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Updated: 1 day 24 min ago

Job opportunity: Head of Bristol Brussels Office, Bristol City Council

17 April, 2014 - 09:50

This is a unique opportunity – to become the first official representative of the city of Bristol based primarily in Brussels and offered on a consultancy basis with flexible terms and a competitive package for up to 3 years. The role is focused on European and International funding opportunities as well as the impact of European policy and legislation on the city. As Bristol becomes European Green Capital 2015, you will ensure the City makes the most of this accolade, including winning multi-million pound grant funding.

Details of how to apply are available via this website. The closing date for applications is 2 May 2014.

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STEEP 6 month newsletter now available

10 April, 2014 - 14:48

Keep up with the latest STEEP progress by downloading the first project newsletter at our website.

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Short film showcasing electric vehicle infrastructure

10 April, 2014 - 14:29

Source West has just launched a short film created by Green.TV. The film showcases Source West’s regional charging point infrastructure operated by Charge Your Car:

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Florence hosts second STEEP project meeting

8 April, 2014 - 10:24

The second STEEP project meeting took place in Florence on Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd of April, signifying the end of the first six months of the project. All partners attended a highly productive two-day session which included a tour of Florence’s Cascine park and technical presentations from the University of Bristol, Tecnalia, ATAF and CSE. Project coordinators ‘Fomento de San Sebastian’ confirmed that the project is progressing well and outlined key tasks for the next 6 months. For further details please email: or visit our STEEP project website.

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Event: Green and just? Inclusive Sustainability, 14 June 2014, The Park, Knowle, BS4 1DQ

7 April, 2014 - 10:54

This Schumacher Institute Futures Conference will explore the pressing issues of inclusion and sustainability.

The scale and complexity of sustainability problems means solutions need to draw upon the widest possible base of knowledge and experience; a truly representative range of needs and perspectives need to be taken into account.

Speakers at this event include:

  • Dr Sue Porter: With a background in social work, social policy and practice development, Sue has recently been working on Walking Interconnections – an AHRC funded research project that reflects on the voice of disabled people reflecting on environmental concerns.
  • Marvin Rees: Marvin works in public health, has a background working with international development organisations, with political activists in the US and UK and as a BBC journalist and radio presenter. He may also be known to many as the runner-up in Bristol’s first mayoral election.
  • Chris Sunderland: Chris is a founding director of the Bristol Pound and has worked with a number of food growing projects in the city that deliberately attempt to cross cultures. He is currently responsible for ‘Real Economy’- a project designed to bring fresh, healthy food to areas of high unemployment and little choice in food retail.

Want to find out more or register? Please visit:

Any questions, please contact Emmelie Brownlee.

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Source West releases video showcasing the regions electric vehicle charging infrastructure

4 April, 2014 - 11:38

Source West has been developing a regional electric vehicle charging infrastructure and digital services that will allow EV users to plan and undertake journeys throughout the region.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Q) Which Bristol ward is harvesting the most sunshine?

2 April, 2014 - 16:16

More and more data sets are being released in open formats which means it is possible to download them and analyse them. There are also growing numbers of tools available to allow data to be presented in attractive and informative ways.

One particularly rich data set is the Feed In Tariff Installation Report produced by OFGEM. This identifies all energy generation schemes eligible for the Feed In Tariff (such as solar panels) and groups them by Census areas called Lower Super Output Areas.

This means it’s possible to look at variations in the take up of Solar PV across the City of Bristol. This shows surprisingly different take up rates by ward. Using the free Google Fusion tool it is possible to show these rates on a “heat map” colour-coded by the amount of solar power installed – .

So, the answer to the question: “Which Bristol ward is harvesting the most sunshine?” is “Southmead” which has 489kW of installed solar PV capacity, closely followed by Stockwood with 410kW and Hengrove with 406kW. As a city, Bristol had 8.1MW of installed photovoltaic schemes registered for the Feed In Tariff  on 31 December 2013– that’s quite a lot of harvested sunshine!

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Access real time air quality data via the “Internet of Things”

2 April, 2014 - 10:26

With the current alerts on air quality across the UK it seemed timely to write a post about sensor technology and the Internet of Things. The concept is that in a Smart City more and more sensors will be connected to the internet so that people can access data that is relevant to them.

Air quality sensors are a good example of such a technology and data on air quality can be accessed via

DEFRA’s air quality forecast can be accessed here:

Internet-enabled sensor technology is still in its infancy but it is predicted to be an area of very fast growth and an area that Bristol, as European Green Capital 2015,  is keen to be a leader in.

