Cambridge Wireless (CW), and AB Open are amongst the organizations that have been selected to deliver IoTUK Boost, a government-funded programme of support to help SMEs and entrepreneurs develop IoT-enabled services and applications across the UK.
IoTUK Boost was set up in a bid to break down barriers of entry into the IoT marketplace across the UK, and it has partners in different regions including Bristol, Yorkshire and Cambridge. The scheme focuses on using low power wide area networks (LPWANs) for connecting remote IoT sensors.
AB Open, Advanced Digital Innovation, Cambridge Wireless, High Tech Bristol and Bath CIC (HBB), Sensor City Liverpool, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre are the companies that have been selected to build experimentation testbeds for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop IoT products and services.
As part of IoTUK Boost, each partner will hold meetings, open calls and training workshops in a bid to increase engagement with the test network for a minimum of six months.
Partners will each aim to work with at least 10 SMEs or entrepreneurs to help them to bring early stage IoT products and services to a commercial prototype stage, or early market release.
Robert Driver, CEO of Cambridge Wireless (CW), one of the companies selected for IoTUKBoost,said the two key reasons that CW was selected was because of its work with numerous partners, and because of the firm’s view of the entire IoT ecosystem.
“The first partner is Everynet who is a LoRaWAN technologies provider, the second is Smart Cambridge which is a group of major councils around Cambridge as well as the university,” he explained to Internet of Business.
“The university has agreed with Everynet about the installation of the network which is being installed now, and this is likely to an intelligent city platform provided through the university, where we can get information for LoRaWAN gateways and other inputs, analyse them and use AI to predict trends and activities on a real-time basis, and then adapt the way the city behaves as a result,” he added.
“One of the things that was important about our bid was that we were looking at the whole IoT stack”.
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The main purpose of IoTUK Boost is to accelerate LPWAN technology across the country, by encouraging SMEs to explore the technology, and Driver suggested that CW wanted to do this with a platform that could make a difference to the way citizens live in Cambridge.
“We focused on some particular application areas including air quality monitoring – there is a statistic that suggests that 47 deaths a year are triggered by poor air quality in the Cambridge area – while other areas include flowing transport, car parking and assisted living and caring for the elderly,” he said.
CW will go out to the community in Cambridge, as well as across the UK to get some suggestions on how these broader issues can be tackled using technology. A panel will then select 10 of the best SMEs, who will be mentored and gain access to development kits and other resources. The aim for CW, and for the other selected IoTUK Boost partners is to find solutions that are scalable.