Bristol gets EU funding for smart city project

Bristol has won European Union funding to help implement smart technology as part of ongoing efforts to transform the city into a smart city.

The city of Bristol, working in partnership with San Sebastián in Spain and Florence in Italy, has been granted €25 million (£18.7 million) from the EU’s Horizon 2020: Smart Cities and Communities programme.

The consortium — called REPLICATE (REnaissance of PLaces with Innovative Citizenship And TEchnologies) — plans to create integrated smart city solutions to tackle problems such as traffic congestion, poor air quality and unsustainable energy use.

Key findings and successful ways of working in these three ‘lighthouse’ cities will then be replicated by other cities across Europe.

Welcoming the success of the bid, Kevin O’Malley, city innovation team manager for Bristol City Council’s Connecting Bristol programme, said: Winning the REPLICATE bid further shows how Bristol is leading the way in researching what the cities of the future could look like and we are delighted to be collaborating with our local partners and with colleagues in San Sebastián and Florence.

It is great to now finally be able to implement the smart technology our bid covered in order to create cities that are better equipped and more resilient to the future.

Bristol has also applied to become the UK’s first Internet of Things (IoT) demonstrator city region, which would generate an investment of nearly £17 million if the bid is successful.

This competition is delivered by Innovate UK on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which says it will invest up to £10 million in a single collaborative research and development project.

The winning project will demonstrate how the IoT can be implemented on a large scale by connecting everyday objects to a network in order to share their data. This can benefit citizens by offering environmental improvements, economic opportunities, and more efficient and effective delivery of services such as transport, healthcare and energy, the DCMS said.

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