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Donate your old devices to help Bristol’s Open Device Lab

25 March, 2014 - 13:50

Open Device Labs (ODLs) are shared community pools of internet connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, or consoles, and are open for developers to test their websites and apps.

If you just got yourself a new smartphone or tablet and are looking for a helpful new use for your old device, consider donating it to an Open Device Lab. ODL Bristol was the 100th Lab to be established in this worldwide initiative. Everyone benefits from access to a free device testing pool – including donators.

Websites or apps unfortunately do not always work as expected, especially across mobile devices. There are around 20,000 different models, and about 15 new devices are released every week. Each variant of a device is unique and comes with its own technical quirks and hurdles. Having access to these varied devices, both modern and older, is critical for testing the user experience but often poses problems to developers creating new content.

As a comparison: car manufacturers calculate a significant portion of cost of a car for testing purposes. But when it comes to the production of digital experiences, budget cuts are very likely to hit the test budgets first. People who support ODLs with device donations are supporting local and international developers and their users, independent of manufacturers or brands.

If you just decided to support ODL Bristol, go to now. Just fill out the form there and give your functional old device a meaningful new existence for the greater good.

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Breakfast briefing for high tech companies looking to expand or export to China, 29 April

20 March, 2014 - 09:45

If you are a high tech business looking to create a presence or export to China you can join this Breakfast briefing to learn more about the Smart Cities China Trade Mission from 7th – 16th November 2014 to Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The mission will focus on promoting local business and expertise into one of the fastest growing and largest economies in the world and assist in securing partners, projects, start up and export opportunities.

  • Export to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies
  • Meet local government, industry bodies, partners & potential clients
  • Develop insight for market growth within China & Asia Pacific
  • Exchange ‘knowledge’ and network with like-minded industry experts

The event will be held in Bristol on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM. Visit eventbrite to sign up for the free event.

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16 March deadline for ideas for Energy and Environment Open Data Challenge in Bristol

6 March, 2014 - 16:07

Innovators from across Europe have just over a week left to put forward their project ideas for community energy solutions as part of a pioneering Open Data Challenge run by Bristol City Council, Nesta and the Open Data Institute (ODI).

Bristol is acting as the test-bed for the project, which encourages people to use open data to come up with fresh ideas for schemes which allow people to group-buy the energy to save money, take action in the community to improve energy efficiency or even start communities generating their own energy.

Anyone can take part but it is hoped that entries will come from a range of teams including businesses, start-ups, social enterprises, individuals, community groups, academics, students and special interest groups, all of which will use open data to build products and services that support the aim of the project.

Project idea need to be submitted by Sunday 16 March for a chance to make it through to Bristol’s Creation Weekend (22-23 March) where teams get together and pitch to become one of the three finalists for the last stage of the Challenge.  The Challenge Weekend is a major milestone in the programme of events that Bristol is putting together as part of the British Energy Challenge.

To take part people can submit their project idea on the participant platform online at

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson said:

“Bristol is increasingly being recognised as a test-bed for new ideas and this is one of many practical projects where the city will benefit from encouraging new ways of doing things.

“As European Green Capital for 2015 it’s absolutely fitting that we spend this year looking for energy saving projects and methods to benefit communities.  Bristol will be the first to benefit from the results, though of course the winning schemes will be ideas that can be applied nationally and across the world.”

In order to give participants a stronger opportunity to develop ideas from open data ODI and Nesta will also provide business mentoring support after the Creation Weekend for the three finalists. They will get support from the ODI in the form of data expertise and Nesta will provide help potential businesses hone and market their products and provide evidence of their likely impact.

Ed Parkes, Programme Manager for the Open Data Challenge Series, Nesta, said:

“Open Data is increasingly playing an important role in our public services and many are making more available. Community energy is one such area in which we believe open data can support fascinating products and services that get more people directly involved. We are looking forward to working with Bristol City Council and seeing the range of prototypes people come up with.”

Anyone with an idea for a project which could help towards meet the aims of the Challenge and could develop into a sustainable organisation can add their profile and idea to Challenge participant platform by Sunday 16 March for a chance to make it through to the Creation Weekend in Bristol.

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Meet the Supplier event, Bristol, 25 June 2014

2 March, 2014 - 11:10

Bristol City Council and the Federation of Small Businesses are organising a Meet the Supplier event for 25 June 2014 in Bristol.

