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Bristol Is Open wins Smart City Innovator Award

Smart City Innovator  Award 2016

Paul Wilson with the award.

Press release issued: 20 May 2016

Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council, was awarded the global ‘Smart City Innovator’ award at the TM Forum Live! 2016 – Digital World Awards last week.

TM Forum is the global industry association for digital business, connecting talented individuals, leading companies, and diverse ecosystems to accelerate members’ successful digital business transformation. Over 3,500 delegates from 650 different telecommunication and digital organisations attended the four-day event held in Nice, France [9-12 May].

The Smart City Innovator Award ‘recognises the most innovative service breakthrough focused on positive impact to the lives of citizens, the cost of delivering services within a city and the applicability of the innovation to other cities around the world’. Bristol Is Open’s Managing Director Paul Wilson accepted the award at the Digital World Awards.

Dimitra Simeonidou, Chief Technology Officer for Bristol Is Open and Professor of High Performance Networks at the University of Bristol Cabot Institute, gave a keynote speech about using Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NVF) to help create the world’s first open programmable city, with Paul providing an overview of Bristol Is Open in the smart cities track of the event.

Paul Wilson said: “This award is recognition of the innovative approach Bristol is taking to smart cities.   The joint venture created between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol and the engagement of industry is proving to be a dynamic way to push our ‘programmable city’ activity forward.  We are absolutely delighted to have received such a prestigious acknowledgement of our work on the next generation of communication networks and their impact on city management.” 

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou added: “The programmable city concept and architecture has been developed by the High Performance Networks (HPN) Group based at the University of Bristol over the past few years. I am delighted that our unique technical approach and deployment of SDN/NVF technologies at a city scale has been recognised with this award.”

The impartial and independent judging panel consisted of leading industry experts and analysts, including Dr Anastassia Lauterbach, CEO and founder, 1AU-Ventures; Chris Lewis, Telecoms Industry Analyst, Lewis Insight; Joachim Horn, CTO and Information Advisor (CTIA), PLDT/Smart Group; Keith Willetts, founder and former chairman & CEO, TM Forum; and Radhika Venkatraman, Sr. VP and CIO, Verizon;. The judging panel was led by Chairman Steffen Roehn, CEO, Roehn Management Consulting GmbH and former group chief information officer of Deutsche Telekom.

Stephen Hilton, Director of City Experimentation at Bristol Is Open and Director of Futures at Bristol City Council, said: “This international recognition for Bristol is just reward for the efforts we are making as a city to harness the benefits of being a smart and connected city for our businesses and communities. The Bristol is Open team is pushing the boundaries of SDN and NFV and in so doing, they are laying the foundations for designing the digital infrastructure that will support the cities of tomorrow.”

Bristol Is Open had some stiff global competition from other cities and large vendors operating smart city projects, however the judges commended Bristol Is Open for its model of creating a joint venture with the University of Bristol as well as the pioneering use of SDN and NFV.

Winning the award has already attracted further interest from potential partners, which will be followed up on in the coming weeks. Bristol Is Open will continue to grow and develop innovative projects on a city scale.  

Further information

About Bristol Is Open
How cities work is changing. Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, is a research infrastructure to explore developments in software, hardware and telecom networks that enable more interaction between people and places and more machine-to-machine communication. The project uses a high performance software defined network as the city operating system, then internet of things platforms and big data analytics feed an emerging number of smart city applications. This is giving people more ability to interact, work and play with the city that they live in, and will help cities address some of the biggest challenges of modern urban life. This is the Open Programmable City.

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