The Technology Strategy Board has announced £6m worth of funding for an Small Business Research Initiative competition to develop innovative solutions that can help cities plan more successfully for the future. The funding will be awarded to companies who can demonstrate new ways of achieving better integration of infrastructure and services across a city, by improving understanding of how elements of these systems interact with each other.
The deadline for registration is noon on 7 January 2015 and the deadline for applications is noon on 14 January 2015. More information on the competition and how to apply is available on the TSB website.
- the first city in the UK to trial iBeacons for large scale tourism location services
iBeacons are being used in a trial to promote and enhance visitor experiences across city centre locations in Bristol. Led by Digital Developer Shufdy Ltd, in conjunction with tourism body Destination Bristol, over 200 iBeacons will be located in and around key tourism sites including the Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and St Mary Redcliffe church.
iBeacons, a term coined by Apple, are new technology devices based on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) 4.0 system that works along similar lines to GPS, however, the unique proposition of iBeacons is the ability to function both externally and internally. ibeacons are low powered devices which have little impact on the user’s battery power – a distinct advantage over GPS. The technology is accessed via the Shufdy app on itunes (iPhone 4S and above).
The app will recognise when it is close to one of the beacons and will allow the user to access a small amount of data relevant to the iBeacon. Where possible, the user will then be able to visit a relevant website.
Initially available for iOS7 devices, the app will also be produced for Android devices. On launch, the app will be a prototype with additional locations, functionality and enhanced information added as the project progresses.
Simon Richardson, Managing Director for Shufdy Ltd said, “iBeacons are new to the UK and are currently only being used in trials within retail premises as well as individual visitor locations. We are very excited to be bringing this technology to a large scale tourism based project, encompassing some of the iconic visitor locations in Bristol. Tourism is a natural fit for iBeacons and we see opportunities in proximity based guided tours and a reduction in printed brochures and guides.
Initially the user experience will be limited to basic information, but the data provided in the trial will be instrumental in ensuring that Bristol and its residents lead the way in this highly promising, location based technology solution. The ultimate aim is to develop interactive tours, and proximity based services incorporating live publicly available data.”
Kelly Ballard, Head of Marketing for Destination Bristol said, “We are delighted that Bristol is the first city to trial this new technology for tourism purposes. It has the potential to create an innovative visitor experience and we’re always looking at ways to help people have the best time in Bristol.”
Shufdy will be experimenting with a handful of flag-ship tourism sites that will be complemented by the large scale coverage in certain areas. These sites will feature multiple iBeacons and will demonstrate a vision of internal location based services. Locations include Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge, St Mary Redcliffe, The City Museum and Art Gallery, M-Shed and even the Council Offices at City Hall.
8.00am – 8.30am: Breakfast
8.30am – 9.30am: Team formation and pitching
9.30am – 5.30pm: Hacking (with Pizzas for lunch)!
5.30pm – 7.00pm: Demonstrations, Judging & Prizes
7.00pm – 9.00pm: Dinner and drinks
Sign up on the Meetup page to attend.
The Data Toolkit was funded through the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, and presents a step-by-step guide that will enable arts organisations who are interested in exploring the potential of data to develop engaging and innovative projects with young audiences.
The Toolkit includes templates, case studies, ethics guidance, technical assistance and animations that will support your organisation to:
• Get started with data projects
• Create a fun and unusual method of gathering feedback
• Gather statistics and visualise them in creative ways, so they can be incorporated into exhibitions
• Learn more about the technology and ethics involved
• Collect information about your local area, possibly helping residents start campaigns
• Learn about the possibilities for future work with data and young people for your organisation
Featuring Google, Ogilvy, architect Usman Haque and the University of the West of England, this two-day international conference will explore the theme of the ‘Playable City’, asking what it might mean for citizens, urban planners, tech giants, small companies, artists and designers in imagining and making the cities of the future.
