Business Technology

Entrepreneurial Internet of Things scheme launches as part of £40m government investment

3 min read

10 September 2015

Former deputy editor

As part of the government's £40m investment to support the Internet of Things, a three-year programme called IoTUK has launched to “help business and economic growth”.

During the Budget in March, chancellor George Osborne revealed a plan to create “cities of the future” with a £740m pot for broadband enhancements, the Internet of Things (IoT) and more.

Describing IoT, which secured a £40m investment, he said: “This is the next stage of the information revolution, connecting up everything from urban transport to medical devices to household appliances.”

In July, the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Innovate UK introduced a £10m fund to bring businesses and local authorities together for collaboration on IoT projects that can support residents.

With developments continuing, the latest has arrived in the form of IoTUK, which is billed as a “national programme designed to amplify the UK’s Internet of Things (IoT) capability”.

The Digital Catapult and Future Cities Catapult will oversee the three-year programme, which is out to evolve leadership in the sector and increase the adoption of the tech among businesses and the public sector.

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Promising to “play a central role in enabling IoT entrepreneurship”, IoTUK will partner with organisations for projects that can be applied to cities as well as health and industrial areas.

Neil Crockett, CEO, the Digital Catapult, said: “We are at a pivotal point in the evolution of the Internet of Things and the UK is ready to maximise the huge potential of smart technology.”

However, counteracting Osborne’s claims at the launch of the fund, he said it’s not about smart fridges and point-to-point connections.

“This is about the combination of interoperability, AI and machine automation to create a game changer to the business models of every sector in the economy,” he explained.

“The societal impact, from managing city infrastructure through to the delivery of our health and social services will be huge. To stay ahead the UK needs to be at the cusp of driving and gaining a new competitive edge from the fundamental technological changes that will happen in the next five years.”

The scheme will ensure the investment has maximum impact by coordinating with partners and overseeing the research hub for security, trust and healthcare. Additionally, a number of workshops and events will be held in coming months to get more companies involved.

Crockett concluded: “We will work to unleash the potential of systematic IoT deployment to make our economy stronger and our lives better. We are proud to be part of the future of IoT and are excited to play our role in making it a force in the future of our society.”