The U.K. has been getting serious about promoting the Internet of Things in recent years. In 2014, the government announced more than £40 million ($60 million) in funding for research in the area, and just last week it created an umbrella program, IoTUK, to coordinate the efforts of the various organizations that are receiving a cut.
IoTUK brings together elements of the Future Cities Catapult and the Digital Catapult, both part of a larger effort to stimulate the nation’s up-and-coming industries. The program will work with the technology and business communities, as well as the public sector and academia.
The main elements planned for IoTUK are:
- Choosing a “city demonstrator” to deploy and test IoT technologies in the urban environment;
- Creating a research hub focused on security and trust in new devices and emerging networks;
- Forming a hardware accelerator to launch new products and devices; and
- Building a “test bed” for exploring the use of IoT technologies in healthcare.
“The societal impact from improving city infrastructure through to making IoT healthcare a reality is huge, and the UK needs to be at the cusp of these things to stay ahead,” said Neil Crockett, CEO of the Digital Catapult, in a news release.
IoTUK has already put out the call for case studies on existing IoT projects and projects to highlight in physical showcases at the Future Cities and Digital Catapult centers. Soon it also plans to announce details of “local innovation challenges and rapid incubation activities” that will be open to participants across the U.K in coming months.