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Updated: 13 hours 50 min ago

Bristol Is Open launches the Data Dome

5 November, 2015 - 16:56

The festival of the future comes to the city from 17-20 November 2015 and as part of this, Bristol Is Open will be launching the Data Dome as the latest development on Bristol’s digital scene.

Information is beautiful, especially if developed for and shown in the UK’s only 3D 4K immersive presentation space: Bristol’s Data Dome. Connected to a dedicated High Performance Computer at the University of Bristol, the Data Dome will take viewers on an immersive journey of how new technologies could be used to visualise the city with new and more informed eyes, and how this unique facility could lead the way towards innovation in gaming, learning and citizens engagement.

Book your tickets for one of the two public launch shows on Wednesday 18 November; one at 8pm and one at 9pm. Tickets are priced at £7 (online), £6 for concessions and £8 (on the door),

The 50 minute showcase includes:

• a tour around the city and exploring why Bristol is a great place to live alongside some of the challenges facing the city
• hear the Dome talkback!
• a chance to play an experimental game developed for the Dome: Splat Bristol
• how 3D could be used to visualise data and the city
• a visit to another planet to experience 3D planetarium content
• instant feedback using your smartphone

More about the Dome

Bristol’s Data Dome – building real-time city data visualisation from Bristol Is Open’s emerging city-wide digital network – is launched at the festival, with a variety of content being shown from earth sciences, to open-data, to sociological mapping about cities now.
Rolls-Royce has been quick to spot the potential of the Data Dome. They are using it to help their engineers visualise engines, and the data coming from them, in new and exciting ways. They will show some of their early progress. Rolls-Royce have kindly sponsored the buffet and networking session.

More about Bristol is Open

The Data Dome is part of Bristol Is Open – a collaboration between the technology, media & telecommunications industry, universities, local communities, and local and national government. Bristol Is Open is a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol. It is a digital urban R&D test bed to develop smart city projects, including the Data Dome, as part of the world’s first open programmable city region.

Simone Grassi, Bristol Is Open

Find out more:

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Businesses can win up to £35,000 each to develop digital projects that improve urban spaces for those who live, work and play in them

3 November, 2015 - 12:51

Innovate UK have announced a competition for businesses trying to make city spaces better and smarter for people. The competition is looking to receive proposals in 4 areas;

  • enhanced travel data: to find new ways to use data to improve journeys and present data to users, in partnership with Transport for London
  • effective journey management: to find ways of combining automatic number plate recognition data with existing public and travel data to help to manage traffic and reduce congestion, particularly through park-and-ride car parks, in partnership with Centro
  • city-scale communication: to find new digital ways of connecting councils and citizens with each other and the local environment, in partnership with Clear Channel
  • citizen input to city design: to find innovative ways of encouraging citizens to share their data to better inform planning, design and management of urban spaces, in partnership with Atkins

Visit the innovate site to register and apply.

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Your invitation to be included in the UK’s SmartLink Platform Demonstration at the Barcelona Smart City Expo

28 October, 2015 - 15:23

Do you want to promote your Smart products and services at the Barcelona Smart City Expo? The UK Smart Solutions Marketing Platform – SmartLink will be launching at the event and can help do this for you.

If your company is involved in delivering world-class smart solutions they’d like to invite you to take advantage of this effective way of promoting and expanding your UK and international business.

If you would like information on your company’s smart products or services to be showcased in Barcelona in November then all you have to do is to provide the requested information on your company via this short survey here, which should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete .  The deadline for inclusion is Friday 6 November.

For any further information contact Owen Kell, Technical Director, I&G Systems on

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Free event: Digital Business Salon: Supporting SMEs, Bristol, 24 November, 16.00-18.00

27 October, 2015 - 14:21

Digital leaders are organising an event in Bristol exploring the take-up of digital by SMEs and Charities both nationally and specifically in the South West.

The event is free to attend but registration is required and places are limited. Sign up at the Digital Leaders website.

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Free Event: Come along to the Innovate UK Bristol City Demonstrator Learning workshop, 930am-5pm, 16 November, Watershed

14 October, 2015 - 15:43

Bristol has invested considerable time, thought and resources in the Smart City programme. Come along to this event and hear about our experiences in delivering Smart Energy, Smart Transport and Smart Data pilot projects. Innovate UK has been a key supporter of the programme and have organised this workshop to share learning with other authorities and practitioners. The workshop will draw together the key players who made these interventions fly, sharing their learning and insights to help address a common challenge of how to mobilise investment in new smart city initiatives.

