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Cabinet Office backs connected cities competition



Milton Keynes Council will provide a testbed for standout idea from BT initiative aimed at promoting role of SMEs in smart city development

The Cabinet Office and Milton Keynes Council have got behind BT in drumming up support for investment in smart cities technology with the launch of a competition for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide relevant ideas.

The BT Infinity Lab SME Awards 2016: Connected Cities also has the backing of TechHub, a networking organisation for technology entrepreneurs, and is aimed at showcasing ideas for future digital products and services in areas such as health and social care, transport and education, employment and skills and across the wider public sector.

The finalists will be judged at a 'Dragons' Den' event on 26 April

Four category winners will pick up a modest £7,500 each, double that for the overall winner, but the latter will also get a chance to work with Milton Keynes to develop the idea. The council has established itself as one of the leaders in deploying internet of things (IoT) technology to support public services. BT will also provide some support for winners.

Fostering innovation

Geoff Snelson, director of strategy at Milton Keynes Council, said: “Milton Keynes has established a leading smart city programme that aims to foster business innovation and growth so we’re very pleased to be working with BT on this great initiative and are looking forward to helping make the great ideas the competing SMEs have come to life in our city.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock, also voiced his support.

“We are recasting the relationship between the citizen and the state, making public services simpler, clearer and faster and taking advantage of state-of-the-art digital technologies,” he said. “To get this right we need to draw on the expertise of digital innovators from all over the country, and especially small businesses which we know to be some of the most innovative in the marketplace.”

Image: Creative and Smart City, Maurizio Carta, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

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