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Manchester Picked as the UK's Internet of Things Demonstrator City

Gareth Halfacree

University of Manchester, courtesy Mike Peel

The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport has awarded a £10 million investment to a public-private consortium which aims to make Manchester the official Internet of Things (IoT) demonstration city for the UK - cementing the UK Maker Belt as the heart of innovation in the country.

A partnership between numerous private and public bodies, including Manchester City Council, the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cisco, BT, Future Everything, and Republic of Things, the programme will see the creation of a UK Internet of Things Centre of Excellence in the city-centre campus of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP). As well as reaffirming the technological prowess held within the UK Maker Belt, the project will represent a great opportunity for small businesses and independent makers to get involved in the development of next-generation smart devices.

"I'm delighted that Manchester has been selected as the UK demonstrator city to test and demonstrate how the imaginative use of smart technology can make a real positive difference to our people and businesses. The lessons learned from this project should benefit the country as a whole," Manchester City Council's Sir Richard Leese said of the project. "The pioneering work Manchester is doing on devolution, finding innovative ways to respond to local needs and priorities, makes us the perfect test bed for this work. Our plans are firmly focussed on creating the conditions for economic growth and helping connect people with the opportunities created – whether that’s helping them to monitor their own health to help avoid preventable illness or giving them improving transport information to help them move around the city more easily."

"This is a huge win for Manchester and for the brilliant team which pulled the project together," agreed Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Science Partnerships. "The IoT Demonstrator will enable innovators, new and established businesses in every part of the economy to access world leading technology, and work together to develop better public services and new products – supporting our already flourishing digital technology sector, growing our economy, and making the City a showcase for technology driven innovation."

More information on the programme is available from the MSP website.

Image credit: Mike Peel, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

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