Case Study

Smart City Testbed with MediaCity and Connected Places Catapult

The client

In just ten years MediaCity has become one of the world’s leading media and tech hubs. Situated in the City of Salford and home to the likes of the BBC, ITV, Ericsson, dock10 and Kellogg’s as well as more than 250 smaller media and digital businesses it is a vibrant, sustainable destination to work, live and play, on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

The Testbed was co-funded by the Connected Places Catapult in what was their first initiative located outside of London. 

The brief

The team at MediaCity wanted to enhance their credentials as a leading Innovation Zone helping to tackle real-world problems. n the coming decade a £1bn investment will see MediaCity continue to grow. This will include more workspaces, more new homes, more public and green spaces, increased connectivity and tech infrastructure, more inspirational ways to spend precious downtime.

As lead Innovation Partner of MCUK, UP Ventures were tasked with creating and delivering their first Smart City Innovation Testbed. The overarching theme was centered around supporting human-to-human services. Its mission was to bring together a cohort of technology businesses that could help citizens do more with their lives safely and sustainably through technology.

  • How can places evolve and adapt to encourage meaningful interaction and creativity?
  • How can technology enhance sustainability and safety in existing and new building design?
  • Can technology positively enhance future business models for small and large-scale developments and the organisations they support?
  • How can places support Homes for Healthy Ageing?

The results

The Smart City Testbed brought together a cohort of 6 outstanding technology businesses with the potential for high growth.

The testbed allowed both MediaCityUK and the cohort to learn from each other.

Together, led by UP’s team of specialists, they were able to pilot solutions and use a unique group learning experience to solve problems and test ideas. Each business was able to demonstrate to MediaCity how they could create value in a real-world environment.

MediaCity has been able to find new investment opportunities and to take the learnings from the testbed into other projects around the North West of England. These insights help drive efficiencies at scale, providing better services, saving time and money on current and future developments.

The Cohort

Hello Lamp Post has created a way for city planning to be centred around citizens’ needs and ideas through making every day street furniture interactive.

Amto Technology uses IoT devices and advanced algorithms to help employers monitor the pollution levels to which their staff are exposed.

Cyber Defence Services’ IoT security platform monitors devices connected to the network and detects threats.

Secure Sensor Innovative Design has built a system which allows organisations, such as care homes and housing associations, to monitor temperature and humidity levels. Additionally, its IoT system can also detect sudden falls from elderly residents.

R-Com’s Smart City solution comprises a suite of sensors that counts passengers on public transport, measures air quality and monitors vehicles on the road.

Pulse Systems designs, builds and deploys cloud-connected smart sensors and solutions which allow businesses to understand their workspaces in greater detail.

Further reading

"It was always the intention that MediaCityUK would not just be a property development and that it would be a place of innovation and creativity.

"The testbed has provided real-life proof of what can be achieved with IoT technology and has shown that MediaCityUK is a place where you can trial new technology.

"I'm excited about the testbed companies that have come through the programme and what they might be able to do in and around MediaCityUK in terms of helping people to live, work and play.”

Stephen Wild, Managing Director of MediaCityUK
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