Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

'Pioneering' Manchester will drive UK to be smart city world leader with £10m prize

'Pioneering' Manchester will drive UK to be smart city world leader with £10m prize

| By James Perkins

Manchester is expected to lead cutting edge research into smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, following a multi-million pound government award.

The city has been awarded a £10million investment and announced as the UK’s Internet of Things City Demonstrator by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to pioneer new approaches and technologies.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey expects the pioneering Manchester project to push the UK as a world leader in researching an adopting the Internet of Things and other smart city improvements.

“The project will bring real benefits to people who live and work across Manchester,” he said.

“I’m delighted that the CityVerve Project is the winner of our Internet of Things Cities competition.

“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.”

Manchester’s IoT project is being led by a private-public consortium which includes the city council, technology giant Cisco UK, the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, BT and various SMEs.

As part of the project, a UK IoT Centre of Excellence is to be built at Manchester Science Partnerships’ city centre campus.

The centre will provide UK small businesses access to an innovation programme and opportunity to work with larger firms to develop and test smart city initiatives.

The ongoing plan to devolve powers from Westminster to Manchester means that the city is ideally placed to become a research hub for smart city technologies and the Internet of Things, according to Sir Richard Leese of Manchester City Council.

"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,” Sir Leese 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.

"Our plans build on Manchester's strong tradition of public, private and academic partners working together for the greater good.”

Cisco, one of the partners of the consortium, hopes that the group will be able to establish Manchester as a leading smart city in the country.

“There is a huge opportunity for UK tech companies to lead the IoT revolution,” said managing director for innovation, Andy Chew.

“There is a powerful consortium that will establish Manchester as the Smart City, and open up digitisation opportunities for UK companies across the world.”

Image courtesy of Scott Mcleod, with thanks.