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UK SMEs earn funding for city solutions

Each start-up receives up to £10,000 each to help demonstrate connected devices across London’s Things Connected LoRaWAN

Start-ups were invited to enter the competition to solve city challenges in London
Start-ups were invited to enter the competition to solve city challenges in London

The UK’s IoT marketplace is worth £13.3bn and is expected to rise to £20bn by 2018

Winning ideas will make use of London’s Things Connected low power LoRaWAN

Six SMEs from across the UK have been awarded a share of £50,000 funding after coming up with ideas to solve city challenges in London using the Internet of Things (IoT) platform, Things Connected. The winning solutions tackle areas such as noise pollution, making cycling safer and helping the NHS utilise under-used space.


Awarded by Future Cities Catapult, the UK Government-supported centre of excellence in urban innovation, the funding will be used to develop the ideas and demonstrate connected devices in London using the Things Connected Low-Power LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network).


The winning proposals are:

  • Beringar (Edinburgh) are testing light and environmental sensors to identify unallocated and under-utilised space within the health estate. This has the potential to increase patient convenience, save money and ultimately help the NHS improve the quality of care.
  • BuggyAir (London) will develop their prototype to provide real-time information on pedestrian and cyclist’s exposure to pollutant, using route visualisation and comparison.
  • Fosters and Partners (London) are developing a system to monitor noise pollution in capital, allowing ordinary people to collect and visualise local information about the sound around them. This will enable Londoners to mitigate the effects of noise and give people a basis for informing policy to shape their community.
  • Joyride Technologies (London) in partnership with the London Cycling Campaign, will be using sensors to collect information about how families commute around the city as cyclists. This can then be considered in the infrastructure planning process.
  • KloudKeeper (Exeter) will demonstrate their smart rainwater capture, reuse and release hardware, minimising flooding and reducing water demand.
  • Nymbly (Cambridge) are testing their air quality management app that has a direct impact on health in the workplace. Their newly designed advanced sensors offers data accuracy to room level and through data modeling, informs building owners to take action by improving the ventilation system, humidity control or filtering.

With the UK’s IoT marketplace currently worth £13.3bn – and expected to rise to £20bn by 2018 – the Things Connected network provides huge opportunities for entrepreneurs and developers to test and trial new ideas that can be rolled out on commercial networks.


“We’re pleased to announce the winners of the Things Connected Open Call, and look forward to seeing how they use IoT devices to solve city challenges ranging from flooding, to air pollution, to helping the NHS make better use of its buildings,” said Future Cities Catapult CEO, Peter Madden.


He added: “Here at Future Cities Catapult we actively engage high-growth businesses to drive innovation for urban development. By supporting UK SME’s with funding, we further position the UK as a world leader in connectivity.”


The shortlisted SMEs have six weeks to deploy devices, which will determine the viability of their solution.


Things Connected is an innovation support programme that will ensure London is open and ready to innovate with IoT. The network is not built for commercial purposes, but rather, for testing and trialing new ideas. Once developed these innovations can be launched on one of the commercial networks covering the UK today.


Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. It brings together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.


If you like this, you might be interested in reading the following:


Urban warning for the UK for 2017

The CEO of Future Cities Catapult warns of potential future threats to UK cities ranging from cyber-attacks to far-right politicians



Digital Catapult launches IoT network across London

Free to use Digital Catapult Things Connected will drive business adoption of IoT, bringing experimentation and innovation to help transform life in the capital



Future Cities issues £50,000 IoT open call to SMEs

Winning SMEs will receive up to £10,000 each to develop and demonstrate connected devices in London

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