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Smart City Bristol shortlisted for Guangzhou award – vote now!

20 October, 2014 - 11:14

Bristol Futures’ Smart City program has been successfully short-listed for the biennial Guangzhou award for Urban Innovation. Shortlisted from a range of initiatives in over 250 cities worldwide, the award is given to 5 cities in recognition of their work in the area of technical innovation and urban regeneration.

‘Smart City Bristol’ will be presented to an expert panel in Guangzhou at the awards ceremony in November.  In addition to the 5 successful cities, three of the short-listed initiatives will be recognized for their popularity via an online vote. We therefore invite you to vote for Bristol at the link below and help support our ongoing smart city work!

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Free event: Top 10 mistakes in public consultation and how to avoid them, City Hall Bristol Wednesday, 29/10/14, 13:00-16:00

13 October, 2014 - 10:55

This free event organised by The Consultation Institute and Darzin Stakeholder Management Software to help you identify and avoid the main pitfalls surrounding public consultation exercises. Sign up on eventbrite to book your place.

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Free digital training, Bradley Stoke, 12th November, 2 – 4 pm

6 October, 2014 - 13:47

The mobile phone company EE have organised digital champions will help you understand how easy it is to get online and all the benefits of being connected, like saving money by paying bills online, keeping in touch with family and friends or learning how to Tweet. There’ll be tea and biscuits.  This programme is part of the company’s wider corporate responsibility initiatives and employee volunteering activity, so there will be no sales or marketing at events.

How does it work?

Over tea and biscuits, members of the public will spend around an hour and a half with an EE digital champion who will answer questions and help build confidence in using the internet and new technology. Attendees can bring any of their own mobiles, laptops, tablets or equipment they’d like to learn more about. EE champions will also have kit there to show everyone.

The Bristol event will be held at the EE office in Bradley Stoke on 12th November, 2 – 4 pm. Further events will be held at a range of other EE offices;

  • Doxford, Sunderland, 5th November, 1 – 3 pm
  • Greenock, 18th November, 1 – 3 pm
  • Hatfield, 11th November, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Merthyr Tydfil – November TBC, staff available to travel to a community venue
  • Paddington, 27th November, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Plymouth, 12th November, 2 – 4 pm

To attend a session, contact Richard Gaskin at TimeBank, or call 020 3111 0728. You will need to book to attend an event.

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Dress-sense: take part in a wearable technology for health competition and win £5000

2 October, 2014 - 12:28

Wearable technology has the potential to change people’s lives. will be running workshops in Bristol 25th October, 8th November and 22nd November looking for teams mixing computer scientists, medical professionals and students, engineers, fashion designers and textile artists to collaborate and compete for a £5000 prize by designing wearable technology for health.  There will be support to help create ideas and form teams. For more information and to register your interest visit the Dress Sense website. The deadline to express interest is 8 October.

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Free Google digital masterclass for local businesses, The Annexe, Bristol Science Centre, Friday 17th October

1 October, 2014 - 09:35

On Friday 17th October, Google will meet with local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to offer advice and tips on making the most of the Internet and growing their business online. Google experts will be on hand to offer advice on crucial skills for the digital age, from creating a website to marketing a business online.

The event, known as The Google Juice Bar, will be held at;

The Annexe
Bristol Science Centre
Anchor Road

Sign up to attend this free event

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Happy Birthday STEEP project!

29 September, 2014 - 14:08

The third consortium and inaugural ‘Advisory Board’ meeting of STEEP took place on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th of September in Bristol, to mark the end of the first year of the project. Project partners from each city and nominated Advisory Board members met at Brunel’s SS Great Britain to review progress. The session provoked some excellent debate and generated some key outputs which will define the direction of the project for the next 6 months. STEEP partners will now be looking to ’scale up’ the methodology to develop ‘Smart City’ plans for Bristol, San Sebastian and Florence.
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Bristol Bright Night, noon to midnight, 26th September, Bristol Harbourside

26 September, 2014 - 09:33

Discover, explore and challenge Bristol’s cutting-edge research through an interactive showcase of free activities across in city.  Activities will be taking place throughout the day at @Bristol and the Watershed. Check out the Bristol Bright Night website for more information.

