Digital Catapult Announces Things Connected Expansion

A a recent immersive lab event Digital Catapult hosted

Digital Catapult has announced the expansion of its Things Connected low powered wide area network programme.

Digital Catapult is a technology innovation centre designed to unlock digital growth in the UK economy. The organisation works with companies of all sizes to transform businesses by accelerating the practical application of digital innovation. Digital Catapult says its job is to bridge the gap between research and industry, finding the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.

The body connects experts with established enterprises, start-up and scale-up businesses and researchers to discover new ways of solving big technological challenges in the digital manufacturing and creative industries.

Digital Catapult will manage the investment of £540,000 into regional network consortia invited to bid for this opportunity.

The expansion is expected to deliver coverage in up to five additional regions of the UK which in turn will extend support for the creation, development and testing of new Internet of Things services and applications.

Things Connected is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) and innovation programme established in 2016 and now has network coverage across Greater London as well as Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Bradford.

Applications for the new regional hubs are being invited via an Open Call process from partners who are looking to test and deploy services on LPWAN technology. Selected partners will use the network to run innovation programmes for UK start-ups and scale-ups to develop IoT solutions that address real business and economic challenges.

ZSL London’s Zoo’s penguin colony checks out anti-poaching technology installed by Digital Catapult
ZSL London’s Zoo’s penguin colony checks out anti-poaching technology installed by Digital Catapult

The programme will allow the selected partners to implement and operate a free-to-use regional LPWAN network enabling new product testing, experimentation, demonstration and piloting of IoT products and services. Successful bidders will receive an allocation of the funding and LPWAN hardware, along with access to expertise and technical training from Digital Catapult.

LPWAN enables long-range wireless data communication between connected devices and is designed to deliver versatility combined with its low running costs. The platform is suitable for enterprises interested in asset tracking and inventory control to councils looking to monitor social infrastructure.

Beyond supporting individual organisations, the widespread roll-out of LPWAN will benefit the whole UK economy, says Digital Catapult.

The value of IoT services could reach between $100bn and $300bn for the UK by 2025, with the proportion of those delivered over LPWAN likely to be around 25% of this figure.

 “Through our Things Connected programme we are building an ecosystem to foster the development of new innovative products and services and increase the number of UK companies delivering on the Internet of Things ”, comments Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult. “Extending the initiative to become more of a nationwide programme is a critical step in this journey. We see a huge opportunity for the whole of the UK in the IoT space to increase our global competitiveness. We are looking to engage with forward thinking organisations on the roll-out of LPWAN as this will play a critical role in bringing the UK to the forefront of IoT development.”

Interested parties can get involved by applying online to the open call at here.

The deadline to submit proposals is 5.30pm on September 29, 2017.

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