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Updated: 19 hours 29 min ago

Free online course on the Internet of Things begining 23 November.

1 July, 2015 - 09:17

Do you want to learn more about the potential impact of everyday objects connecting in autonomous machine to machine networks? The Internet of Things will revolutionise how we live, work and play and this free course could help you or your business take advantage of this emerging technology. The course, organised by Future Learn and delivered by Kings College London,  doesn’t begin until 23 November but its free and registration is already open so go ahead and lock down your place.

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Event: Transform Digital, 15 and 16 September, At-Bristol, BS1 5DB

30 June, 2015 - 11:46

The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA) are holding their a series of events and their annual conference here in Bristol on 15th and 16th September. These “Transform Digital” events offer fantastic opportunities to explore the changes that are happening right now in digital connectivity and to get insights and answers to questions such as:

  • What’s the difference between superfast and ultrafast and what does it mean?
  • What sort of digital infrastructure do we really need and are we building it fast enough in our urban and rural areas?
  • What should the new Government do to help the market invest in the digital infrastructure of the future?
  • What regulatory actions and regimes are needed to ensure that the UK has infrastructure that is ‘fit for purpose’?

You can register to attend the conference on the INCA website, delegate fees are £145 plus VAT.

Some of the additional events running alongside the conference include;

Better Broadband for Bristol Businesses
15 September, 09:30-12:00, @Bristol, Free

Led by Bristol City Council and INCA this workshop is a great opportunity to find out how to get financial support for better broadband. We will discuss the connection voucher scheme, the benefits of better broadband for small businesses, the suppliers that can help businesses connect and how to apply to the scheme.

Geared towards: Owners & Managers of small businesses interested in improving their broadband services, technical specialists, business connectivity suppliers.

INCA Technical Showcase
The Art of the Possible: How to Build a Better Network

15 September, 14:00-17:00, @Bristol, Free for conference delegates (otherwise £50 + VAT)

This showcase will be a series of presentations, educational segments, case studies and roadmap sessions from a range of companies who can help anyone interested in investing, designing or building a Next Generation Broadband infrastructure – ‘Superfast’ and ‘Ultrafast’. We will discuss what these terms mean in practice and give an end-to-end view of the individual components required to create a successful project.

Geared towards: Local project promoters, funders, technical and business consultants, policy-makers.

3D Data Visualisation and Planetarium
15 September, 18.00 – 18.45

All conference delegates are invited to an exclusive show at the newly refurbished planetarium where they will be treated to the UK’s first 3D planetarium show and data visualisation dome. The planetarium’s system is powered by 17 computers driving two 4K resolution projectors, and for data visualisation purposes is hooked up via a 100Gbps fibre link to a supercomputer at Bristol University.

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Bath Hacked “Summers of Data” event, Saturday, July 4, 2015 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM

26 June, 2015 - 14:49

Our esteemed next door neighbour data group Bath Hacked are holding a one day hack event at the Guild Hall in Bath. Bath Hacked have made a real impact over the last couple of years and have recently incorporated as a Community Interest Company which is well worth celebrating. Sign up on Meetup and go along to what should be a fun and relaxed day with some really cool data folk.

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Take on the Bristol Go Green Challenge and trial your innovation on the RBS estate, application deadline 7 July

25 June, 2015 - 08:56

The search is on for the most innovative conceptual, garage-tested and market-ready solutions to trial on the RBS estate Bristol.

Do you have an innovative solution that can help RBS’ Bristol premises with any of the following?

  • Energy and efficiency
  • Travel and transport
  • Planning and resilience for local networks and communities
  • Happy and healthy workplaces and colleagues
  • Sustainable sourcing of local products and services.

The Bristol Go Green Challenge has ambitious targets, such as creating the first carbon neutral RBS branch at Fishponds. Now the challenge team are on the hunt for SMEs and innovators to help achieve these targets.  If you think your innovation fits the bill apply to the Bristol Go Green Challenge today for the opportunity to trial your innovation on the Bristol estate.

The deadline for applications is 7th July 2015. Further details can be found by signing up to the RBS Innovation Gateway.