The event is free to attend and places will be prioritised for city authority officers and members. Businesses are welcome to attend subject to availability of spaces. As well as creating an opportunity for direct learning, the events will also help Innovate UK understand current city challenges to ensure continued focus on emerging needs, and provide a stimulus for ongoing conversations between cities. Sign up to attend on eventbrite.

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Free event: Come and hear Steve Leonard speak on Singapore’s Smart City Progress, 1230pm-130pm, 17 November, Arnolfini, Bristol

13 October, 2015 - 11:54

Singapore aims to be the world’s first Smart Nation, with fuller use of technology to live, work and play resulting in improved quality of life for individuals; business opportunities for enterprises; and an anticipatory government that uses technology to better serve and anticipate citizens’ needs. Smart Nation brings together world-ranked universities and medical facilities, multi-billion annual R&D investments, and a fast-growing community of tech start-ups. At the same time Smart Nation is encouraging technology builders and entrepreneurs from around the world to leverage Singapore’s smart infrastructure and use the nation as a ‘living lab’ to test new ideas and solutions with global potential. Steve Leonard, Executive Deputy Chairman of Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) Singapore, will be sharing more about Singapore’s Smart Nation journey. This event is free but booking is required.

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Bristol looking beautiful in this great 4k timelapse video

13 October, 2015 - 10:28

Adrian Cabello has posted this glorious day/night video of Bristol- its well worth a look.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Book your place at DataKindUK Data Dive at the Engine Shed Bristol, 4th-6th December

13 October, 2015 - 10:05

DataKind UK, a charity that helps the third sector to benefit from advances in data science, is partnering with Which?, the largest consumer body in the UK, to run a Data Dive in Bristol, focusing on elderly care. You can reserve your place on Eventbrite.

DataDives are weekend events that bring the data analytics community together with the non-profit community to tackle tough data problems in a short period of time. DataKind UK select three or four charity projects to work on over the weekend. You need to bring your own hardware and software, your data skills, and the belief that you can help change the world for the better!

The data dive will be held at;

Engine Shed
Station Approach
Temple Meads


Opening Mixer
Friday, Dec 4th

  • 7:00 PM: Doors open
  • 7:30 PM: Presentation from charities
  • 8:30 – 10:00 PM: Networking mixer with snacks and drink

The evening will involve presentations from the invited charities followed immediately by a party to get everyone well mixed. This will give all of the participants a chance to meet each other and begin discussing projects with the organisation representatives and think about which project they want to spend the weekend working on.

The DataDive
Saturday, Dec 5th

  • 9:00 AM: Doors open, sign-in and breakfast
  • 10:00 AM: Brief review from Data Ambassadors, then data diving
  • 1:00 PM: Lunch
  • 7:00 PM: Dinner
  • 10:00 PM: Everybody goes home for the night

DataDivers will choose which organisation they’d like to work with and form teams around their individual project questions. Each organisation will have Data Ambassadors assigned to them who will help advise on and manage the projects throughout the day.

Final Presentations
Sunday, Dec 6th

  • 9:00 AM: Doors open, breakfast
  • 1:00 AM: Presentations from teams to social organisations
  • 2:30 PM: Another successful DataDive in the books!

This is your chance to show the charities what you have done with their data. These presentations can be single or group work, but they can be no longer than 10 minutes each.

Other items of note for the weekend

  • There is a Github repository setup to use for sharing code, data, and analyses during the event. The repository is located at:
  • You can work with the organisation and data you feel most passionate about, so come Friday with an open mind and be ready to learn.
  • You do not have to stay the entire weekend to participate in the event.
  • You do not have to work with the same organisation for the whole weekend.
  • You should bring your own laptop and come ready to use whatever data tools you like.

This event is kindly sponsored by Which?

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Council to relocate emergency and city management operations

8 October, 2015 - 10:52

Bristol City Council is set to bring together three separate city management and emergency control rooms in a bid to deliver significant savings for the Council and secure the future of these core services.

The move will see the Council’s Emergency Management, Traffic Management and Community Safety (CCTV) control rooms relocate to a dedicated space at 100 Temple Street.

