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BusinessLeading smart cities network launches in Manchester

Leading smart cities network launches in Manchester

A pioneering smart cities network has launched in the United Kingdom this month.

Founded 11 years ago, Smart Cities Council has its global headquarters in Washington D.C, North America, and with operations globally, Smart Cities Council has set up its UK operations in Manchester.

Smart Cities Council, under its new brand “Everyone”, will spark conversations between industry, government, academia, and entrepreneurs to spearhead change and the expansion of “smart” from place and infrastructure in the UK to include people, sustainability, and liveability.

Everyone by Smart Cities Council is a movement that creates opportunities for change through engagement, education, projects, and events centred around impact-focused task forces tackling local and global issues such as energy, the application of digital twin technology, cyber security, wellbeing, placemaking, disadvantaged urban communities, and more.

Smart Cities Council work to create action and impact around the key challenges and opportunities facing cities and communities today.

The organisation currently has operations across North America, Australia, New Zealand, India and the ASEAN region, and in the coming months is expanding its European presence to include Poland, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The organisation already counts Amazon Web Services (AWS), EY, ENE.HUB, Aurecon and GHD among its 100+ international members, and in the UK high profile organisations, such as global engineering services and digital infrastructure giant Valmont, life safety technology company Clevertronics, smart buildings dashboard provider Bueno Systems and digital transformation software innovator, Tr3dent, are foundation members of the UK Organisation, with UCLan, University of Lancaster as supporting academic partners.

Andrea Winders, a creative Manchester-based entrepreneur and expert in tech, infrastructure, and place, has been appointed as the Executive Director of Smart Cities Council United Kingdom to manage the organisation’s growth and drive objectives for the expansion of the smart agenda throughout the country.

Andrea has a career that crosses both commercial and local government sectors at senior levels, with a unique understanding of the need for solutions that are sustainable and community-focused, she said: “I am really proud to lead Smart Cities Council and the Everyone Initiative in the UK and be part of shaping the future of smart – beyond infrastructure and hardware into shared intelligence for the good of people, places, and products.

“In our view smart is not just for cities, it is for everyone, everywhere, connecting health, wellness, transport, energy, sea, air, parking and other everyday services without limitation, to improve lives and living for the majority, who by the way do not live in cities.”

“There is a common misconception that smart cities are just about technology, data and infrastructure, but real smart is far more than this. For example, one of the first Impact Projects that Smart Cities Council UK is launching as part of its Everyone initiative has already started to work on is a solution to the present crisis in dentistry – definitely not a city, but most definitely smart.

“And although infrastructure does have a role in smart cities, it is far more important that the outputs are about people and put their needs first, not the other way around, which tends to be the case.”

A recent report about connected places in the UK, prepared for DCMS by frontier economics, indicated that the smart cities market size is significant, with approximately 37,000 employees and a £3.6bn GVA in 2020, but over 87% of the total market is infrastructure, transport, and built environment.

“We aim to expand the market further to include new opportunities and encourage solutions for problems experienced by people and places using technology and services.

“The report also identified that there is a lack of interoperability between technologies and devices creating a large barrier to connecting places and integration of services, another problem we want to decipher and redress.

“This is an opportunity for businesses, government, academia, and charity and philanthropy to work together in a unique and entrepreneurial forum to apply smart thinking and actions for better or innovative outcomes,” added Andrea.

Corey Gray, Global CEO, said: “For more and more companies ROI now means Return on Impact.

As long-time protagonists in this space two things have become clear over time: First, that there is a big difference between a Smart City and a City that is Smart, second, Smart Cities are about people and place, not just tech and data. Successful smart cities and communities are inevitably human-centric, data driven and sometimes technology enabled, for the benefit of everyone.

“Whilst commentary has a place, we want to get out of the commentary box and on the pitch playing, and we invite everyone to join us. There are no competitors when it comes to making the world a better place for future generations.”

A launch event will take place for Everyone by Smart Cities Council UK on November 21st at DiSH Manchester, a new cyber space by Manchester City Council, with global organisations, change makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in attendance.

More information on the organisations’ work can be found by visiting www.smartcitiescouncil.com/united-kingdom and those interested in attending the launch event are invited to email [email protected]

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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