Councils across Scotland create safer and more sustainable communties through smart tech - The EE

Councils across Scotland create safer and more sustainable communties through smart tech

Six Scottish local authorities alongside Scotrail, Blackwood Homes and Care and Borders College are set to benefit from a new Internet of Things (IoT) trial which has the potential to transform the experience of people who live within communities across the country. The ‘IoT Accelerator Packs’ are being supplied by North, the UK’s IoT service and solutions provider.

The innovative packs are set to provide access to real time data insights on waste management, air quality, social housing solutions, building health and water monitoring capabilities. Used in the right way, they have the potential to transform the ways in which local communities live and work and can deliver a wide range of societal and economic benefits.

With access to the Scottish Government-backed national Internet of Things network, IoT Scotland, and funded IoT Accelerator Packs, the organisations involved can investigate and evaluate the power of IoT technology. Scotrail, Blackwood Homes and Care and Borders College are taking part in the innovative trial alongside the following:

  • Aberdeen City Council
  • Angus Council
  • East Renfrewshire Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Fife Council
  • Highland Council

Working closely with each organisation, North determined the services which would most benefit from smart solutions. Comprising of sensors and the back-end services required to deploy the selected pack, the IoT Accelerator Packs are accompanied with professional services to facilitate the rollout. The North team will then evaluate and capture feedback, with deployment and support fully funded by the provider.

Fife Council has selected intelligent waste management technology. This will help to reduce their carbon footprint and operational costs using data to monitor smart bins, which align waste collection frequency with demand, significantly reducing costs and emissions.

Scotrail, Edinburgh City, Angus and East Renfrewshire Council will have the ability to measure air quality within train stations, council buildings or across a busy town centre, measuring and reporting on temperature, humidity and pressure, alongside primary air pollutants. Allowing for environmental teams to access and collate measurements in real-time more easily and frequently than traditional manual processes.

Similarly, Blackwood Homes and Care will be implementing the use of sensors within its social housing to monitor and improve living environments. This will ensure parameters such as moisture control and ventilation are adequate, providing a healthy living environment for tenants whilst also protecting the fabric of the building.

Borders College will use the technology to monitor levels of CO2 within the working environment across its building. With high levels of CO₂ saturation proven to have a detrimental effect on an occupant’s health, affecting productivity, comfort, absence rates and learning retention.

Aberdeen City Council will implement smart sensors to monitor its water, alongside Highland Council, which has already successfully adopted the smart IoT sensor technology across its schools, care homes, leisure centres and council offices to gather a range of data and insights. The addition of water monitoring is set to help each of the organisations maximise their water safety, by continuously monitoring and measuring water temperature to identify and reduce the risk of legionella and other bacteria.

Kate Forbes

Cabinet secretary for finance and the economy, Kate Forbes, says, “These innovative accelerator packs have been designed to help organisations explore Internet of Things (IoT) solutions which can deliver sustainable social and economic benefits for local communities.

“Digital technologies like IoT help drive forward our economic recovery while reducing business costs and enabling progress towards net-zero emissions.”

Alasdair Rettie, Group technical director at North, says, “IoT technology has the power to truly transform our lives, from revolutionising the ways in which we work, to ensuring that we live in safe and healthy environments. Whilst providing us with the ability to access data which allows us to make informed decisions to improve services across communities.

“We are elated to assist these 10 organisations across Scotland, as they pave the way to use IoT technology to its fullest potential, enhancing their operations and existing systems. From connecting large scale cities to remote communities, the opportunities brought about by the implementation of IoT within our digital connectivity infrastructure are endless, particularly as we work towards Scotland’s social and economic recovery.

“The use of such solutions provides extensive opportunities and a vast number of benefits, and we are pleased to be able to provide these organisations with this opportunity.”

IoT Scotland is the UK’s advanced IoT network, and it is hoped that through the ‘IoT Accelerator Packs’, local authorities will realise the benefits insightful and actionable IoT data can deliver, driving the adoption of IoT technologies and smart solutions to revolutionise the lives of people throughout Scotland.

Data gathered by these smart solutions will remain the property of the council and all data will be handled in accordance with data protection and GDPR regulations. Councils will have the opportunity to pay to expand and continue the solutions after the initial 12-month period if they so wish.

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