Bristol wins smart city funding boost

A consortium including Bristol City Council has won a share of ‎€25m to explore smart city technology.

The consortium, which also includes the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, is one of three cities to win cash from the European Union’s Horizon 2020: Smart Cities and Communities programme.

The REPLICATE project aims to create integrated smart city solution to tackle problems such as poor air quality, unsustainable energy use and traffic congestion. It will share the cash with projects from San Sebastián in Spain and Florence in Italy.

Kevin O’Malley, city innovation team manager for the council’s Connecting Bristol programme, said: “Winning the REPLICATE bid further shows how Bristol is leading the way in researching what the cities of the future could look like and we are delighted to be collaborating with our local partners and with colleagues in San Sebastián and Florence.”

“It is great to now finally be able to implement the smart technology our bid covered in order to create cities that are better equipped and more resilient to the future.”

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The EU programme hopes to use lessons from the three “lighthouse” cities to be applied in a number of “follower cities”, which have yet to be named.

Bristol’s team said that they had been awarded the highest score of all the entries for its proposal to integrate energy, transport and ICT at scale in the city.

The council has also submitted a bid to government to become the UK’s first Internet of Things demonstrator city region.

If successful, it could win £10m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which would be matched by £7m from councils and businesses in the South West.

Bristol is Open (BIO), a council joint venture with the University of Bristol, is already pioneering the introduction of smart city technology using data collected through city-centre sensors.

Colin Marrs

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