A new Internet of Things (IoT) scheme will offer councils across Scotland free trials of intelligent lighting, waste management, air quality and social housing solutions.
Working with each council, IoT service and solutions provider North will host workshops to determine the services which will benefit most from smart solutions within each local authority area.
With access to the Scottish Government-backed national Internet of Things network, IoT Scotland, and funded IoT Accelerator Packs, Scottish councils can investigate and evaluate the technology.
The Accelerator Packs comprise of sensors and the back-end services required to deploy the selected solution. They also include professional services to liaise with the council’s appointed contact to facilitate the rollout, before evaluating and capturing feedback.
Through the scheme, councils can realise the benefits insightful and actionable IoT data can deliver. This in turn will drive the adoption of IoT technologies and smart solutions.
Group Technical Director at North Alasdair Rettie said: “Scotland is leading the way in the use of IoT and as we look to the future, the adoption of smart solutions, from our largest cities to our most remote villages, will connect communities across the country to enhance operations and existing systems.
“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, with the ability to access real-time data which allows us to make informed decisions to improve services across communities.
“The use of such solutions within councils provides extensive opportunities and a vast number of benefits, and we are thrilled to be able to provide councils with this unique experience to see the potential unlocked through the application of our ‘IoT Accelerator Packs’.”
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With councils set to benefit from a free 12-month trial, IoT technology brings a range of potential benefits. Intelligent lighting will help organisations reduce their carbon footprint and operational costs using real-time data to monitor lighting requirements. Installing smart bins will align waste collection frequency with demand, significantly reducing costs and emissions.
The ability to measure air quality, either within council buildings or across a busy town centre, will provide an insight into the scale of the problem and a means to measure the effectiveness of any steps taken to improve it.
Similarly, using sensors within social housing will improve living environments, ensuring parameters such as moisture control and ventilation are adequate and monitored ensuring a healthy living environment for tenants whilst also protecting the fabric of the building.
There will be no cost to the council for the sensor-based solution provided, with deployment and support fully funded by North.
Scottish Government Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Across Scotland, the Scottish Government-funded IoT Scotland network plays a unique role in offering cost-effective sensor solutions to a range of applications which will make a huge difference to public service delivery, people’s homes and working life.
“In enabling Scotland’s 32 councils to have free access to this digital sensor network, this unique proposition encourages early adoption, fosters better collaboration between local government and transforms how we use digital technology and data for the benefit of our communities.”