Join the RBS Innovation Gateway to find out more here.

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MySociety are coming back to Bristol, Thursday 23rd July between 7pm and 10pm

24 June, 2015 - 14:52

After a successful visit to the City last year, MySociety are taking the show on the road again and coming to see us in Bristol. They will be hosting a meetup at the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer pub function room, 17-18 King St, Harbourside, Bristol , BS1 4EF.

There will be speakers from MySociety and local guest speakers, get more information on the event website and sign up via the meet-up’s Lanyrd page.

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Bristol Ageing Better Radio launches 12:00, Monday 29th June on Ujima FM

23 June, 2015 - 16:44

Bristol Ageing Better Radio will be a lively show run by and for older people, featuring interviews, discussions and news about what’s happening in the city.

The team are currently looking for sponsors for the show on Ujima FM. The cost is £100 per show, and sponsors will be mentioned four times. If you would like to sponsor the show, please contact Bianca Rossetti at, or on 0117 929 7537

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How do you fancy a N.I.C.E. Award? 1st July deadline is approaching.

23 June, 2015 - 15:08

The Network for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (N.I.C.E.) 2015 award challenges the cultural and creative sectors to propose surprising and experimental innovations that are solutions to difficult global problems with special, but not exclusive, attention given to digital innovations. If you have a project you’ve been working on and some supporting video why not put together an application.

The 4 most surprising and experimental projects, research projects and political strategies will be awarded with up to €20,000. A special prize will be given for entries in the field of digital innovations. The call is open to single individuals such as artists; or organisations such as companies and public institutions or agencies, non-profit foundations or initiatives as well as single researchers of research institutions from within the cultural creative sectors.

The call is open until 1st July 2015 and the winners will be chosen in September 2015.

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Come along to our open event “Connecting Bristol to the Internet of Things”: Watershed, July 6, 6-9pm

21 June, 2015 - 17:40

Innovate UK will soon be launching its £10m competition to establish a single city Demonstrator for the Internet of Things.

You are invited to attend a presentation and open discussion about how IoT can create new opportunities and address existing challenges in our city.


Centre for Cities and McKinsey recently recognised Bristol and Bath as the most significant and fastest growing UK ICT cluster outside of London.

Existing initiatives, such as Bristol is Open, REACT, Playable Cities, SPHERE, TOUCAN the Venturer driverless car project and the council’s own Smart City programme are cementing Bristol’s reputation as a leading laboratory for change.

Existing city incubators, such as the Pervasive Media Studio, Engine Shed, Watershed, the Bristol Robotics Lab, The Cabot Institute and Knowle West Media Centre are bringing together digital innovators, researchers, financiers and the community.

The result is an increasingly creative, smart, green and connected city that focuses on smart urbanism and liveability.


This is an opportunity to explore how we can build on existing strengths and known gaps, To deploy IOT at large scale to help Bristol become greener and more resilient; less congested and more mobile; happier and healthier; more productive, efficient, and knowledgeable and richer in the creative and culture experiences that are on offer – creating a world-class liveable city.

This is an opportunity to hear about work that is already underway and to enter in to open discussion with the Council team who will lead the city’s IOT Demonstrator bid, University and city partners in Bristol’s Digital Eco System and other participants in the event.


18:00 – Arrival drink in the link area of the Watershed bar

18:30 – Welcome and presentations on existing Bristol IOT activities

19:30 – Discussion of Bristol IOT priorities

20:30 – Summing up

21:00 – Close


The discussion will shape and inform the bid that Bristol City Council will submit to Innovate UK.


This is an open event that is free to attend, however, places are limited so register quickly.

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Take the latest RBS Innovation Gateway opportunity with the Bristol Go Green Challenge

10 June, 2015 - 16:34

The latest RBS Innovation Gateway opportunity, the Bristol Go Green Challenge, is now open for applications, offering innovators the chance to test their green solutions in RBS branches and buildings in Bristol.

The Bristol Go Green Challenge is looking for new ideas to tackle a range of resource efficiency challenges.

