Manchester scoops £10m Internet of Things prize

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey has announced that Manchester has won £10m from government to support a test scheme for Internet of Things technology.

Vaizey today said that the CityVerve project was the clear winner of a competition involving 22 bids involving 34 cities across the UK, which had been whittled down to a shortlist of six.

The CityVerve project includes plans for talking bus stops, to let bus operators know when commuters are waiting, and a network of sensors in parks, on lampposts and on commuter routes.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “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.”

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The project is led being 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.

Under the scheme’s rules, CityVerve will be able to claim up to 100% of their eligible project costs if they make up 30% or less of total project costs.

CityVerve will demonstrate applications of IoT technologies and services in healthcare; transport; energy and environment; and culture and community. Street furniture will also monitor air quality and pass information to residents.

Initiatives include network of sensors to improve the condition of patients with chronic respiratory conditions and track progress of individuals and teams competing against each other for physical activity.

Smart lighting, in addition to connected street lighting will be used to help reduce the growth of traffic and congestion.

A bike sharing scheme will use crowd sourcing to reduce costs, and will include “e-cargo” bikes to make deliveries.

The scheme will be located in Corridor Manchester, a 243 hectare strip stretching from St Peter’s Square to Whitworth Park along Oxford Road.

It houses a 60,000-strong workforce, 72,000 students along with the largest clinical academic campus in Europe and science and technology businesses.

The initiative is part of a £40m investment by government into research, innovation and enterprise connected with IoT.

Colin Marrs

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