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Start-ups to take part in UK smart city accelerator at MediaCityUK

They will be developing and prototyping solutions to discover how cities can use technology to adapt to a post-Covid world with the aim of securing investment at the end of the programme.

MediaCityUK in Salford is hosting the UK smart city accelerator programme
MediaCityUK in Salford is hosting the UK smart city accelerator programme

Six companies will be taking part in the UK Smart City Innovation Testbed programme, hosted at Salford’s MediaCityUK, to discover how cities can use technology to adapt to a post-Covid world.


Solutions developed by the cohort span those that monitor air quality for employees, detect falls by the elderly and enable residents to converse with street furniture to better inform planners about attitudes to the built environment.


Accelerating solutions


The programme is the first of its kind in the UK and sees MediaCityUK partner with Connected Places Catapult, an expert in emerging technologies that accelerate future cities and transport solutions. It will be led by innovation specialists UP Ventures, which is based in Edinburgh and Manchester, and aims to enable its partners to identify opportunities, solve real-world problems and accelerate business growth.


The start-ups will develop and prototype their products with the aim of securing investment at the end of the programme and be able to access MediaCityUK’s technology infrastructure to deploy and test their products in a living lab environment. One of the aims is to explore how cities can evolve by using the Internet of Things (IoT).


The six companies taking part in the testbed, which will also receive online coaching and masterclasses, are:


Atmo Technology: an air quality data company that uses IoT devices and advanced algorithms to help employers monitor the pollution levels to which their staff are exposed;


Cyber Defence Services: has developed an IoT security platform OvertAI which monitors devices connected to the network and detects threats;


Hello Lamp Post: has created a novel way for people to tell town planners how they think their built environment can be improved with the company allowing people to converse with street furniture in over 25 countries around the world;


Secure Sensor Innovative Design: has built an IoT system that allows organisations such as care homes and housing associations to monitor temperature and humidity levels and can also detect sudden falls from elderly residents;


R-Com: has developed a comprehensive smart city solution with a suite of sensors that can count passengers on public transport, measure air quality and monitor vehicles on roads with the firm also providing real time analysis and IT support;


Pulse Systems: has built an IoT platform on top of UK made and designed sensors that help businesses make a building smart allowing for better understanding of workspaces and how they affect people and the environment.


“Working towards a post-pandemic world we have an opportunity to create a profoundly positive impact on the way people adapt and thrive,” said Steve Thomas, managing partner, UP Ventures. “At the heart of our smart city innovation testbed is a passion for technology, the role of places and how they can adapt to support how people live, work, play and learn.


“This is a challenging time for business, however, it has never been more important to innovate and that is why we intend to press on with supporting this talented group of innovators.”


The programme follows the Future of Health accelerator programme, which also took place at MediaCityUK and has reportedly seen significant investment and growth for the cohort of businesses involved.


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