Buyers frequently find it too time consuming to sort through the myriad of local suppliers to find those who might be able to offer them something better. Smaller businesses, often with innovative products and services, can find it difficult to make effective approaches to larger buyers.

The Meet the Supplier solution should streamline the process for both sides – shortening supply chains, saving money, improving products/services for the buyers and improving your corporate social responsibility, whilst boosting the small business sector and delivering a positive economic impact to the Bristol region.

Each participating buyer will be invited to send along a buyer/procurement officer for a series of short (15 minute) one to one meetings with various sellers they have pre-selected – you would only see businesses you have chosen as having goods or services you need. It should provide a very cost effective way of meeting or identifying new suppliers and, because of the pre-filtering process, you would only see companies particularly relevant to your requirements.

For buyers there is a small fee to cover refreshments, administration and exhibition space – this will be £30 + VAT.

Please let Jason Thorne at Bristol City Council know if you are interested in take part, email:, tel: 0117 922 2042

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19th Feb from 630pm its Bristol #KittenCamp at the Big Chill Bar, Bristol

19 February, 2014 - 11:10

This meet up of creative web and digital folks is hosting two top Bristol guest speakers, Clare Reddington, Director of iShed and The Pervasive Media Studio, talking about Playable Cities and the Hello Lamppost project, as well as VAN & Rubber Republic co-founder, Chris Quigley, talking about how brands can engineer virality. Sign up for a ticket here.

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Funding available for innovative digital ideas delivering social impact

18 February, 2014 - 10:25

Do you have an innovative digital idea with the potential to address a specific societal challenge? Would your idea benefit from financial support for further development? Perhaps CHEST can help you.  CHEST is an EU funded project  focusing on digital social innovation. The project is launching a series of open calls with funding for local initiatives and local partners.

The project is a test bed project aiming to stimulate digital social innovation across the EU. It has 2.5 million Euros to invest in both innovative ideas and projects that can benefit society/European citizens, based on digital media (websites, mobiles apps, etc).

6K Euros are available just for the submission of ideas, with up to 150K Euros being offered to the best plans to develop them into working prototypes. The funding will cover up to 10% of the project costs.

The project is actively looking to encourage ideas from as broad a range of people as possible, particularly from individuals and communities who experience specific social challenges who have ideas to address them.

There are also opportunities for people with relevant expertise (in digital, social or innovation) who can help determine which projects receive funding.

For more information and to make an application, visit the CHEST website.

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National Hack the Government Event, 8 and 9 March, London, Bournemouth, Leeds, Glasgow, Exeter

17 February, 2014 - 10:53

Rewired State are hosting the National Hack the Government event at five locations across the Country. The events bring together people from a range of different backgrounds to come up with ideas and then build apps using open data with the goal of improving local and national Government services.

Information about the venues, themes and signing up are available from from the Hack the Government website;

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Energy & Environment Open Data Challenge open for applications

14 February, 2014 - 12:02

Applications  are now open for the Energy and Environment Open Data Challenge. You can start to put your ideas up on the participant platform here.  Further details of the datasets which are available and the process for getting involved can be found here. Nesta and the Open Data Institute have been developing this challenge over the last couple of months along with Bristol City Council where the Creation Weekend will be held on 22nd and 23rd March.

A Challenge Definition Day was held in October where it was identified there was an opportunity to innovate with open data which would support the developing work on community energy. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently published their Community Energy Strategy which focused on creating a supportive environment for community energy and removing specific barriers to growth. Research for the strategy found at least 5,000 community energy groups active in the UK since 2008. Here DECC define community energy as community projects or initiatives focused on reducing energy use, managing energy better, generating energy or purchasing energy.

The challenge invites teams to see how open data can be applied to three of these aims. Teams including businesses, start-ups, social enterprises, community groups, academics, students and special interest groups will use open data to build products and services that support communities to:

1.       Group buy their energy and save money;

2.       Undertake community based energy efficiency interventions; and

3.       Start to generate their own energy.

The aim is to help individuals and teams generate new products and services for communities at the end of the challenge process. The challenge prize methodology is designed so that hopefully these open data driven solutions can speak to real issues. The challenge will be for organisations to match these issues with available open data sets to generate a solution in the form of a new product or service.

Bristol City Council are also working on the delivery of the Creation Weekend for this Challenge – the weekend where teams get together and pitch to become one of the three finalists for the last stage of the Challenge. Bristol has a heritage of supporting community energy projects and also has a number of existing businesses and startups exploring the opportunities around cleantech. In addition, the city will become European Green Capital in 2015.