It will examine the growing global movement of unusual city interventions: from Stockholm’s Piano Staircase to Bogotá’s traffic mimes, these initiatives use playfulness to connect people to each other and the places they live and work. Playable City is a people-centred counterpoint to the notion of the Smart City, challenging public narratives around technology-driven cities which often feature a fear of isolation, or the extinction of community and conversation.
On 10 and 11 September, the conference will be bringing together a brilliant group of thinkers, makers, planners and civil disobedients to look at cities as playable places and ask the question: how do we make and unmake our future cities?
The conference will feature playful interventions, networking, debate and discussion, an academic track, plus some artist commissions. Key speakers and practitioners include architect, artist and Umbrellium founder Usman Haque, Director of Google’s Creative Lab Tom Uglow and the makers of the inaugural Playable City award-winning project ‘Hello Lamp Post’, alongside an academic strand convened by the Digital Cultures Research Centre at UWE.
As part of the conference Shadowing by Jonathan Chomko and Matthew Rosier will be unveiled, the winning project of the 2014 Playable City Award. This brand-new artwork will give memory to Bristol’s city street lights, enabling them to record and play back the shadows of those who pass underneath, inviting interaction between those who share a space.
For more information on the conference programme and speakers, visit Making the City Playable Conference.
Fire Tech Camp empowers children and teenagers with the skills to create and innovate using technology. On five-day non-residential holiday camps, young people can design their own video games, get to grips with programming languages Java and Python or invent using Arduino electronics platforms.
Fire Tech are launching camps this summer in Bristol, running 11-14 and 18-22 August, at UWE Bower Ashton. Camps run Monday-Friday 10am-3pm (with extended hours available as an optional extra). Camps are aimed at different age groups between 9 and 17-year-olds. More details on each of the courses can be found on the website.
To celebrate the Bristol launch, there is a special one-time £75 discount on all summer camps. A limited number of scholarships are available, please see www.firetechcamp.com/scholarships to apply.
Do you have an Idea to use Open Data to help people renting accommodation? The best idea wins £40,000 to develop their product
Nesta and ODI have launched a Housing Open Data Challenge which invites teams to use open data to build products and services to help people get the best out of renting (including to provide greater housing options for those renting). This includes both:
- Those who are renting in the private rented sector
- Those who are renting from social landlords.
The winner of the Challenge will be in line for £40,000 equity-free funding to further develop their product.
You can use their CollabFinder to register your interest by creating a profile and submitting your ideas. For further information, including dates for events, please see the full details on the website: http://bit.ly/1isUt1z
Do you have a small/medium business related to Microelectronics in the South West of England? iNets might be able to provide you with support
The Microelectronics iNet project supports small and medium-sized innovative companies across the South West through direct funding, practical support, advice, local and sector network development and highly targeted events. Led by the University of West of England, Microelectronics iNet is a £4.2 million European Regional Development Fund project running until June 2015. They have assisted over 200 companies to date and we expect to help 100 more. Assistance can be in areas such as;
- Patent advice
- Business consultancy
- Funding assistance
- Marketing consultancy
- Technology assessment
- Assistance in finding HEI partners
- Market research
Visit the iNets website for more details: www.microelectronics-inet.co.uk
The Microelectronics iNet has announced a funding competition to support South West SMEs in making their innovative telehealth projects successful.
The deadline for the competition’s ‘Expressions of Interest Form’ is 4 July 2014 and the final deadline for funding application is 29 August 2014. A ‘Matchmaking Workshop’ will also be held on the 16 July 2014.
‘Expressions of Interest Forms’ and further information can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bristol hosted its second modelling workshop with stakeholders within the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone on Wednesday June 11th.
In an intense discussion, sub-groups have produced a list of actions around transport, infrastructure, energy planning and engagement. For further information, email STEEPproject@bristol.gov.uk or visit the STEEP website.
