The UK has boosted its investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) by launching a £10m
competition to encourage businesses and cities to develop IoT initiatives.
The multi million pound fund will be granted to projects that demonstrate IoT capabilities in cities, with Innovate UK claiming the country is ‘on the brink of connecting communities’. Launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in partnership with Innovate, the competition is part of the government’s £40m IoT investment drive.
Nick Appleyard, Innovate UK’s deputy director for government partnerships, said: ‘IoT is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce across the UK. The transformative technology will make our lives more connected, allowing us to make more informed decisions based on data and drive the productivity of companies. The UK has the opportunity to become a world-leader in this sector.’
IoT capabilities are being currently implemented in several cities around the world, delivering services such as smart lighting and sensors to measure air and noise pollution levels. Information is also aggregated from traffic and road sensors to ease congestion, as well as using location based services to speed up passenger journeys.
Digital Economy minister Ed Vaizey described these city connections a major growth area in the UK, claiming the competition will encourage businesses to develop innovate ways to implement IoT. He said: ‘IoT is rapidly becoming part of our everyday lives. This competition will be instrumental in discovering new connections between city services and their users, and identifying many more advantages that IoT could offer.’
While these advantages are being implement in UK cities, Panasonic and British Gas are planning to connect UK homes with its new IoT products.