Category Archives: Living in a Smart City

Three ways of how Big Data is being used today

Christine Twiford, Manager Network Technology Solutions T-Mobile, explained the three ways of how Big Data is being used at the moment. Big Data, THE buzzword and main topic of conversation in the technology and SME world, is being explored more and more.

According to Christine, Big Data is currently being used for:

  • Discovery
  • Decision-making
  • Persuasion

Regarding the ‘discovery’ aspect, she mentioned that Big Data is used to test data sets and to find ways to define and better understand them. This makes it understandable but also shareable and usable for corporations and individuals because Big Data is analyzed in such a way that it actually starts to make sense.

Secondly, Big Data is being used in decision-making. As soon as data sets are defined and narrowed down to understand the value of them, hypothesises can be created which can then be tested. Through this, real-life scenarios are developed and the influence of big data on citizens (or customers) can be measured.

Finally, after Big Data has been discovered (understanded) and has been used to test hypothesis and pilots, the outcomes can be used for persuasion. The outcomes of the use of big data can be visualised to share findings and push change and innovation.

Christine emphasises the importance of opening up both corporate and government data to drive the economy. In collaboration with academic researchers, government institutions and NGOs, great innovations can be realised. A close collaboration is necessary as “researchers need corporation’s data to do their research and corporations need the academic methods to do their research effectively”. Consequently, a true win-win situation will be realised.

 

 

International Festival Of Business – North

The International Festival Of Business – North reflects the UK government’s ambitious plans to rebalance the economy, and to promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth fostering prosperity in all parts of the country including the North of England.

During June 2014, The International Festival Of Business will showcase the North’s most vibrant growth sectors and will present international visitors of note. Growth in professional services, knowledge, creative, retail and hospitality replaced the loss of jobs in the traditional port-related and manufacturing industries in the late 20th century. The festival will show this proving Liverpool’s focus to create a true entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives the city to new levels of growth. It will be led by Liverpool Vision.

To realise this, it is essential that more and more businesses in Liverpool receive the right motivation to export, grow, innovate and to attract partners from across the world to transform the city into a true investment hub.

The festival will create the opportunity to promote the city’s vision that the Mersey will once again become the key global trading centre and to create connections with growing economies such as:

  • USA
  • India
  • Europe
  • South America
  • China

It will last for four continuing weeks and the weeks will be themed. So far, the following themes have been selected:

  • WEEK 1: Low Carbon
  • WEEK 2 – 3: Knowledge
    (including creative and digital,
    professional and financial, life sciences
    and advanced manufacturing)
  • WEEK 4: Port & Logistics
    EACH WEEK:
    International Conferences/Seminars/
    Business Dinners/Workshops/Exhibitions

The Wirral International Trade Centre (ITC) will also be opened in 2014 which will be the first of its kind in the UK and the largest Trade Centre in Europe. It will form part of the greater Wirral Waters project and will sell an unlimited variety of goods to the wholesale market into the UK and the whole of Europe.

Moreover, the North Liverpool Investment Tower ‘The Look Out’ will be created, this will be an eye catching permanent building of the highest design providing a unique venue for investment events and meetings.

All together, the International Festival of Business- North creates the perfect opportunity to put Liverpool in the spotlights and to showcase its investment opportunities and valuable assets. An event to look forward to.

Intel at Connected Liverpool

Last Friday was a most interesting day for the Connected Liverpool Team. It was delighted to welcome Ajit Jaokar, CEO futuretext, and Sandhiprakash (Sandhi) Bhide, Senior Strategist and Technologist at Intel (Oregon), in Liverpool to spend the day meeting Smart City developers.

The main goal for Sandhi was to get an understanding of Liverpool’s most challenging issues and to learn from the city’s initiatives to make the city smarter and better connected. To do so, Connected Liverpool had arranged for him to meet several thought leaders in the city who are all using their strengths and sharpening their focus to revitalise the Liverpool City Region.

At 9 a.m., we started our first meeting with Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Millar at the Town Hall where also Professor Alan Harding, Head Department of Public Policy University of Liverpool, joined us. After a most interesting guided tour through the Town Hall provided by Garry Millar, coffee and tea was served and the conversation around ‘Smart’ Liverpool was opened.

After the Town Hall, we visited Liverpool Vision – the city’s economic development company – where we first met up with Lisa Ashby, Business Growth Manager at Liverpool Vision, Rajinder Basi from The Vault, and Leslie Beattie, Head of Commercial and Visitor Economy at Liverpool City Council. Meeting these people was most important for Sandhi to get an understanding of the city’s Business and Visitor Economy developments and plans for the upcoming years. The use and storage of data was a regular returning topic as well.

