Government support for 'internet of things'
Prime minister, David Cameron, has announced another £45 million of funding to support the ongoing development of an ‘Internet of Things’, which could help to reduce carbon emissions in the UK.
The idea behind the Internet of Things is that everyday devices and appliances will increasingly be internet-enabled so that they can network and communicate with each other.
This could make buildings, vehicles and even whole cities more efficient, less costly to run, and also less resource intensive.
The concept has huge potential significance to the transport, built environment and energy sectors, but also to people’s everyday lives.
Globally, the market potential for these technologies is thought to be in the realms of hundreds of billions of pounds a year.
Speaking at the launch of the CeBIT technology fair in Hannover, Germany, earlier this month, Mr Cameron announced that the UK Government will increase its funding for Internet of Things projects by £45 million, bringing the total to £73 million.
He also announced a new £1 million ‘European Internet of Things’ grant fund to help early-stage companies across the EU to develop smart technologies.
Speaking to delegates at the conference, he said that the emergence of innovative new technology companies and ideas would be critical to Europe's long-term competitiveness.
He said that the Internet of Things in particular would bring about radical transformations in Europe and beyond, over the coming years, and that Britain and Germany should work together to take advantage of the opportunities.
"These are developments that could allow literally billions of everyday objects to talk to each other over the internet - using low-cost, low-power chips,” he explained. "And this has enormous potential to change our lives.
“Electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals. Health monitors that keep an eye on your heart rate. Water pipes that warn of a fall in pressure. And yes, even a fridge that can order you milk when it notices you are getting low.”
He added:"I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development, a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change.”
He also highlighted the Government’s newly published Spectrum Strategy, which aims to improve the way that mobile network spectrums are managed, to support all the internet-connected devices that are expected to come online in the next few years.
Posted under Environmental Technologies and Renewable Energy, Construction, Creative and Digital Industries, Energy and Renewables, Environmental Technologies and Other Manufacturing on 17 March 2014