was declared the clear winner. The project is led by Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and was selected because of its ambition, scale, coordination across the public and private sector, and potential for success.
The demonstrator will be located in the Corridor Manchester, Manchester’s innovation district: 243 hectares, 60,000-strong workforce, of which over 50% are employed in knowledge-based sectors. It also houses 72,000 students, and the largest clinical academic campus in Europe. The Corridor is home to many innovative science and technology businesses, world class research centres, universities, and a leading NHS Trust, it has a largescale infrastructure investment committed to 2020.
Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “I’m delighted that the CityVerve Project is the winner of our IoT Cities competition. The Project will bring real benefits to people who live and work across Manchester, one of our Northern Powerhouse cities.”
“The UK’s tech sector is renowned for its creativity as well as pioneering research and development. The Manchester project will help the UK to be a world leader in the adoption of Internet of Things technologies and inspire others around the world to create smarter cities,”
On behalf of the CityVerve consortium, Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “I’m delighted that Manchester has been selected as the UK demonstrator city to test and demonstrate how the imaginative use of smart technology can make a real positive difference to our people and businesses. The lessons learned from this project should benefit the country as a whole.
“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 focussed 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,” added Leese.
The CityVerve project will demonstrate applications of IoT technologies and services in four key areas: healthcare; transport; energy and environment; and culture and community. It will demonstrate a smart city at scale, aiming to provide a replicable model for other cities in the UK and beyond.