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Bristol invites projects to experiment in smart city test lab


Bristol City Council’s smart city joint venture is calling on public, private and academic organisations to test out their technology in its research and development facility.

Bristol is Open is a test lab that can be used to study telecommunication, software, hardware, data and sensing technologies using its optic fibre broadband, wireless and high performance computing infrastructure. 

The joint venture between Bristol City Council and University of Bristol is inviting academics, startups, SMEs, corporations and government bodies to use the network to help develop their smart city products and services.

It is particularly keen to hear from those developing solutions for the health and life-expectancy of citizens, traffic flow, air quality, AI and 5G communications.

Citizen impact

Julie Snell, managing director of Bristol Is Open, said: “True smart city innovation positively impacts on citizens’ lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and that is at the centre of our purpose.

“We are driving citizen wellbeing improvements through technical and digital means by partnering with community and urban organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre and we want to do more. Our living lab allows for street-level projects to be rigorously tested on our private, secure network to manage risk and feasibility before implementation.”

Bristol Is Open offers a testbed infrastructure including a research and development network of high speed bandwidth via fibre with multiple wireless technologies, including Wi-FI, a low power wireless lamp post canopy mesh, 2G, 3G, 4G and some 5G technology.

It currently has around 10 projects running on the platform, covering areas such as smart home and energy, live energy consumption data from smart goods, and air quality and mobility data to help identify the least polluted and safest routes to walk around the city.

So far the project has worked with BT on a collaboration to test 5G connectivity with engineers from the University of Bristol and the University of Lund in Sweden. 

Image: iStock



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