Work will now begin on creating a state of the art, multi-purpose operation centre following a decision to proceed being made by the Mayor of Bristol and his Assistant Mayors at the latest meeting of the Council’s Cabinet (6 October). The centre’s construction and team relocation is expected to take 18 months.

The decision has been taken to ensure that the Council remains capable of responding to personal and city emergencies whilst continuing its long standing partnership work with the Police and other agencies in ensuring the safety and security of residents and visitors. The Mayor and his Cabinet also recognise and opportunity to continue the outstanding work of these teams but in a more cost effective and efficient fashion following the move. This includes an immediate saving of around £2m from vacating their current locations.

“I have read some extremely misleading commentary about the relocated Bristol control room and wish to assure citizens of Bristol that this is not a move designed to increase monitoring or expand CCTV in the city. It is an essential practical approach to how we manage the future of critical services when they can no longer operate from their traditional locations.

The importance of having reliable and effective city management and emergency response systems cannot be over-estimated. As one of the world’s Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities, we have made city resilience a key priority and this project exemplifies that commitment by ensuring our core emergency and city management systems are protected for the future.

I regard this move as an opportunity to continue delivering quality, vital services and traffic management in a way that reduces cost and delay caused by operating from three very outdated sites. At a time when council budgets are being squeezed and greater emphasis is put on managing the urban environment, I am pleased to sanction this move and greatly welcome the benefits it will deliver.”
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

“I believe this is a unique opportunity to bring about service improvement across all three control rooms whilst also delivering a more cost effective model of how they operate. Operating from one space instead of three will bring immediate rewards as too will utilising state of the art communications technology to enable closer working with colleagues and partner organisations such as the Police. I look forward to working closely with the team to ensure a smooth transition to the new centre.”
Cllr Geoff Gollop, Deputy Mayor of Bristol

For the first time, these centres will make use of a single shared, dedicated space. Equipped with high performance communication technologies and utilising the council owned BNet high capacity fibre network, this single operations centre will provide its core services efficiently and collaboratively with key partners.

“This new investment will lay the foundations to move towards a smart city operations model that will use real time data to anticipate and respond to incidents – re-routing traffic if there is an accident or using signals and signage to greater effect to keep the city moving.”
Stephen Hilton, Director of Bristol City Council’s Bristol Futures team

The services that will be delivered from the new operations centre will include:

  • Community Safety (CCTV) – the operators are a key factor in monitoring serious incidents (robber, assault), liaising closely with the Police to direct resources, identifying offenders and bringing such individuals to justice through reliable evidence.
  • Assistive Technology and Telecare – supporting vulnerable people to living independently in their own homes, co-ordinating an emergency response in case of a fall or serious incident occurring, that triggers an alarm.
  • Alarm Monitoring Services – used to provide high security monitoring and response services to all types of alarm activations including intruder, fire, lift, panic and CCTV
  • Out of Hours Call Handling – providing an out of hours contact for all Council services
  • Urban Traffic Management and Control (UTMC) – responsible for the operation and management of the traffic control systems across the city.
  • Management of Planned events, roadworks and incidents from a single location
  • Dissemination of transport information to residents and visitors through websites, twitter, variable message signs, radio stations etc
  • Traffic Analysis and Modelling – improving and creating strategies to better manage the traffic network
  • Liaison with Public Transport Operators – ensuring journey time reliability of public transport and managing incidents & planned events effectively – this includes monitoring CCTV of Bus Lanes to observe any illegal use.

The project planning phase will now continue to ensure an efficient and robust plan is in place for the building and relocation phases. The operations centre build is expected to begin in 2016 with a final launch date in early 2017.

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Event: Online Influence Conference, Mercure Hotel Bristol, 16th October

7 October, 2015 - 11:03

Attendees at this event  will have the opportunity to network with top senior executives, learn about the latest digital trends and gain key industry insights. Pinterest’s UK Marketing Manager Lizzy Sibley, Airbnb’s EMEA Marketing Manager Holly Clarke and Thane Ryland, Global Lead Social Analytics and Insights at Microsoft have been added to the line-up.

They will join Head of Content Europe for Twitter Paul McCrudden, Advertising Standards Association CEO Guy Parker, Jeremy Waite, Head of Digital Strategy at Salesforce and Keith Lewis, Zurich UK Social Media Lead.

