Smart Cambridge welcomes boost for IoT innovation

December 15, 2016

Smart Cambridge is supporting the CW (Cambridge Wireless) led partnership that has won a national competition to help drive forward Internet of Things innovation in Cambridge.

CW (Cambridge Wireless) has been selected by the Digital Catapult to deliver IoTUK Boost, a programme of support to help UK SMEs and entrepreneurs develop Internet of Things (IoT) enabled services and applications in Cambridge – using low power wide area networks (LPWANs). With longer range, decreased power requirements and lower costs, LPWANs enable a much wider range of IoT applications to support business innovation.

IoTUK Boost aims to address barriers to entry into the IoT marketplace across the country, with the selected partners spanning from Bristol to Yorkshire.

One of six partners selected across the UK, the CW programme will make use of the city wide LoRaWAN network which is currently being deployed by the Smart Cambridge programme as part of its work with the Greater Cambridge City Deal.

CW has formed a core partnership with Everynet, the LoRa Alliance™, Iotic Labs, and Smart Cambridge, which will be supported by the University of Cambridge and a variety of technology businesses as the programme gathers pace.

CW will coordinate a programme providing support for businesses to test LP-WAN technology solutions, that focus on a genuine need or problem area. IoT providers will be selected who are able to demonstrate a potential solution to one of the three core challenges facing the region: air quality monitoring, transport and primary prevention of ill health in older people.

This is a challenge to the Tech community to come up with solutions that, for example, better understand real-time air quality across the city, or, manage parking within the city, or help prevent avoidable hospital admissions and develop integrated care models. The solutions are as diverse as the multiple facets of the challenges.

At least 10 companies will be selected to participate in the programme. Successful SMEs will be coached in the development of market-ready products and services, and provided with training and development kits. Winning solutions will be showcased at the CW International Conference in the summer of 2017.

Further announcements will be made about this programme in January. Businesses and innovators interested in how they can test out their IoT innovations, or become mentors for the programme, can register their interest by emailing LPWANboost@cambridgewireless.co.uk

Robert Driver, CEO of CW, said: “CW is delighted be part of this partnership. We are one of only six successful organisations across the whole country who will be delivering this important national programme. A key role of CW is to bring together companies – both large and small – to share knowledge and insights. We are also thrilled to be joining up with the Smart Cambridge so that the developed solutions can have a direct impact on the city. Importantly CW is, of course, as a membership organisation, agnostic about alternative technology solutions. We hope this is just the first step in encouraging all the main LPWAN technologies to test and explore the delivery of real world solutions into Cambridge.”

Noelle Godfrey, Director of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, which leads the Smart Cambridge programme, said: “Smart Cambridge welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with CW and other partners. We are keen to harness the brain power and creativity of our tech’ businesses to help address some of the challenges facing our region and help to foster future local business growth in this exciting area of innovation.”

Tracy Hopkins, GM Everynet and Marketing Committee Chair of the LoRa Alliance said: “The LoRaWAN ecosystem is the largest in the LPWA industry and this will encourage innovation and creativity to solve real world city wide issues. We have moved beyond technology in the LPWA space and it is all about solutions that deliver commercially as well as technically. Everynet is excited be a partner in this program and offers all participants the opportunity to become part of the EveryTHINGZ interoperability lab. The LoRa Alliance is very pleased to endorse programs of this type as innovation is key to maximizing the impact of the IoT. We welcome new members from across the ecosystem to contribute to driving the specification and to use the LoRaWAN™ Certification program to ensure compatibility with the networks that are being deployed globally.

Peter Whale, COO at Iotic Labs, said: “Iotic Labs is excited to provide Iotic Space as the enabling environment for IoT Boost participants to develop innovative solutions that address real needs, maximizing the value of sharing and combining data from across the city of Cambridge and beyond. It is always fantastic for us to see the myriad of different ideas people can realise when they have access to data: sometimes completely different solutions generated from the same sources. We were greatly encouraged by the initiative and entrepreneurial spirit show by participants we mentored in a previous IoT Boost programme, and are really looking forward to meeting more people from this innovative and rapidly growing sector to help them to make their ideas happen”.