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March 29, 2018

Can new partnerships further Manchester’s Smart City?

The new partnerships aim to help deploy even more smart solutions across the Northern City.

By April Slattery

Manchester’s CityVerve solution pushes smart city development further as three new businesses join the project.

Manchester City Council has selected Retail Sensing, Tracis and Apadmi to carry out the project. The project addresses challenges the City faces using digital solutions, and the three businesses aim to add to these solutions to drive Manchester further to being a smart city.

The CityVerve model was launched in Manchester in September last year, aiming to bring opportunities for start-ups and businesses to develop solutions for making Manchester smarter. Additionally, it aims to provide an open way of learning and developing IoT solutions for small and large businesses to deliver smart services. So far, the project  has developed solutions for as bus timetables, route planners and much more.

Each of the companies will deliver their individual capabilities to benefit the platform. Retail Sensing will deploy people and traffic counting sensors across Oxford Road, capturing data on density and directional flow of traffic and football. These capabilities will help the city better prepare infrastructure for events through Manchester, ensuring that the system runs like clockwork.

Can new partnerships further Manchester’s Smart City?

The new partnerships aim to better manage data to deploy smart solutions.

People counting sensors will also be deployed at four of the city’s railway stations by Tracis, a transport provider, aiming to capture the data from travellers during peak times. This method will help the city handle the large number of visitors through the city, as well as being able to plan ahead and predict crowd behaviours.

“Our solution utilises an innovative combination of Wi-Fi sensing and video analytics technologies to provide a unique view of the city’s pulse and an understanding of how citizens engage with core parts of the city centre.  We can’t wait to see the results flowing out from the pilot project,” Chris Jackson, Chief Operating Officer for Tracsis’ Traffic and Data Services Division commented: “Tracsis have strong historic relationships with key stakeholders in Manchester and we are incredibly excited to be awarded this opportunity to apply our latest cutting-edge technology to the CityVerve project.”

Different to the other companies, Apadmi has designed a communications app for reporting environmental problems. This will capture data from Council employees working across the city to focus on the usability of the app as a tool for communication, enabling smarter access to different areas of the city from a simple application. In doing so, this can save time in communicating with workers and ensure an efficient deployment of action when necessary.

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“I’d like to congratulate the three successful firms who have been chosen to become recognised CityVerve suppliers.  This is a fantastic platform for them to showcase their business, contribute to the wider CityVerve project and demonstrate how digital innovation can work for Manchester,” Richard Elliott, Head of Policy, Partnerships and Research at Manchester City Council said.

The announcement further emphasises the ethos of CityVerve, that collaboration is key to the success of smart cities. Having each business develop solutions effectively across the city, it will ensure the infrastructure is properly tailored to the needs of residents and employees to allow smarter services to run and benefit them.

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