The UK has a new national champion for smart infrastructure development.
SmarterUK, announced last week by techUK, plans to promote the benefits of smart infrastructure solutions for citizens, businesses and the wider UK economy.
Initially, it will focus its efforts on three areas where smart infrastructure development will have the biggest impact: energy & utilities, transport and smart cities.
But what exactly is smart infrastructure? TechUK defines it as the application of digital technologies to public services, infrastructure and business in order to reduce cost, increase efficiencies and deliver better performance. And the company says that its development will have a profoundly positive impact on our lives — a fact that SmarterUK is committed to championing.
The new organisation is chaired by Dan Byles, a former Conservative MP and founding chairman of the Smart Cities APPG, who said: Smart infrastructure will revolutionise the way we use and interact with technology. It will drive efficiencies in transport, energy and the built environment and many other areas. Such efficiencies will be a boon to productivity and the government’s Northern Power House agenda. Crucially, we believe that the possibilities of smart infrastructure should be high in the mind of all regions as they are granted increased devolved powers.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP, added: With powers being devolved from Whitehall, our cities and businesses are well placed to make the best use of smarter technologies that can help meet the changing needs of local people and cities.
I welcome the launch of SmarterUK, which I hope will work with councils to make this country a world leader in smart cities.
The use of digital technology in innovative ways is transforming the delivery of infrastructure and will drive both new efficiencies and new customer and citizen experiences in using city infrastructure. We are delighted that OC is a founding member of SmarterUK, the new national champion for smart infrastructure development.
Simon Hobday, Partner