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Innovation

UK tests smart city tech with $39 million investment

One city in the UK will demonstrate how technology can help cities integrate their infrastructure.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor on

The United Kingdom is looking for one city to be its showcase for smart city technology.

The Future Cities Demonstrator project will invest about $39 million (25 million British pounds) into the integrated city systems market, one that is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years.

The point of the project is to "demonstrate how [cities] could integrate their transport, communications and other city infrastructure to improve the local economy, increase quality of life and reduce impact on the environment."

Competition for the big grant will be a two step process. About 20 cities will be awarded smaller grants of about $78,000 (50,000 British pounds) to do a feasibility study and propose how they would integrate the new tech into their city. But in the end only one city will receive about $37 million to carry out their plan.

“People and technology are developing and changing all the time, and we can’t expect our cities to stand still while that is happening," said Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. "Cities face major challenges such as changes in population and demographics, congestion, waste and pressure on resources and services. This underlines the need for our future cities to have high-quality, integrated infrastructure to meet these challenges,"

Only cities or urban areas with more than 125,000 residents will be elegible to apply. By my count that's about 52 eligible cities.

This project is headed by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK's innovation agency. The agency is also working on a project called the Future Cities Catapult, which aims to "help UK businesses to create products and services that meet the needs of the world’s cities as they adapt to future demands."

Photo: Flickr/kirstinmckee

(h/t Tech World)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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