Infrastructure > Devices

Bradford Council to launch new smart cities networks

David Bicknell Published 22 February 2017

Technologies will include Low Power Wide Area Networks and Things network to be run by Bradford, Digital Catapult Yorkshire, University of Bradford and ODI Leeds


Bradford Council has stepped up its interest in smart cities, with two new networks to be launched tomorrow.

The networks, which will be launched at an event to be hosted by Digital Catapult Yorkshire and jointly run by Bradford Council, Digital Catapult Yorkshire, the University of Bradford and ODI Leeds, include a LoRaWAN Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) network and an Internet of Things (IoT) network called Things Bradford and Leeds.

The council hopes the new networks will bring opportunities for research, development and commissioning of smart city initiatives, thus attracting technology entrepreneurs to the Bradford district and creating business opportunities.

As other cities have found, the technology has the potential to bring increased understanding of the district such as monitoring the environment, early detection of flooding and helping elderly people to live more independently at home.

Smart city technologies enable a city to be better connected and informed about areas such as traffic congestion, air quality, water quality and energy use in buildings.

Bradford is developing a project with the local University of Bradford to use the new network to support the live monitoring of the River Aire levels in three locations to help provide early warnings of flood risks with further locations to come online later in the year.

The network will also support the gathering of intelligence to help better understand and tackle some of the challenges facing the district. Sharing the non-personal data with computer science students and innovative technology businesses will enable them develop new products and services such as apps and devices for the market which will help grow the local and regional economy.

Kersten England, Bradford Council’s chief executive, said, “These new networks will help us to all play an active role in facilitating the development of new devices and the next generation of apps and also create new business opportunities.

“We want to make our district a technology hub, developing the next big digital revolution creating these new smart cities devices and use the data collected to help shape the future of our district.”

Ian Sharp, chief executive of Digital Health Enterprise Zone, said: “There are lots of experimental systems being launched across the UK and it is critically important that Bradford stays ahead of the game and supports our innovative companies. We already have many businesses that are supplying Internet of Things devices into both business and consumer markets, we hope to stimulate the environment for these businesses to succeed and for new companies to be created and grow in Bradford.”

Paul Connell, founder ODI Leeds, said, “This is a glimpse of the future and Bradford is right in the middle of it.  Connecting things and people and innovating with data, with a purpose, for good is what we're all about and we're so pleased to be part of this pioneering work in Bradford.”

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