Equipping local authorities to be trusted brokers of smart city data

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< Project Overview >

The increased availability of data, alongside opportunities to process and utilise it, present a huge potential to city transform services for the better. However, local authorities currently face major barriers, alongside a lack of expertise, preventing innovative ideas.

Most city services are currently privately managed, with restricted and expensive licensing options and non-standardised, application specific platforms. In addition to this, issues of trust arise, as citizens are increasingly concerned about how their data is used, shared and monetized. Relying on external platforms can restrict the ability of cities to plug into new IoT solutions.

This project aims to overcome these challenges by creating an end-to-end toolkit, alongside training materials and guidance, to position local authorities as a trusted and transparent broker of IoT data.

This novel approach will allow cities to develop a platform strategy overcoming many of the technical and commercial barriers associated with third party data platforms. The overarching aim is to build the capacity of local authorities as data brokers by addressing two key challenges

  • Accessing IoT data – guidance on appropriate commercial and legal frameworks, including procurement specifications, model contracts, business models and operating principles.
  • Sharing IoT data – specification of a cost effective, secure and scalable cloud-based platform, supported by a federation of linked APIs to act as an integration engine and open marketplace for citywide IoT data.

The project will draw on existing real world experience working with local authorities to design and deploy connected infrastructure and data driven services. This includes Newcastle University’s work to establish the densest network of publicly-available real-time environmental sensors in the UK. The project will also benefit from the expertise of Urban Foresight, a specialist consultancy focused on deploying smart city technologies and services.

The toolkit, guidelines and training materials will be delivered in a series of workshops.

Project lead:

Professor Phillip James and Dr Luke Smith at Newcastle University


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