This event will take place on October 16th 2015 at the Mercure Hotel in Bristol City Centre. In addition to hosting a wealth of influential speakers, the conference will also include quick fire panel debates, meet the expert sessions, industry benchmarking and interactive learning opportunities.

This conference is limited to 200 capacity and super earlybird tickets have now sold out. Register your interest at

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Hundreds of business owners to attend Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol, Colston Hall, 22 October: Book now.

24 September, 2015 - 17:30

Small business network Enterprise Nation has announced the final line-up for a festival in Bristol aimed at helping female-founded businesses to grow.

The Festival of Female Entrepreneurs (FFE), at Colston Hall on 22 October, will feature successful businesswomen including Nicola Horlick, who was once branded ‘superwoman’ for juggling a high powered career in finance with bringing up six children, and Julia Eliot Brown, the founder of Upper Street, which harnesses tech to allow women to design their own shoes.

The event also includes a panel of local women, Nadia Abdulla of Park Street Events; Tara Gillam from Business West and Colston Hall CEO Louise Mitchell, debating ‘Can we build a Western Powerhouse?’.

The day-long festival is run by Enterprise Nation and sponsored by Start Up Loans, Verisign, 123-reg and Great Western Railway. The event will also feature activity from Bristol based networks, Women Mean Biz and YENA.

Bristol mayor George Ferguson said:

“I’m delighted that the city is hosting this festival, which will bring together some of the UK’s most influential female entrepreneurs, business leaders and brightest start-ups.

In establishing the Bristol Women’s Commission, I acknowledged that the city will not achieve its full potential if the experience, know-how, skills and creativity of women are not fully embraced.

Female entrepreneurs are crucial not only to Bristol, but the UK economy as a whole, and this important event will help highlight and celebrate their contribution to the world of business.”

Top speakers also include Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones, Gold medal Olympian-turned crowdfunding entrepreneur, Sarah Gosling OBE, Too Fat to Run founder Julie Crefield and Lee Dancy, founder of Barking Mad, a nationwide dog holiday franchise.
After the keynote speeches and panel discussions, delegates will be able to attend practical workshops led by leading business experts.

For more information and to book tickets go to

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How much is your personal data worth? An awful lot it seems, but who gets the value?

3 September, 2015 - 15:19

Each of us creates about 5GB of data each day, and according to new website data wallet $300 Billion is spent on obtaining that personal data each year. Firms of data brokers aggregate information about us from a variety of different sources, from our loyalty cards to social media posts. In most cases it won’t be apparent what information has been gathered and how it is being used, but one data broker has create a website which sets some of this out. In future it would be good to see far more transparency about what personal data is being mined and how its being used, and perhaps even returning a decent amount of the value to the individuals who create it.

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Bristol businesses, do you want a £3000 voucher for better broadband? Apply now and join thousands of others from all over the UK

3 September, 2015 - 14:56

Broadband Connection Vouchers are being delivered by 50 cities across the UK. More than 40,000 vouchers have been issued so far, enabling small businesses to make a step change in their broadband provision. There is still time to join them and make your own application. Head over to the National Connection Vouchers website and check your eligibility.

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Local website takes the casual job search online for students

2 September, 2015 - 16:01 is a new website that has just launched in Bristol. Founded by a Bristol university graduate, it aims to connect university students with part-time and one-off jobs whilst studying at university.

The graduate jobs market is saturated with websites trying to cash in on placing the UK’s smartest new employees in high flying jobs. But what about whilst the students are studying? With the cost of going to university at an all-time high, a huge number of students need a part-time job to supplement their loan. While studying in Bristol Sam Hyams, founder, discovered that  he had to travel around the local shops and pubs handing out CVs. He saw an opportunity which seemed particularly to fit here in Bristol, a City that values technology and innovation so highly.

So was launched; a completely free service for both students and employers that aims to take the search for a casual job online. The website provides a streamlined approach to job hunting, simplify the hiring process for businesses in the Bristol area.

The service is completely free and encourages all types of jobs from individuals who want their fence painted, to part-time bar work, to a full-time position in one of Bristol’s tech start-ups.