If you are looking for the catch, there isn’t one. Under the Connection Vouchers scheme you can access up to £3000 to offset the capital costs of upgrading your broadband connection to superfast.You can apply for a voucher if;
- You are a SME , Charity or Social Enterprise
- Your connection will cost over £200
- You are asking for a connection to your business premises. If your main work base is at home you can have a connection there, but not if you just work from home occasionally
Full terms and conditions are on the Connection Vouchers National website. If you are a Bristol business and want to apply fill out the form on the Bristol Connection Vouchers website. Hurry though, the scheme closes in March 2015.
Wireless broadband is an important part of the technology mix for delivering 100% superfast coverage. This seminar organised by INCA will discuss superfast-capable wireless technology; the role of satellite broadband; showcase projects that are live or under development; and discuss how to approach securing state aid funding.
Participants include local authority representatives aiming to deliver 100% superfast coverage, industry and project representatives.
The current draft programme is available to download here.
The seminar is scheduled to run from 2pm until 5.30pm and will be followed by a drinks reception. For more details and to register visit here.
Bristol City Council are looking to tender for a framework contract for providers of specialist accommodation for care leavers and other vulnerable 16-18 year olds, or 21-25 year olds if disabled and continuing in education .
The organisations selected will deliver accommodation and support to the target group which aims to increase independence skills and promote engagement with education and employment through flexible packages.
Register for this event if you are able to provide this service and would like to know more.
The Future Cities Catapult (FCC) is a global centre of excellence in urban innovation uniting key players to find new ways of tackling city challenges. They help British businesses grow, whilst making cities better places to live for everyone.
During Big Green Week the FCC are looking for small businesses and innovators in the South West, who are already working on city challenges, to collaborate with the Catapult in developing the solutions that cities need now and in the future. If you are a small business or innovator and would like to apply to attend, please send a 150 word summary of your big idea to email@example.com by Friday 30th May.
Those with the strongest ideas will be invited to attend a half-day workshop at the Arnolfini on 16th June.
Open to SME’s, GamesLab South West is intended to stimulate the development and growth of the games industry by supporting companies in the region with demonstrable high-growth potential. Previous successful GamesLab South West alumni include Swindon’s Evil Twin Artworks along with Bristol based Sun and Moon Studios.
Developers interested in applying for grants up to £10,000 must already have a game at concept stage or currently in development that, by December 2014, will be either:
- At Beta or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage
- Available as “Early Access” for general download/purchase
- Commercially released
The end product must be new IP and the rights remaining with the applicant company once the game is complete
The application close date is the 1st of June, 2014. For more information and how to apply visit the GamesLab website.
Creative England is giving SMEs in the South West up to £5,000 per company to help grow their businesses with the second round of its Business Strategy and Innovation vouchers.
This scheme will support creative companies to subsidise much of the cost of employing an expert to provide advice or support to help progress business plans. Funded by the Creative Industries iNet programme, the initiative has a strong focus on innovation, the exploration of new opportunities to re-purpose existing assets, and how to exploit existing products and intellectual property across new digital channels.
Every voucher must be match-funded by 30 per cent paid by the applicant who needs to be based in Bristol, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset or Gloucestershire.
Applications close once the fund has been exhausted or by 30th August 2014. For more information and details of how to apply for the vouchers visit the Creative England website.
Bristol based technical training company Codarity are offering free places on their Introduction to Embedded Linux Workshop.
Topics covered include building & booting the Linux kernel, debugging user applications and kernel modules and an introduction to working with the U-Boot boot loader & BusyBox.
The workshop runs from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 28th May in Bristol and is free. Places are very limited. Please contact Codarity if you’d like to attend.
This video is from the Bristol City Council ICT Supplier Engagement Event held in March;
#MGM14 – Conference on how museums can harness the power of new technology
Bristol is hosting this important conference at M Shed on 16 May. It will be looking at how smartphones and tablets can be used to enrich the museum experience.
Experts from a range of museums will be on hand to share their experiences of making the most of digital technologies.
More details on the conference and how to book can be found here .