MK:Smart at the Hypercat Summit 2016

hypercat-full-logo-on-whiteThe Hypercat Summit 2016 was an evening of lively, informed debate on IoT, Smart Cities and personal data. A truly international audience at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 20 June had the pleasure of hearing from a wide range of experts and thought leaders who gave short presentations, followed by open debate.

Chaired by Merlin, Lord Erroll, the evening included a presentation from Dr John Davies of BT who has been a leading contributor to MK:Smart and sees that the time is now for IoT technologies

to deliver real opportunity.

Milton Keynes is referenced by Prime Minister David Cameron in a forward to the Summit’s accompanying brochure, ‘Smart Cities: Innovation through Collaboration’, as having shown “a great appetite to trial new ideas and systems”.

In an article on smart city ecosystems, John Davies goes on to say, “An important focus [for MK:Smart] is the creation and support of an IoT ecosystem. In this example, the shared context is geographical: the city of Milton Keynes. The people who live and work there – as well as organisations responsible for transport, energy and water supply, and education institutions and businesses in and around Milton Kenyes – all have direct interest in a range of reliable and up-to-date city-related information.

“A focal point is the MK Data Hub, which aims to support the emerging local IoT ecosystem. It delivers the platform provider role described above, offering a number of services to other stakeholders in the project.

“It is becoming clear that the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders in an ecosystem and to understand the advantages of each participant is a key factor in realising the potential benefits of IoT.”

In an article on making Milton Keynes smart, Geoff Snelson, Director of Strategy for the city, puts MK:Smart into context: Milton Keynes is set on a trajectory of growth, and between 2010 and 2026 expects to have built an additional 28,000 homes, expanding its current population of more than a quarter of a millions residents considerably. This rate of growth will inevitably exacerbate a number of challenges with the supply and consumption of basic essentials such as energy, food, transport and water.

However, beyond everyday necessities, Milton Keynes must also remain a city that drives economic growth and engages with its residents in an exciting, collaborative and rewarding way. In order to address this challenge, Milton Keynes has embarked upon a strategy of smart city innovation through the MK:Smart project.

“We have got an exciting range of work streams,” says Snelson. “We are building apps. We are investing in infrastructure. We have got innovation competitions launched and managed via our new web-based platform. Perhaps most importantly, we have established educational initiatives such a the Data Schools programme, with which we are providing data feeds to schoolchildren so that that can develop apps. Also, there is the Apex Suite, based in the city centre at University Campus Milton Keynes, which engages with SMEs to give them access to the MK Data Hub.”

Crucially, all of the data provided by the MK Data Hub is Hypercat compliant. “That is one of the conditions for people getting involved in the data hub,” says Snelson.

To find out more about Hypercat, visit

To find out more about the MK Data Hub and how data can deliver for your organisation, visit