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Jason Black
9 hours ago
Jason Black
Project Manager

When looking at Europe’s smart city readiness, the UK is behind on its smart city targets and is at risk of falling behind other European countries, according to research from Citi Horizons. Over 80 per cent of the 187 UK councils asked to take part in this research had limited awareness and little to no involvement in smart cities. The report also warned “it is clear that councils are unable to make smart, connected cities a priority”.

But how does a community become smart? The process is no simple task. Budget constraints, identifying priorities, finding best practice, navigating intricate technology, and engaging business and the community are all challenge areas.

Clearly this is a major problem – it’s not just that communities are struggling to prioritise for future programmes; an underlying problem may be that the primary conditions for a successful smart community have been overlooked: It is essential to have in place the right people with the right mind-set. The prevailin...

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Julian Sandler
2 days ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

At an early June Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) commencement address, Apple CEO Tim Cook challenged graduates to focus on people rather than technology. He opined that science and technology are worthless if they aren’t motivated by the desire to help people. Furthermore, per Cook, technology can have the most effective impact when we put people at the center of everything we do.

While this may seem blasphemous to those of us who make our living in technology, I am beginning to hear that same philosophy shift in the smart city movement.

In three recent Smart City panel discussions, I heard CIO’s from several cities voice the same recommendation: Start with the people.

This is a major shift in emphasis from the past couple of years, in which the focus had been on technology – sensors, video cameras, meters, analytics, networks and so on. The CIO’s related how in the early stages of their smart city projects they jumped into the technical solution without truly understanding the problems they were trying to solve. One CIO put it rather succinctly, “at first we had technology searching for a problem to solve. Now we are focusing on identifying citizen issues that are best solved with technology”.

LABCITIES
last week
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

The most important aspects of the logistics industry are safety and efficiency. At the end of May, LogiNext, a Mumbai-based SaaS company, unveiled its most advanced location-tracking SDK to help more logistics companies and e-commerce platforms gain necessary insights on traffic data so that they can provide a better customer experience. LogiNext users just need to install the location tracking SDK into their smartphones to discover their real-time location, movement, surrounding traffic conditions, and estimated time of arrival.

Logistics companies, especially small, private ones, can offer more accurate and efficient services with LogiNext’s tracing software — feedback traffic data from the tracking software plays a key role in the companies’ performance development and market expansion. Due to limited technologies and prime costs, small logistics companies usually lack systematic management modes for data operation.

Joining a large “mother” company seems like an ideal solution, but under such a corporation, the smaller sub-company is limited by the technology authorized by its mother company. A small Chinese logistics sub-company recently told us that because of its role as a sub-company, it can’t be as efficient as a large company at service quality and delivery speed. The only advantage it has over its larger competitors is its lower price, but this lower price does not allow them to ensure the quality of the service.

LABCITIES
2 weeks ago
LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

There are two challenges for using open source data, as identified in a new study from the Open Research Data Task Force, which is based at University of Warwick in England. These challenges are where to find it and with compatibility issues once the data is found. Looking at accessibility first, even though open data is notionally accessible many researchers complain that they simply can locate files.

The problem with locating files is that the mechanisms available to identify and find research data considered to be "sub-optimal." Often the search tools only work effectively for just a few subject areas. Most of the search tools available require considerable manual input, which can put some researchers off. The report suggests that further work can be done to help streamline workflows.
The second frustration is that once data is located there are often format variabilities and other compatibility issues. These issues are more likely to occur when researchers from different discip...

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Josh Dale
3 weeks ago
Josh Dale
Smart City Expert

Hi Everyone - I'm working with London Midland to run the 2nd cohort of our amazingly successful acceleration/collaboration/innovation programme London Midland Labs.

The first cohort of London Midland Labs saw 10 businesses go through a 10 week programme to help them pivot their solutions into transport, rail and travel. Out of the 10 businesses 6 have direct supplier contracts with London Midland and the rest are further developing their products to build a strong proposition and collaboration in the future.

The programme includes mentoring from Board-level people at London Midland, product development and pivoting support from digital studio 383 Project, Practical business support from investors & fellow founders, access to data sets, office space in a dedicated innovation Lab, Events and comms channels to use as a platform to promote your business.

You might not have a product or solution that is already in transport, but there is always the opportunity to explore new revenue opportunities in new markets. We are looking for solutions in accessibility, mobile working/productivity, passenger communication, parking, retail and vending.

There's no equity taken, no fees & part-time participation is possible.
Check out londonmidlandlabs.com to find out more - the deadline to apply is the 14th July!
Happy to answer any questions if you have any: just email apply@londonmidlandlabs.com or message me on here - thanks!

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