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Open call to expand UK IoT network

Successful bidders receive an allocation of funding, LPWAN hardware and access to expertise and technical training

Digital Catapult wants to expand network coverage in up to five additional regions
Digital Catapult wants to expand network coverage in up to five additional regions

Digital Catapult, which aims to accelerate the application of digital technologies in the UK, has issued an open call to parties to help expand its Internet of Things (IoT) network across the UK.


The expansion of the Things Connected low power wide area network (LPWAN) is expected to deliver coverage in up to five additional regions of the UK which in turn will extend support for the creation, development and testing of new IoT services and applications.


The innovation programme, established in 2016, has network coverage across Greater London as well as Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Bradford.


Digital Catapult, which works with the UK innovation agency, Innovate UK, will manage the investment of £540,000 into regional network consortia invited to bid for this opportunity. Selected partners will use the network to run innovation programmes for UK start-ups and scale-ups to develop IoT solutions that address real business and economic challenges.


Digital Catapult will provide necessary equipment such as LPWAN gateways, relevant training on how to install and configure the gateways, as well as marketing and branding support to the successful bidders.


The programme will allow the selected partners to implement and operate a free-to-use regional LPWAN network enabling new product testing, experimentation, demonstration and piloting of IoT products and services.


LPWAN enables long-range wireless data communication between connected devices, even in hard to reach areas. Its versatility combined with its low running costs presents opportunities all organisations – from enterprises interested in asset tracking and inventory control to councils looking to monitor social infrastructure.


“Through our Things Connected programme we are building an ecosystem to foster the development of new innovative products and services and increase the number of UK companies delivering on the Internet of Things”, comments Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult.


“Extending the initiative to become more of a nationwide programme is a critical step in this journey. We see a huge opportunity for the whole of the UK in the IoT space to increase our global competitiveness. We are looking to engage with forward thinking organisations on the roll-out of LPWAN as this will play a critical role in bringing the UK to the forefront of IoT development.”


The deadline to submit proposals is 5.30pm on 29 September 2017 and interested parties can applying online at


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