The bank is already trialling low-carbon technology in its Trinity Quay office building and its NatWest branch at Fishponds as part of last year’s Innovation Gateway round. The Ten successful innovators and SMEs from the inaugural round are currently testing their products in selected RBS buildings and branches across the UK.

Now RBS has set its sights on Bristol, launching a Bristol-focused challenge as part of the engagement with Bristol European Green Capital 2015 and Bristol 2015’s Go Green scheme. Go Green, jointly organised by Business West and Low Carbon South West for Bristol 2015, is asking organisations in the city to create and implement an action plan to improve their green credentials.

If you have an idea, garage-tested, or market-ready solution that can help tackle resource efficiency on our Bristol properties and would like to opportunity to trial your innovation on a live test-bed then this challenge could be the perfect fit. Successful innovators in the Bristol Go Green Challenge will test their products in the Trinity Quay building and the Fishponds branch.

  • Challenge 1: Energy and Resource Efficiency
  • Challenge 2: Travel and Transport
  • Challenge 3: Planning and Resilience
  • Challenge 4: Happy and Healthy
  • Challenge 5: Sustainable Sourcing

Speaking about her involvement in Round 1 of the RBS Innovation Gateway, Carol McKown, CEO, RAISE Energy said:

To think it is only 90 days since we flew over to the UK for the Finalists Day and now here we are, with purchase orders from RBS, our product installed and now opportunities with Carillion that offer multi-million, multi-year contracts. The Gateway has been a miracle for us

Matt Hatcher, NatWest’s director of commercial banking for Bristol, said:

Small businesses and innovators often struggle to get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to larger corporates, which means it’s often difficult to get the chance to prove their brilliant ideas can work. Trials and test beds like the one we are offering are crucial for innovators to accelerate their access to market.

To find out more about the Bristol Go Green Challenge sign up to the RBS Innovation Gateway visit

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Funding available for UWE PhD as part of our new Wellcome Trust’s Sustaining Health project

10 June, 2015 - 09:23

University of the West of England have funding for a PhD student conducting research related to “Moving health and sustainability upstream into strategic urban development decision-making”.

The deadline to apply is 29th June so move quickly if you are interested.

For more details or to apply

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Invitation to the launch of Smart City Forum’s report on ‘Procurement, Finance and Business Models’

8 June, 2015 - 10:13

Come along to the Urban Innovation Centre on  Thursday 25th June for the  for the launch of the Smart City Forum’s report on ‘Procurement, Finance and Business Models for Smarter Cities‘ and hear its recommendations to government for unlocking the market in the UK.

Speakers include:

  • Paula Hirst, Fellow, Future Cities Catapult
  • Julie Alexander, Director of Urban Development, Siemens
  • Stephen Hilton, Director, Bristol Futures
  • Iain Watson, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency Team, Green Investment Bank.


  • 8.00am Light breakfast and introductions
  • 8.30-9.30am Presentations and discussion
  • 9.30-10.00am Networking.

Places are limited, so please secure your place now by registering here.

Time: 8.00am-10.00am

Venue:Urban Innovation Centre

One Sekforde Street



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Going to Venturefest? Get involved in the HP Future Cities Innovation Hot-House Challenge

3 June, 2015 - 10:26

HP are launching their Hot House Challenge on 9 June at Venturefest Bristol & Bath. The Hot House Challenge is a competition for organisations to submit a disruptive idea or business model that is suitable for public or commercial service which betters peoples’ lives and the environment in a city like Bristol or Bath. It could have a social, health, education or transport focus. HP will provide time, expertise and tools to the winner of the competition to co-design and develop their idea to a prototype with their end user target audience.

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Open Data Institute looking for Ruby on Rails developer to work on website directory

3 June, 2015 - 09:40

The Open Data Institute are looking for contract support to develop their existing membership directory. The work is outlined on github but involves;

  • getting the directory app to display the data as lists
  • publishing data as CSV and JSON
  • adding search capabilities

Contact James Smith ( if you might be interested in taking on the work.