In order to give participants a stronger opportunity to develop ideas from open data there will also be incubation and business mentoring support after the Creation Weekend for the three finalists. They will get support will from the ODI in the form of data expertise and Nesta will provide support, helping potential businesses hone and market their products and evidence their likely impact.

This work builds on activity which has come before. For instance, Nesta undertook the Big Green Challenge which was a £1 million challenge prize designed to stimulate and support community-led responses to climate change. The Energy Saving Trust has made available a number of tools and how to guides available to groups wanting to run their own community energy projects. Building on this work, we hope to spur innovation with open data which could be used to support this activity. Through using a challenge prize methodology we are bringing together interested partners and provide a focus for activity and a range of further support.

The key dates are:

14 February: The challenge will open to applications

Register your interest with CollabFinder, and join the discussion by engaging with the data and posting a project idea.

3 March: Meet up for interested parties in Bristol

Come and discuss your ideas, meet some people, scope out the competition, network.

16 March: Deadline for applications to the Innovation and Creation Weekend

In order to get an invite to the Creation Weekend, you will need to register on CollabFinder and upload a description of your project.

22 + 23 March: Creation Weekend in Bristol

This is your chance to build and test your app, get feedback, and iterate before pitching to a prestigious panel of judges.

March – June: The three finalists refine their product

June: Grand prize of up to £40,000 awarded to the best product

If you have an idea for a project which could help towards the aims above and could develop into a sustainable organisation please add your profile and idea to the participant platform by 16th March for a chance to make it through to the Creation Weekend in Bristol.

This article was originally published at Nesta. Read the original article here.

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South West Microelectronics iNet Spring Funding Competition opens from 1st to 30th April

13 February, 2014 - 16:20

South West Microelectronics iNet is looking for innovative companies in the South West to apply for the Microelectronics iNet Funding competition.

  • Open to SMEs in all industry sectors
  • Up to £10k grant available
  • Easy application process, quick decision

The competition is being run to support the innovative use of microelectronics technology in new products and services.

To ensure the application process is as quick and easy as possible the iNet has arranged competition breakfast meetings where you can meet the team, have your questions answered and receive support in completing your application. These meetings will be held in Exeter on 8 April, Plymouth 9 April and Bristol 15 April. Get more information on the competition and application process on the South West Microelectronics iNet website or by contacting the support team by email or telephone 0117 3286690.

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Get hands on with the latest technology, Thurs 13th Feb at the Engine Shed, Bristol

10 February, 2014 - 15:59

Do you want a chance to get your hands on the latest exciting and innovative tech? Fancy trying out Google Glass, Oculus Rift, drones and  iBeacons? Visit the SOMO Mobile Innovation Day at Engine Shed and get expert views on how the latest tech can help businesses and consumers. Two sessions will be running on 13th February, one from 12 to 2pm and another in the evening from 5pm to 7pm. Just registered on the SOMO site to let them know you’ll be coming along

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Heritage Eye – A New Bristol City Council Smartphone App

5 February, 2014 - 10:30

Bristol City Council has launched a new type of app. The Heritage Eye app is free and now available on Android and IoS.

The City Design Group have published the first City Council smartphone app. Heritage Eye was funded by English Heritage and developed by Calvium software developers in partnership with City Design Group and Corporate Geographic Information Services (GIS).

The app enables members of the public to undertake their own Listed Building survey and assess whether the structure is suffering from neglect or abuse. A completed survey can then be submitted to Know Your Place for validation by Conservation Officers.

The app will contribute to the maintenance of Bristol’s buildings at risk register and help officers manage the heritage of the city.

Download Android App here

Download IoS App here

A user guide has been produced as a downloadable pdf document.

Further information about the Listed Buildings and the buildings at risk register can be found here.

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STEEP Project hosts drop-in session at the Temple Quarter Engine Shed

4 February, 2014 - 11:34

On Thursday January 30th, project partners from STEEP (Systems Thinking for Efficient Energy Planning), hosted a morning drop-in session for occupiers and stakeholders of the Temple Quarter- Enterprise Zone. The event provided an opportunity for local businesses, large organizations and other interested parties to come along and find out more about the project.

A copy of the presentation for the session is available to download below, and provides details of how people can get involved in the project, what they can expect in return and an introduction to the ’systems thinking methodology’ that is being utilized in STEEP:

Presentation for event 300114

If you feel that you would be interested in finding out more about STEEP, you can visit our website or follow either our Twitter feed @STEEPproject or our Facebook page.

Alternatively you can email us at

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