IoTUK's David Dowe, with Anne Curtis, SSC's David Dunn, Esen Kaya and Paul Callaghan of the Sunderla

Member Article

North East’s IoT innovations celebrated at Sunderland Event

The future of the Internet of Things was celebrated in Sunderland last week with a showcase of new IoT products and the announcement several new business opportunities.

The IoTUK Boost Pitch & Social event, a celebration of the newest and brightest IoT ideas being developed by tech SMEs in the North East was held at the Sunderland Software Centre on Tuesday 22 March.

During the event guests heard from Intel’s Scott Mordue who introduced Intel’s Edison platform and IoT Developer Kit which aims to create a global community of software developers sharing ideas and collaborating on IoT Projects.

Attendees at the event also heard from Prof. Louise Bracken from Durham University who outlined the opportunities for SMEs to develop solutions as part of the North East Water Hub initiative, including a £100,000 opportunity to retrofit a sustainable drainage system prototype to 50 homes in South Moor, Co. Durham.

Ray King from the North East Combined Authority also outlined opportunities for tech SMEs in the region to get involved in the extension of the 10M Euro Compass4D project being trialled in Newcastle, the first of its kind in the UK.

Some of the prototypes already tested as part of the project include a system that ‘talks’ to motorists; informing drivers of obstacles on the road and advising them on how to adjust their speed to pass through a series of green lights, as well as intelligent traffic lights that give blue light services priority at intersections.

The event was the culmination of the IoTUK Boost programme, which has been delivered by Sunderland Software City over the past three months following the announcement in November that the organisation had been chosen as one of four IoTUK Boost providers for a series of innovation challenges and incubation activities aimed at helping businesses and public services to maximise and deploy IoT technologies.

As part of the programme 20 technology SMEs from around the region attended a two-day residential IoT summit in February where experts from global technology companies Amey, CGI and Innovate UK outlined future trends in IoT and ran workshops on how smaller companies can capitalise on the adoption of IoT technologies.

The pitch event allowed these SMEs to showcase their resulting products and services to an audience of business owners, VCs and investors.

David Dunn, CEO of Sunderland Software City said: “The North East is home to some great companies that are developing game-changing IoT innovations.

“The IoTUK Boost Pitch & Social event was a chance for public and private sector organisations and investors to discover these innovations, meet the companies behind them and find out about more opportunities for organisations of all sizes to get involved in the IoT Space.

“The IoTUK Boost programme has been an opportunity to educate the region’s business community about the possibilities of IoT and will leave a lasting legacy in that more companies are developing game-changing IoT solutions that not only open up new opportunities for them but will transform businesses and public service delivery across the region.”

At the event Sunderland Software City also unveiled an installation of IoT-inspired artwork lead by Dr. Mike Collier from Sunderland University and developed local artists Esen Kaya and Anne Curtis from Sunderland-based Shoofly publishing, who was recently a finalist on BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge.

The artwork celebrates the relationship between art and technology and was unveiled by Paul Callaghan of the Sunderland MAC Trust as the city looks towards bid of the UK City of Culture 2021.

Dr Collier said: “The Internet of Things is essentially the network and analysis of connected devices; appliances, vehicles, accessories, buildings- the list is endless.

“Ultimately IoT is where the physical world meets the technology world and its development is intrinsically reliant on design to provide a bridge between these worlds.

“Sunderland has a history of innovation; it is the birthplace of Joseph Swan, the inventor of the light bulb and has a celebrated art and cultural scene. It is also has a rapidly growing technology sector and this piece celebrates the developing and ever connected relationship between artistic creativity and future innovation.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Amy Watson .

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