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2 June, 2015 - 09:42

Credit: Stefan Marjoram / Image Source: Flock and Siemens

IT support company, Netitude, with offices in Bristol and Frome is supporting the Bloodhound Project as exclusive Product Sponsors of event WIFI. The BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car (SSC) is the ultimate jet and rocket powered racing car designed to go at 1,000 mph in order to break the current land speed record of 763 mph. The 1,000 mph runs will take place in the Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in 2016.

The BLOODHOUND Project runs various events around the country to inspire the next generation to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to increase the profile of and investment in the engineering adventure that is BLOODHOUND SSC. During these events the BLOODHOUND team require internet access and WIFI for the crew, public and media in attendance, which Netitude is providing.

More of Bristol and Baths leading innovative companies will be showcase at this years Venturefest on 9 June- tickets are going fast so book now.

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New Europe-wide open data incubator programme offers startups €100k equity free funding

1 June, 2015 - 09:12

ODINE is a European Union programme focusing on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) building their business around open data. Proposals which have a clear focus on open data innovation could be considered for funding which can be spent on salaries, equipment, consumables, travels, subcontracting to other parties (e.g., for marketing or legal support), and indirect expenditure (office space, office infrastructure etc. calculated as 25% of the total direct costs). The overall support package includes;

  • up to €100,000 per company
  • expert advice from business mentors
  • peer-networking and support
  • technology and data sets
  • high-quality coverage in The Guardian datablog;
  • brokering introductions to business angels and venture capitalists.

You can apply for the funding on the ODINE website.

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Event: Venturefest Bristol and Bath, Tuesday 9th June 2015 The Passenger Shed & Engine Shed, Bristol Temple Meads

18 May, 2015 - 15:28

There is a very strong line up of events and speakers at this years Venturefest. The line up is so strong in fact that many of the sessions are already booked to capacity, but if you move quickly there are still one or two opportunities to be there in person. If you don’t manage to secure a place you will still be able to follow the action on twitter at @venturefestbb, or watch some of the sessions which will be streamed live.

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Free Event: Get up to £3000 to boost your business broadband, 19 May, 10-12, @Bristol, Anchor Road BS1 5DB

29 April, 2015 - 15:41

Business and public services are becoming ‘digital by default’ and customers and clients expect you to respond increasingly rapidly. As more business operations transition online, we all begin to use real-time services more intensely, more photos, video, uploading bigger files – designs, drawings, financial information and that new website you’re planning.

Most businesses find that no matter how up-to-date their PCs and internal networks are, their broadband connection becomes critical.  When you are uploading to clients, or using backup and “cloud” services like Dropbox, a weak, slow connection is a competitive disadvantage.  It doesn’t have to be like that.

Come to this seminar to find out about the Government’s Super-Connected Cities scheme offering broadband grants of up to £3000 for small businesses in Bristol, Bath North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. At the seminar you will find out how the scheme works and meet some of the suppliers that can help improve your business broadband.

Who should attend: Managers of small businesses interested in being more competitive and growing, technical specialists, business connectivity suppliers, landlords concerned about better connectivity for their tenants, local authorities.

Even if you are not currently using your broadband connection that intensively now, all the evidence suggests that demand for bandwidth is only going up.  Don’t let your internet connection become the weak link in your business growth – when there’s real financial and technical help available.  Get advice, meet potential suppliers and get pragmatic support.

Places are limited so Register here today

This seminar is one of three events organised by INCA in Bristol on 19th and 20th May. For more details visit

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Free event: Making Information Accessible: How to Write for Different Audiences, 7-830pm, 28 April, Engine Shed Bristol

27 April, 2015 - 13:56

Information is a major component of our lives. But how can you make sure the information you produce and present is accessible and inclusive to a wide range of audiences?

This talk will be presented by Katie Grant, an accessible communications consultant specialising in the content and design of information – both on and offline. Katie is former publications and editorial manager at the Disability Rights Commission and now runs an inclusive editorial and design consultancy – Raincharm Communications. She has also developed an accessible method of writing called Easy and Clear.

Sign up to attend at Meetup.

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Building a Smarter Bristol

27 April, 2015 - 09:46

Increasingly devices and sensor are being deployed in the urban environment. This equipment has the potential to tackle some of the complex problems many Cities share, such as congestion, unsustainable energy use, and pollution.

