Six small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the UK have been awarded a share of £50,000 (€58,000) funding by Future Cities Catapult, the UK Government-supported centre of excellence in urban innovation.
The companies entered a competition to solve city challenges in London, using the cutting-edge Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Things Connected.
For ideas including tackling noise pollution, making cycling safer and helping the NHS utilise under-used space, the winning SMEs will receive up to £10,000 (€11,600) each. They will use this to develop and demonstrate connected devices in London using the Things Connected Low-Power LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network).
The winning proposals are:
- Beringar (Edinburgh) are testing light and environmental sensors to identify unallocated and under-utilised space within the health estate. This has the potential to increase patient convenience, save money and ultimately help the NHS improve the quality of care.
- BuggyAir (London) will develop their prototype to provide real-time information on pedestrian and cyclist’s exposure to pollutant, using route visualisation and comparison.
- Fosters and Partners (London) are developing a system to monitor noise pollution in capital, allowing ordinary people to collect and visualise local information about the sound around them. This will enable Londoners to mitigate the effects of noise and give people a basis for informing policy to shape their community.
- Joyride Technologies (London) in partnership with the London Cycling Campaign, will be using sensors to collect information about how families commute around the city as cyclists. This can then be considered in the infrastructure planning process.
- KloudKeeper (Exeter) will demonstrate their smart rainwater capture, reuse and release hardware, minimising flooding and reducing water demand.
- Nymbly (Cambridge) are testing their air quality management app that has a direct impact on health in the workplace. Their newly designed advanced sensors offers data accuracy to room level and through data modeling, informs building owners to take action by improving the ventilation system, humidity control or filtering.
With the UK’s IoT marketplace current worth £13.3bn – and expected to rise to £20 billion (€23.3 billion) by 2018 – the Things Connected network is said by its backers to provide “huge opportunities” for entrepreneurs and developers to test and trial new ideas that can be rolled out on commercial networks.
Future Cities Catapult CEO, Peter Madden, said: “We’re pleased to announce the winners of the ‘Things Connected’ Open Call, and look forward to seeing how they use IoT devices to solve city challenges ranging from flooding, to air pollution, to helping the NHS make better use of its buildings.
“Here at Future Cities Catapult we actively engage high-growth businesses to drive innovation for urban development. By supporting UK SME’s with funding, we further position the UK as a world leader in connectivity,” he added.
Mark Sorsa-Leslie, director of Beringar, said: “Partnering with Things Connected to test our Space Use Pattern Detection sensor in an NHS London building is hugely important to us.
“We believe our sensor will help calculate NHS service capacity within their buildings, improve space usage and potentially save millions that would otherwise be wasted building new facilities that are not needed. In using the LoRaWAN network, we’ll have a fast-track approach to bring our innovation to market more quickly.”
Director of KloudKeeper, Peter Melville-Shreeve, said: “We are very pleased to collaborate with the Future Cities Catapult to demonstrate our innovative rainwater management system.
“Uncontrolled rainfall causes flooding with estimated costs of more than £1.1 billion (€1.28 billion) per annum, meanwhile ever-increasing threats of water shortage and higher water costs are driving increased focus on water re-use.
“At KloudKeeper, we combine state of the art practices and the latest IoT technologies to provide an efficient, cost effective system that represents a sustainable solution to both challenges, in our vision of the city of the future”.
Donatien Garnier, co-founder of Nymbly said: “We’re excited our air quality sensing project has been selected as part of the Things Connected Open call, and look forward to trialling our sensors within the LPWAN network. With the capital’s 2017 air pollution limits exceeded in just five days, it’s more important than ever to provide Londoners with actionable data to reduce their exposure to pollution.”
The shortlisted SMEs have six weeks to deploy devices, which will determine the viability of their solution. To find out more click here.
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