MK:Smart Project Director, Prof. Enrico Motta, delivered a keynote talk at the Westminster eForum this week, giving a research perspective on the ‘UK Smart City market’.
The Westminster eForum is a platform for policymakers in Parliament, Whitehall and regulatory agencies to engage in a dialogue with key stakeholders on public policy relating to technology. Participants include academics, technology businesses, domestic customers, interest groups and the voluntary sector, as well as press and commentators.
Recent research commissioned by the UK Government suggests that the UK can gain a 10% share of the Smart Cities market, estimated to be worth $400bn by 2020. Hence, there has never been a better time to consider investment in smart initiatives. This Westminster e-Forum seminar entitled ‘Smart cities: innovation, infrastructure and the opportunity for the UK’ put the spotlight on UK initiatives, such as MK:Smart. It highlighted the challenges in utilising information technology to improve the coordination of infrastructure and services in UK homes and urban areas.
Delegates considered the opportunities arising from the rapid growth of networked technology and data sources in areas such as utility supply, transport and remote healthcare. Challenges including investment, coordination and technology standards were highlighted, as well as the “wider social and environmental implications of ‘smart’ solutions to overcome urban challenges through improved mobility, efficiencies and productivity in UK cities.”
Enrico’s presentation focused on the innovation elements of the ‘UK smart city market’ and in particular he emphasised the importance of projects such as MK:Smart, which progress the smart city agenda by taking an integrated approach to innovation in Smart Cities, spanning different sectors and including both top-down technology development, as well as bottom-up citizen and business engagement activities, and educational ones. Enrico joined Léan Doody, Smart Cities Lead at Arup; Colette Maloney, Head of Unit, Smart Cities and Sustainability Unit, European Commission; and Richard Swinford, Partner, Head of Telecoms and Media, Arthur D Little, in confronting questions such as, ‘What developments in open data and open standards are needed to support UK innovation and enterprise to make a real difference to improving the coordination of urban areas?’ and ‘What are the next steps needed to generate jobs and growth through helping to solve the major logistical challenges facing UK cities?’ The panel was chaired by Oliver Colvile MP, Acting Chair and Secretary, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Excellence in the Built Environment.
Also attending the seminar was Iain Stewart MP, who has been a visible supporter of MK:Smart, even calling the project to the attention of David Cameron in January this year (Read more).