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Bristol and Bath High Tech Sector Cluster Map

23 September, 2014 - 11:39

Bristol and Bath have acknowledged strengths in the digital and high tech sectors. You can now see how this looks across the region with the new Bristol and Bath High Tech Sector cluster map website. As well as an interactive map you can interrogate company data through a comprehensive directory of businesses.

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Job opportunity: Strategic Resilience Officer, Bristol City Council

10 September, 2014 - 16:41

Bristol is one of only five European cities and 32 cities worldwide invited to join the first cohort of a global network of resilient cities organised by the Rockefeller Foundation. This senior role will serve as the main point of contact and liaison with this network of cities and its platform partners. Visit this website or more information about the vacancy and to apply.

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Upto £6m available from TSB for projects demonstrating better integration of infrastructure and services across a city

4 September, 2014 - 11:51

The Technology Strategy Board have announced a SBRI competition to encourage companies to link together City systems in order to improve understanding of how elements of these systems interact with each other.

Successful organisations attract a 100%-funded development contract of up to £2m from the £6m funding pot, with projects running for up to 3 years.

The competition is open now with the deadline for registration being noon on 7 January 2015 and the deadline for applications noon on 14 January 2015.

If this opportunity is attractive to you and you’d like to discuss partnering with Bristol drop us a line.

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Microelectronics iNet offers business support to SW based SME’s

1 September, 2014 - 16:25

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 expect to help 100 more.

If you have a small/medium business related to Microelectronics in the South West of England you might be able to access targeted support through:

  • Prototyping assistance
  • Patent advice
  • Business consultancy
  • Funding assistance
  • Marketing consultancy
  • Technology assessment
  • Assistance in finding HEI partners
  • Market research.

Contact Riley Sims to find out more, 07836 718 104

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Free Digital Inclusion Training in Bristol on 9 September

21 August, 2014 - 18:33

On 9 September phone company EE is holding EE National Techy Tea Party Day and everyone is invited. Come along if you’d benefit from more confidence, new skills  or more information about getting online. EE’s digital champions will help you understand how being connected can work for you, over some tea and biscuits.

You’ll spend time with an EE digital champion who will answer your questions and help you build confidence in using technology. You’re invited to bring any of your own mobiles, laptops, tablets or equipment you’d like to learn more about. The champions will also have kit available to show you.

To sign up for a local session visit the EE website

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European Space Agency launches Future City Feasibility Study tender

18 August, 2014 - 11:26

The European Space Agency is inviting proposals from consortia validating solutions enabled by space assets addressing the challenges that future cities face. The solutions should propose innovative services that combine two or more space assets together with terrestrial assets in order to provide commercially sustainable services for Future Cities. These space assets can be Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, Satellite Communications, and Human Space flight technologies.

The ESA has a maximum budget of EURO 300,000 per contract. For more information on how to apply visit the ESA website. The closing date is 10 December.

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SBRI Competition launches exploring potential of Cities as system of systems

25 July, 2014 - 09:39

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.

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Bristol trials iBeacons

24 July, 2014 - 11:03

-  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.

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Hackday, Bristol Engine Shed, July 26, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

22 July, 2014 - 11:30

Just Eat are organising a hackday at the Engine Shed in Bristol. Participating teams could win a Parrot AR Drone.

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.

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Knowle West Media Centre launch Data Toolkit for young people

17 July, 2014 - 15:02

Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) has created a free online resource for arts organisations, called the Data Toolkit.

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

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Event: Making the City Playable Conference, 10-11 September 2014, Bristol

15 July, 2014 - 10:53

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.

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Code and Create with Fire Tech Camp this Summer UWE Bower Ashton, 11 – 15 August and 18 – 22 August

14 July, 2014 - 16:00

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 to apply.

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