At 11.30 a.m., Connected Liverpool, Ajit Jaokar, Sandhi and Professor Alan Harding met Max Steinberg OBE, Chief Executive Liverpool Vision – in his office in the Liverpool Vision building. Max Steinberg explained Liverpool’s impressive plans to attract more investment, create jobs and drive the economy with such projects as the International Festival of Business, the Wirral International Trade Centre, and Mersey Waters. Additionally, a great amount of time was spent to discuss Liverpool’s steps forward to become a smarter city. Topics such as enhancing the quality of life and empowering citizens to achieve more in collaboration with partners outside the Liverpool City Region were high on the agenda.

At 12.15 p.m., lunch was served in the Royal Liver Building in the beautiful space “The Light” of Rights and Humanity. In the good company of Professor Julia Hausermann MBE, we enjoyed a lovely meal to close a successful and most interesting morning.

Straight after lunch, we visited Mike Taylor, Smart City Board and Director of High Growth at the LEP, in the Local Enterprise Partnership office next to the Mersey. Mike Taylor informed Sandhi about the LEP’s agenda regarding the key growth sectors of the Knowledge Economy, Visitor Economy, Low Carbon and the SuperPort to accelerate the rate of growth within the Liverpool City Region. A most informative and detailed talk which shows how ambitious this organisation is.

Meeting Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a, Built Environment Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Research Institute, was scheduled at 2 p.m. This was a most interesting meeting, the professor showed us his sensor laboratory and demonstrated some of his cutting edge work with sensors and microchips. Sandhi was most impressed with his work and we are looking forward to meet Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a again soon.

Our last meeting was at the University of Liverpool where we met up with Professor Yi Huang and Doctor Yaochun Shen of the Electrical Engineering Department. As Connected Liverpool is closely collaborating with this and other departments within the University of Liverpool, this was a perfect final visit of the day.

All together, a most interesting day with interesting people. We truly hope that Sandhi from Intel got a better understanding of the community spirit in Liverpool to transform the city into a smarter and better-connected place. We also like to thank Ajit Jaokar for his work in making this possible. It was a pleasure to have you with us again Ajit!

 

 

IBM Research – Ireland

Ireland is the proud host of the one and only IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre. This lab conducts research in water, energy, marine environments, city fabric, transportation and computing offering such features as Smarter Water, Smarter Transportation and Smarter Energy.

The lab is led by top researchers from leading academic institutions including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Cambridge University, the Australian National University, and Trinity College Dublin. Additionally, the lab is directed and managed by individuals with significant experience at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

The research lab conducts research in collaboration with leading universities, cities, and industry partners and focuses on science and technology for intelligent urban and environmental systems considering such areas as analytics, optimizations, and systems for sustainable energy, urban water management, transportation, and the underlying city fabric that assimilates and shares data and models for these domains. Even though it has been operating for over a year now, it still belongs to the pioneers in the field. A most interesting research centre.

As an example, we have added a link to IBM’s activities in the “Smart Water” space.

Smarter water

 

 

Smart City Wien

Even though we are very much aware of ‘Smart City Benchmarks’ around the world such as in the US and in Asia, the city Vienna which is just around the corner manages to keep its presence in the Top-5 of most Smart Cities around the globe. With its 1.7 million inhabitants, the Austrian capital Vienna is one of the best examples of urban quality of life in the world. Smart City Vienna is a project consortium under the direction of the Vienna city administration.

The main goal of the Vienna city administration seems to be focused around energy. Smart City Vienna formulates Vienna’s energy future as a long-term Smart Energy Vision 2050, Roadmap 2020 and Action Plan 2012-2015.

Vienna is very much focused on stakeholder involvement, relevant stakeholders affected directly by the above mentioned climate/ energy plans are invited to actively participate in the Smart City Forums. The city really seems to have adopted a bottom-up approach. A special steering group was set up to lead the stakeholder progress.

Thomas Madreiter, Project Manager – Municipal Department – Urban Development and Planning, stated the following:

“Vienna meets all the requirements as a smart city to have a leading role in climate-related research and technological development in Europe. With the FIT for SET programme we will launch the necessary measures in order to make the most of our advantages.”

The FIT for SET programme refers to the stakeholder involvement project we mentioned earlier. Smart City Vienna has many different partners such as Siemens AG Österreich, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and the Vienna University of Technology to realise their agenda of a smarter Vienna.

We are keen to watch their progress in their Smart City adventure, we’ll keep you posted!