Manchester wins £10m prize to become world leader in ‘smart city’ technology
Emma Kennedy - December 7, 2015

An innovative project in Manchester aimed at improving the services for its residents has been chosen as the winner of a £10m Government-led technology competition.

The CityVerve Project aims to test better services using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. It includes plans for talkative bus stops, which let bus operators know when commuters are waiting, and a network of sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage people to do more physical activity.

The Internet of Things adds sensors and data analysis to equipment like streetlamps, vehicles or home heating equipment. These ‘smart’ improvements will help deliver more personal, efficient and flexible products and services.

Out of 22 entries involving 34 cities across the UK and with a shortlist of six finalists, the City Verve project was declared the clear winner. The project is led by Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and was selected because of its ambition, scale, coordination across the public and private sector, and potential for success.

The CityVerve project will demonstrate applications of Internet of Things technologies and services in four key areas: healthcare; transport; energy and environment; and culture and community. It will demonstrate a smart city at scale, aiming to provide a replicable model for other cities in the UK and beyond.

Internet of Things is a major area of growth and will have a transformative effect on society. A recent report by independent consultants Arup estimates that the global value of the Internet of Things sector will exceed £255 billion a year by 2020.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:

“I’m delighted that the CityVerve Project is the winner of our Internet of Things Cities competition. The Project will bring real benefits to people who live and work across Manchester, one of our Northern Powerhouse cities.

“The UK’s tech sector is renowned for its creativity as well as pioneering research and development. The Manchester project will help the UK to be a world leader in the adoption of Internet of Things technologies and inspire others around the world to create smarter cities.”