IoT accelerator programme IoTA Wales launches

IoT accelerator programme IoTA Wales launches

A new IoT accelerator programme, IoTA Wales, has launched, promising start-ups access to financial investment, knowledge and networking.

A new accelerator, IoTA Wales, has launched and is on the hunt for business to fund. It is looking to identify and support up-and-coming IoT businesses in key areas such as cyber security, energy, manufacturing, education and agriculture.

The program has been jointly created and designed by The Accelerator Network, Innovation Point, Barclays Eagle Labs, Inspire Wales and the Development Bank of Wales.

It plans to award ten of the businesses identified £50,000 of investment money each, in exchange for 10 percent equity stakes in the companies chosen. In addition to this £50,000 investment, participants will each also receive support valued at over £70,000, which includes training and mentoring, office space at the new Barclays Eagle Lab in Cardiff, engineering support and inclusion on a ‘demo day’ designed to introduce them to sources of follow-up funding, scheduled to take place in April 2018.

Major organizations already signed up as delivery partners on the 12-week programme include Sony, Airbus Group Endeavr Wales, Cardiff University, Sorenson Media, Business Wales, TechUK, Pinnacl and RS Labs amongst others.

Read more: Cardiff researchers to lead ‘chatty’ factories project

Wales – the IoT place to be?

A recent Tech Nation report finds that Wales has the fastest growing digital economy outside of London. The Cardiff/Swansea tech cluster creates £392 million annually in GVA [gross value added], employs 17,000 people and saw 103 start-ups launched last year.

The organiser of London’s biggest IoT meet up, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, claims that Wales has a competitive advantage over London that it will need to capitalise on in order to make the most of the commercial opportunities available.

She said: “You can make a profitable business in this space by manufacturing just 5,000 pieces and, through the production of the Raspberry Pi, Wales has the manufacturing capability which we just don’t have in London. That bit is potentially the hardest piece of the jigsaw.”

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “Wales is a dynamic nation that is home to some of the most innovative companies in the world.”

“As we prepare to leave the EU, I want Welsh innovators to seize the opportunities available to expand their companies and help us trade on the global stage.

There’s certainly plenty going on in Wales on the IoT technology front already. In the last week alone, Internet of Business has reported on Cardiff University’s ‘chatty’ factories project and the city council’s aim to save money with smart street lighting.

Applications for IoTA Wales are now open, with a deadline of midnight on Saturday 9th December 2017.

Read more: Cisco and Manchester Science Partnership open Mi-IDEA centre

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Internet of Business

Healthcare and housing companies among seven in Scottish startup IoT accelerator programme

CENSIS, a centre of excellence for sensor and imaging systems technologies, has organised its first Internet of Things (IoT) Explorer programme in order to boost IoT adoption by businesses, with seven Scotland-based SMEs and startups winning a place in this programme.

The successful companies include detainees’ health monitoring technology developer Angel Monitors, Attis Fitness, which creates smart sportswear which when combined with an app, tells the runner regarding their performance and reduces the risk of injury, and Safehinge, producers of doorsets and door components for mental health environments.

Healthcare operator Beringar has won support to develop its sensor technology that can help hospitals make better use of moveable assets and facilities. iOpt Assets is the interim of developing an Internet of Things (IoT) technology that will allow landlords to monitor conditions in social housing and identify problems, if any, such as damp or fuel poverty, for residents.

The last companies involved are a joint bid from DeuXality and Stonnivation, and SussMyBike. While the former are developing an app that will allow mountain bikers to share their trails and times with other riders in remote locations, the latter, SussMyBike, has developed a Bluetooth-enabled, IoT device for real-time evaluation and optimisation of bike suspension – the company said the technology could be extended to a range of other vehicles.

The engineering and project management team at the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems provide the winners up to 20 days’ support. The winners also receive access to facilities at Tontine incubator at Glasgow, entry to CENSIS’s IoT workshops, and assistance in developing an investor pitch.

“These businesses demonstrate that a wide range of organisations are embracing what the IoT has to offer,” said Dr Mark Begbie, business development director at CENSIS. “Not only are they new and innovative ideas, but many of them tackle fundamental social challenges we face today.”

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Washington, Phoenix and San Diego join smart gigabit communities programme

Washington DC, Phoenix and San Diego are among five cities which are now part of the Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) programme, US Ignite has announced.

Albuquerque, New Mexico and Jackson, Tennessee complete the latest entrants who will be joining the SGC network as part of their commitment towards the adoption of next generation smart city technologies.

The SGC programme brings municipalities, network carriers and other corporate partners, non-profit organisations, and the university research communities together to develop smart gigabit applications in order to address local community needs, including education, workforce development, public safety, community health, smart energy, and transportation.

The announcement focused on various initiatives taking place in the cities. Current smart city projects in Washington DC include smart waste management, movement analytics, and water quality sensing, while Jackson has partnered with Jackson Energy Authority to align the city’s gigabit infrastructure as a tool, test bed, and accelerator for economic, educational, and community benefit.

In Albuquerque, the initial phase of a project to install LED lighting around the city includes plans for sensors and cameras in key places for monitoring and data collection, while Phoenix is able to provide the best tools to the area’s entrepreneurs to help them build their companies and create real solutions for Phoenix residents and businesses. San Diego, the newest participant in the programme, will advance innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in the city and further promote collaboration among local government, community leaders and corporate partners.

Every year, the newly announced SGC communities will develop two gigabit applications or gigabit services to provide advanced technology solutions to issues faced by that community, as well as sharing those applications with other SGCs.

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