The concept of a ‘smart city’ has been around since the early 1990s, however, within the last few years, the idea has begun to gain a lot of traction. The smart city model is one where smart technology and data are used to solve a range of challenges. Essentially, data captured from connected sensors and video cameras can be used to make cities smarter. To some, this may sound futuristic, but in reality, it’s happening now. From sensors installed on lampposts to control street lighting to sensors fitted to bins to set collection days, these are just a few examples of how cities are using technology to become smart.
As a Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) partner, I was delighted to attend a recent business leaders’ event which showcased some of the most advanced technology available in the region at Proto – The Emerging Technology Centre in Gateshead. It was apt therefore to hear from Jenny Nelson at Newcastle City Council (NCC) explaining the amazing work that has happened in the region which led to NCC being awarded ‘Smart City of the year 2019’ at the Digital Leaders awards earlier this year. Living and working in the North East, I feel very lucky to have a plethora of innovative organisations right on our doorstep and as Chief Procurement Officer for Bloom, I can see the huge opportunity for these organisations to deliver across the UK and beyond.
Working for an organisation that thrives on innovation, it is great to be based in a region where invention, forward thinking and the notion of a smarter city is embraced. As a marketplace provider to the Public Sector, we work with over 360 organisations providing a compliant and quick route to market for the delivery of professional services projects by suppliers of all sizes.
I am particularly interested in the notion of smart cities. Bloom works across all the major hubs in the UK and we have seen an increase in projects focussed on the development of smart cities to support improved infrastructure, as part of wider regeneration programmes. Having Bloom involved in these projects means that innovative suppliers can showcase their talents offering the public sector access to organisations that potentially would not have been visible in the past. Delivering projects in these areas also means that Bloom can help to meet the social needs of society which fits closely with our own social value ethos.
To further support this work, I am delighted to be joined by NEPO (The North East Procurement Organisation) in support of NGI and other partners attending the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona on the 18th of November.
I am looking forward to hearing from and meeting forward thinking public sector organisations with smart city aspirations as well as suppliers offering innovative solutions wanting a simple compliant route to supply professional services to the public sector.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss how we can support a smart city or re-generation initiative within your region, please get in touch. We have supported many projects across the UK within this area and have lots of success stories we can share.