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Technology / Hardware

Manchester wins £10m to lead UK IoT smart city tech

The UK city of Manchester has won a competition to become the country’s first IoT Demonstrator city region with its CityVerve Project.

As winners of the national competition, the city was awarded £10 million by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to invest in smart city technology.

The winning team from Manchester comprised of a public-private partnership that included Manchester City Council, Cisco UK, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Science Partnerships, BT, and some UK SMEs including Kiltr and Future Everything.

In its bid, Manchester proposed using the power of technology to truly revolutionise and improve health and social care, the public realm, energy and environmental management, transport, cultural interaction and connecting communities.

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One of the city’s proposed applications, CiteVerve, will be rolling out talkative bus stops, which will let bus operators know when commuters are waiting.

The city will also have an UK IoT Centre of Excellence, to be located at Manchester Science Partnerships’ city centre campus.

The centre will give start-ups and SMEs from Greater Manchester and across the UK access to an open innovation programme, with companies like Cisco able to develop and test new smart city solutions.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, said: "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 IoT technologies and inspire others around the world to create smarter cities."

Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council said: "The lessons learned from this project should benefit the country as a whole.

Also commenting was Andy Chew, MD for Innovation for Cisco Systems UK, who said that there is a huge opportunity for UK tech companies to lead the IoT revolution. He said: "This consortium brings together the best of Manchester and the North’s IoT tech talent."

The government-led competition received 22 entries involving 34 cities across the UK. The competition is part of a wider £40 million government investment in the IoT between 2015 and 2018.

 
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