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Australia smart cities grants up for grabs

Smart street lighting is already playing a vital role in Australian smart cities and its use is set to grow

Sydney Harbour Bridge is already equipped with hundreds of sensors
Sydney Harbour Bridge is already equipped with hundreds of sensors

Sensors on street lamps are already helping to solve crimes

Smart lighting is delivering 30-40 per cent energy savings

The Australian federal government has announced $50m in available funding to help drive smart city growth and innovation. Eligible applicants are able to apply for up to $5m in grant funding with the first round expected to be opened in the first half of 2017.


“Smart Cities need to take a people-first approach to designing and delivering responsive public services with the help of smart technologies,” said Angus Taylor, assistant minister for cities. “The Australian Government is committed to working with governments, business and the community to help our cities – regional and metropolitan – reach their full potential.”


The Smart Cities and Suburbs Programme has been welcomed by local government and the tech sector across Australia. Lighting Council Australia CEO Bryan Douglas said it could expand the benefits of technologies like sensors on street lights that are already being used to help solve crimes.


He commented: “Smart street lighting is already playing a vital role in smart cities – not only delivering energy savings of 30-40 per cent from lighting that can be dimmed in periods of low traffic, but managing traffic flow, providing parking services and in some parts of the world detecting the precise location, time and characteristics of gunshots.”


The programme aims to deploy new ideas not yet seen in Australia including international smart cities technology. Another example highlighted is that hundreds of sensors on Sydney Harbour Bridge are collecting road surface information to provide early warnings of problems. An app allowing easy reporting of potholes or broken playground equipment is helping local councils maintain their equipment.


Draft guidelines for the programme were released at the Smart Cities Expo in Sydney with stakeholders invited to provide feedback on the guidelines. Stakeholders interested in the program can download the draft guidelines and provide input until 20 January 2017 through the Government’s Cities website.


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Adelaide kick-starts Australia’s smart lighting ambitions

The city has installed a strip of 64 LED street lights, which have been designed to dim when not required, as well as harvest light from other ambient light sources within the area

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