Category Archives: Renewable Energy

Connected Liverpool @ Innovate UK

Last week, Connected Liverpool exhibited at InnovateUK 2013, the UK’s
leading multi-sector innovation & trade event for business. Recognised by the Technology
Strategy Board as one of the top 25 most innovative companies in the UK, Connected
Liverpool got invited to showcase its work at the event.

Innovate UK 2013 was a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade
& Investment. Innovate UK brought together 4,000 people from UK and international
business, Government and academia, with the aim of accelerating UK economic growth
by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade opportunities.
The program of keynote presentations given by Government ministers, business leaders
and industry specialists provided some great insights into the future products and
processes that are in development.

The three days (11-13 March) covered the following topics:
Day 1: Research for Growth: Commercialising the UK’s research base
Day 2: Market and Technology Opportunities
Day 3: Global Growth: starting up and scaling up

The event offered multiple seminars and talks focused on their daily topic. During day 1, the collaboration between the public sector and academics, and between the private sector and academics was a popular topic. The University of Strathclyde from Glasgow was an impressive benchmark in cross-sector collaboration as it attracted the first Fraunhofer investment in the UK after the city of Glasgow became home to the first foreign HQ of the Fraunhofer research centre. Additionally, it hosts the TSB Health Catapult, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the Future Cities Demonstrator project. Overall, an impressive list.

The Emerging Technology and Industry programme (ET&I), which was set up in 2010, explained its key investment areas and work over the years between 2010 and 2012 within the spaces of Synthetic Biology, Energy Efficient Computing and Energy Harvesting. For the near future, it will focus on identifying the ‘next’ technologies to feed the pipeline of innovation.

Besides the seminars, the Connected Liverpool stand was a popular place during the event allowing the team to establish great connections with people from all over England and abroad in different sectors. Overall, WE LOVED IT!

 

Smart Lightbulb

Imagine a smart eco-friendly LED powered bulb that has a tiny electronic brain and some awareness of what’s going on around it. It is clever enough that if you put it in a bedside lamp it could detect that you have woken up and heading for a midnight toilet visit, it knows the time, so it turns on dimly to not hurt your eyes. It could flash an urgent amber to remind you that your pizza had enough time in the oven and most importantly, it can connect to other objects over Wi-Fi.

These smart lights could automatically fade on and off to save energy as your home’s occupants amble from room to room. They could alert you when you’ve got new emails, triggered by signals coming from your PC or tablet, or help you find a mislaid smartphone by detecting its Wi-Fi signature and then steering you to the room where you have left it. This is really useful, this is smart.

By being smart, the traditional lightbulb is transformed into a helpful and interactive Internet of Things device. Its smart powers may contribute to your relaxation, health or happiness, as lighting effects your mood.

This technology is arriving as we speak because multiple developments have happened all at once. Coloured LED lighting is now powerful, reliable and low priced enough to be built into consumer electronic devices and sold cheaply in bulk. Tiny low-processor chips, like those by ARM, and their ancillary circuits are powerful and ubiquitous thanks to innovations in smartphone design. Moreover, wireless radio systems like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are ubiquitous, tiny, cheap, and economical enough to be built into devices like a lightbulb. This technology creates the ability to transform everyday objects into smart and magical items.

The technology could even go into your home’s irrigation system. Imagine a lawn that knows when it needs a sprinkle by detecting the dryness of the grass or a flowerbed that knows it needs water by detecting the soil dryness. This system will then be smart, and will not waste water. Smart lightbulbs could also be used for security systems by placing sensors in the bulbs that detect intruders, and report in real-time.

To conclude, the smart lightbulb could perform all kinds of functionalities to increase our quality of life and assist us in our daily lives. We are keen to follow the next exciting developments for this ‘smart bulb’.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Barcelona: SmartCity Centre of Excellence in the 22@ district

The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, has signed an agreement with the Chairman of Schneider Electric España, Julio Rodríguez Izquierdo, to create the first SmartCity Centre of Excellence in the 22@ district.

With this initiative, the Council aims to turn Barcelona into a world smart city benchmark, boasting applications for smart mobility, energy-efficiency enhancement (managing water, distribution networks and buildings) and citizen relations with the authorities.

Rodríguez Izquierdo accordingly explained that his company and the City Council would be co-developing a smart-mobility plan for Barcelona.

“For some time now the Council has been at the forefront of this Smart City commitment, a concept that will raise the level of well-being for people”, explained Trias.

For his part, the Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat, Antoni Vives, explained that the agreement would be creating “a future prospect for the good of the city’s future”.

The centre will operate as a technology knowledge and development cluster, focused on smart city management. One of its main objectives will be to promote a collaboration framework with university centres, institutions and businesses, to launch research lines and encourage the incorporation of highly qualified university staff. Therefore, there will be subsidised programmes and exchanges promoting specialist training.

The agreement also commits both sides to the joint promotion of the City Protocol initiative, a global city-model standard that will allow varying levels of excellence to be assessed.

We from Connected Liverpool are very impressed with this initiative. It proves how    forward-thinking Barcelona really is. We’ll keep you informed….

College Dorms in Denmark

A university in Denmark has created a circular dorm that will make you incredibly frustrated at the tiny double room where you spent your college years. Bet you didn’t have french windows, balconies, and a bike workshop.

It’s hard not to be envious of the students who get to live in Copenhagen’s Tietgen Student Hall (Tietgenkollegiet), a 288,000-square-foot, seven-story building designed as a communal space for residence. Among the building’s features:

  • All rooms face outwards, thanks to the building’s circular space (a symbol of its equality and communal nature). That means everyone gets ample natural light.
  • The rooms all have energy-efficient floor heating and their own showers and toilets (a big bonus for anyone who has shared a bathroom with their entire dorm hall).
  • Every room has either a French window or a balcony.
  • 30 kitchens in the building, each of which has four fridges and two stoves.
  • A ground floor given over almost entirely to common facilities, including a bike room, two music rooms, a gym, a computer room, a study room, an assembly hall, and an outdoor area for basketball and other sports.
  • Three workshops: a sewing workshop, a bike workshop, and a wood workshop.

In the U.S., universities are quickly figuring out that they must add amenities to attract students–they’re featuring everything from climbing walls to sustainable improvements but Tietgenkollegiet offers an impressive combination of energy efficiency and community building.

Combining sustainable improvements with community building to optimise student’s academic performance and well-being seems the way forward.