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Free Lunchtime discussion on sustainable and efficient smart city planning, 11 Sept, 1200-1500

27 August, 2015 - 09:57

Bristol has been working with San Sebastian and Florence to explore the potential for using Systems Thinking to produce comprehensive Sustainable Smart City Plans. The project partners, which includes Arup, Bristol City Council, Centre for Sustainable Energy, University of Bristol, are gathering at Open Space in Bristol to set out some of the lessons learned and to share their findings. This event would be of particular interest to

  • People working, studying or interested in energy planning
  • People interested in how smart cities, including energy planning, could transform our cities

Book your free place at the Eventbrite page.

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Come along to the Accessible Bristol talk “WCAG sufficient techniques – How well do they really work?” August 25, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

24 August, 2015 - 14:14

The Accessible Bristol group are holding another of their excellent talks on accessible technologies at the Engine Shed tomorrow. Mark Rogers of Powermapper will be going through how well different sufficient techniques work in different assistive technology. Sign up to attend via the Accessible Bristol Meetup Group.

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Pitch your IoT and Smart Cities Idea in the Pitch@Palace Competition

24 August, 2015 - 09:42

Pitch@Palace supports Entrepreneurs in acceleration their business ideas by connecting them with potential supporters including CEOs, Angels, Mentors, and key Business Partners.

Pitch@Palace 4.0 will focus on the Internet of Things and Smart Cities, with a specific emphasis upon products and services that are helping to create a smarter world, as well as empowering consumers and citizens to engage with objects and the environment around them.

Applications should come from Entrepreneurs in the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Fitness & Wellbeing
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Home
  • Transportation

On the afternoon of 14th September, there will be a  Pitch@Palace On Tour event at Engine Shed. To attend companies must register this week. Visit the Pitch@Palace website for more on the competition and the Bristol event.

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Sign up for free online courses on Smart Cities, Sustainable Cities and the Internet of Things

13 August, 2015 - 12:14

More and more Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming available covering all sorts of topics. A few interesting ones  have recently opened up in these interesting areas;

Smart Cities:

Internet of Things:

Sustainable Cities:

The courses are free, and there shouldn’t be issues with capacity, but some of them are starting soon so go ahead and register now.

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Some Open Data resources and references

11 August, 2015 - 09:47

I came across a very useful archive of open data resources on LinkedIn. The list was created bya Strategist, Speaker and Consultant, so thanks and acknowledgement go to her. I’ve reposted the list here and intend to add to it as I come across more handy bits and pieces;

What is Data / Open Data?

Leading open data licensing & standards

Big, open & personal data

What about government open data?

Open data, what’s the value?

Open data stories

Who publishes open data?

Training Slides


Other Resources

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There’s still time to register for Transform Digital Conference, @Bristol, 15 and 16 September

4 August, 2015 - 12:46

On 15th September INCA and Bristol City Council will run the third Better Broadband for Business voucher scheme workshop, led by James Saunby and aimed at small businesses in the Brisol area. This will be followed by a Technical Showcase: How to Build a Broadband Network led by Rob Leenderts. In the evening there will be a visit the Bristol Planetarium followed by the conference dinner.

Delegates will assemble on 16th September for the Transform Digital: Bristol Conference. The focus this year is on how new digital infrastructure contributes to economic development, the increasingly important role of the competitive, independent sector of digital network operators, and how local authorities can get better value for money from their broadband contracts.

Headed by Chris Townsend of BDUK the list of speakers includes:

  • Mark Collins of CityFibre
  • Andy Conibere of Callflow Solutions
  • Malcolm Corbett of INCA
  • Matt Evans, of BSG
  • Barry Ford of B4RN
  • Matthew Hare of Gigaclear
  • Liz Harrison of Kent County Council
  • Daniel Heery of Cybermoor
  • Stephen Hilton of Bristol City Council
  • Richard Hooper of BSG
  • Mike Locke of Satellite Internet
  • Garry Miller of BT
  • Paul Morris of Vodafone
  • Hilary O’Shaughessy of Pervasive Media
  • Kate Rennicks of Metronet
  • Pete Shearman of Cisco
  • Roy Shelton of ITS Technology
  • Andrew Stirling of Microsoft
  • Mark Swarbrick of DCMS
  • Craig Thomas of Calix
  • Dana Tobak of Hyperoptic
  • Phil Winfield of @Bristol

For more information and to register visit INCA Events

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