The University of Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory has developed a network of sensors, the “Array of Things”, generating highly granular open data to inform planning decisions and power the apps and services to make the City more livable and sustainable. Wired recently looked into the potential of this technology which one day we might see operating in the streets of Bristol.

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Event: Transform Digital, @Bristol, 20th May

21 April, 2015 - 14:35

In the world of digital infrastructure it’s clear that we’re moving into a new environment, after a period where the Superfast agenda resulted in nearly all the public funding going to one big player. Now, driven perhaps by frustration in rural areas and by investment opportunities in cities, we are seeing the accelerated development of alternative networks and services and new players entering the market. New solutions are emerging at scales ranging from community ‘crowd-funded’ projects, private commercial operators in villages and towns and public companies developing ‘Gigabit Cities’.

In the public policy arena, there is growing awareness that “Superfast is not enough” and probably not the ‘end-game’. The government’s Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy looks towards the development of “Ultrafast services” and proposes new financing mechanisms such as the UK Infrastructure Guarantee Scheme to support investment in new networks. The recently announced Ofcom review of Digital Communications, the first formal review for 10 years, and the increasingly strident calls for BT Group to be broken up from key industry players such as Sky, Vodafone (both INCA members) and TalkTalk point to concerns that the existing industry structures may not be ‘fit for purpose’ in the long run.

Cities across the UK are actively seeking their own solutions as they fear being ‘left behind’ in comparison with nearby competing economies, where, for example businesses in Stockholm can buy symmetric gigabit connections for €25 per month. The SuperConnected Cities programme, has become more interesting – with the use of vouchers for group schemes in business parks for example – and businesses are more aware of the financial and operational benefits of better digital connectivity. As business becomes increasingly digital, as more public services are delivered online and as we all seem to depend more on our connected technology, the infrastructure becomes even more critical to our economic success and social wellbeing in both urban and rural areas.

The Transform Digital: Bristol conference is organised and hosted by INCA and will be held in @Bristol, Anchor Road, Bristol BS1 5DB. The conference and associated events on 19 and 20 May 2015 offer fantastic opportunities to explore the changes that are happening right now and to get insights and answers:

  • What’s the difference between superfast and ultrafast and what does it mean?
  • What sort of digital infrastructure do we really need and are we building it fast enough in our urban and rural areas?
  • What should the new Government do to help the market invest in the digital infrastructure of the future?
  • What regulatory actions and regimes are needed to ensure that the UK has infrastructure that is ‘fit for purpose’?

Chris Townsend, Head of BDUK heads the speaker list alongside leaders from industry, the public sector, and community broadband schemes.

Delegates will discuss:

  • The Rise of the Gigabit Cities – Urban projects led by companies like CityFibre, Hyperoptic, ITS and UK Broadband. How the new infrastructure fits into the Smart City agenda, economic development and the need to create jobs in the CDIT sectors
  • Superfast and Beyond – Rural schemes like B4RN and Cotswolds Broadband alongside private sector players like BT, Gigaclear and wireless/satellite providers delivering services in the hardest to reach areas. We have invited BDUK to participate and help shape this part of the agenda
  • Digital Business – Innovation and the impact of high speed, low cost, symmetric networks on the development of businesses in the digital and creative sectors and SMEs more widely. Connecting business parks and enterprise zones. Expansion of the Super-connected cities voucher scheme
  • Driving Demand and exploiting the wider benefits of new digital infrastructure for service providers and the consumers and businesses they serve
  • Investing in Digital Infrastructure – models that are succeeding at getting new investment in both urban and rural areas – Virgin Media’s investment is encouraging other investors in digital infrastructure.
  • The New Minister’s In-Box – the big issues for Government over the next 5 years.

Register promptly to get the Early Bird discount (prices increase by £50 per person from April 18). INCA members benefit from a 25% discount on both early bird and standard rates (members will be provided with a unique discount code). A small number of free places are available for delegates from unfunded community broadband projects. Please send email to to request a free place for your organisation.

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