Business engagement for economic growth
Business engagement was a key focus for MK:Smart. While MK:Smart was a project with a strong technological component, its ultimate goal was to contribute to sustainable growth in Milton Keynes. Successful engagement with business was a key precondition to achieving this objective and, therefore, much of the work in the project, both in relation to the design of the MK Data Hub and also in the context of the project’s training, dissemination and partnership programmes, has focused on the needs of the business community, with particular emphasis on local SMEs.
As a result, we are particularly proud of the work we have done in this area. During the course of the project we have engaged with over 700 companies and many of these initial discussions have led to significant collaborations. In particular, about a dozen SMEs have worked intensively with the project team, acting as early users of the MK Data Hub and helping us to test the effectiveness of the infrastructure. A number of the applications developed by these SMEs are expected to be released commercially later in 2017.
Training has also been an important element of this work package and in the course of the project this has taken a variety of forms, including developer workshops, ‘geek girl meet ups’, hackathons and short courses on lean startups and design thinking for smart cities.
Leader: Dr. Paul Sant
University of Bedfordshire
For more information on the Apex Suite (engagement platform that includes both physical facilities as well as providing remote facilities allowing access to the MK Data Hub) please contact the MK:SMART commercial Manager: