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Internet of Things challenge opens in Manchester

Smart city consortium CityVerve has launched a competition to find small companies that can help revolutionise Manchester across one of four briefs, including energy and the environment.

Smart city consortium CityVerve has launched a competition to find small companies that can help revolutionise Manchester across one of four briefs, including energy and the environment.

The CityVerve project was the winner of a £10 million government-led Internet of Things (IoT) competition in 2015.

The project aims to demonstrate the use of smart technologies in creating cities of the future and is based in Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, the city’s academic and innovation district.

Innovation challenge

CityVerve partners Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) have now launched an ‘Open Innovation’ challenge, offering eight start-ups or small businesses the chance to join an eight week acceleration programme.

The challenge is seeking businesses that help transform Manchester using IoT across one of four briefs: Health and Social Care, Transport and Travel, Energy and Environment, and a Wildcard Entry for solutions outside these remits.

The Energy and Environment brief, led by MSP, concerns using data from existing data sources to create non-intrusive and cost-effective solutions that optimise energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions in commercial buildings. 

As well as a £5,000 grant, winners will work closely with CityVerve’s other key partners, such as BT, Siemens and both Manchester universities.

‘Hugely exciting’

Anne Dornan, head of innovation and partnerships at MSP, said: “This is a hugely exciting part of the CityVerve demonstrator project where city partners have the opportunity to source and co-develop genuinely innovative solutions and trial them in a real-world environment.

“We hope to attract some of the most innovative technology small businesses in the UK to work with the support of committed civic partners and global industry players to deploy some market-leading smart city solutions which not only improve key services in Manchester, but can be exported to cities globally.”

Entries to the Open Innovation challenge close on 14 February 2018, with the accelerator programme beginning in March.