Milton Keynes Council and The Open University have signed a strategic partnership agreement with Tech Mahindra to collaborate in the smart city arena.
Tech Mahindra is a global Indian IT firm with a significant presence in Milton Keynes – their products and services cover computer networking, cloud computing, sensors, m2m solutions, social network analysis, and solutions in water, energy, automotive, and aerospace. The signing ceremony for the Memoranda of Understanding was attended by Tech Mahindra CEO, C. P. Gurnani; Milton Keynes Council CEO, Carole Mills; Mayor Derek Eastman and Open University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Tim Blackman.
Milton Keynes is already a pioneer in the Smart Cities field, with participation in significant activities such as The Open University-led MK:Smart project. With this landmark agreement, Milton Keynes joins international cities like Dubai as one of Tech Mahindra’s global partners. This latest alliance is expected to contribute towards ensuring Milton Keynes leads the way in the United Kingdom’s Smart Cities revolution. The Open University, with a strong track record of harnessing the latest technology to benefit its students and business, will join Tech Mahindra in developing innovative smart city solutions that have a tangible benefit for citizens and businesses alike.
MK:Smart Project Director, Professor Enrico Motta commented on the relationship between the international giant, which employs 95 thousand employees, and The Open University:
“Tech Mahindra have offices in Milton Keynes and share our aims – it’s a very promising partnership. Both organisations are focused on the future of technology, and smart cities provides an intersection for those interests,” said Motta.
Enrico also took this announcement as an opportunity to underline the importance of MK:Smart in terms of assuring that Milton Keynes’ continued growth represents a success story in terms of the UK economy, despite there being an increasing pressure on the city’s resources and infrastructure from a fast-growing population.
“Milton Keynes has always been a city with one eye on the future, but its success means stress points are starting to be reached,” said Motta. “If we don’t address the issues, the growth and economic success may slow down.”
Tech Mahindra has highlighted the value of smart thinking for Milton Keynes’ economy, suggesting that in Milton Keynes alone, the field of Smart Cities has the potential to increase employment at a rate of 2,600 jobs per year.
Professor Gerd Kortuem, who is working with citizen groups and energy companies in Milton Keynes to develop user-centred smart city solutions, explained:
“Tech Mahindra’s strategic vision and global reach will be a tremendous benefit to Milton Keynes and The Open University. Tech Mahindra understands that smart city initiatives must involve citizens as active players and deliver tangible benefits to citizens. At The Open University we are happy to be able to share our expertise to realise this vision.”