This week, BCP Council is showcasing its innovative digital credentials to a global audience at a prestigious online congress that discusses the key issues facing the world’s cities beyond the pandemic, in particular the use of technology to address urban challenges.
Taking place virtually as a result of COVID-19, the annual Smart City Expo World Congress (17/18 November) is an exhibition and leadership programme that attracts high-level professionals from cities, governments and companies across the world. Representatives this year include the mayors of Barcelona and Chicago, government ministers and a number of global companies including Deloitte, Mastercard, Microsoft, Nokia and Seat.
BCP Council is taking full advantage of the Smart City Live event to showcase its Smart Place infrastructure to a global business audience with the aim of attracting investment and companies to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) area and boosting both local employment and prosperity.
Over the course of a 45-minute presentation, the council, supported by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and Department for International Trade, has been presenting to a global audience as a leading authority on Smart Places in the UK, with contributions from Chief Executive Graham Farrant; Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning, Councillor Phil Broadhead; and the Smart Place Strategy and Programming Lead Adrian Hale.
Representing the UK’s first open innovation ecosystem using a full 5G and data platform, the Smart Place programme puts BCP Council at the forefront of digital transformation. The programme focuses on digital solutions which utilise the benefits of cutting-edge technology, interconnected information and the latest high-speed connectivity to drive sustainable regeneration and economic development across the BCP area, improving the lives of local residents and generating value for people, business and place.
Councillor Phil Broadhead commented:
“This event has been a great way of telling the wider world about our local area and the exciting Smart Place ecosystem that sets us apart. Collaboration is the centre of what we do and our message to companies across the world is that if you share our vision of an open culture and co-creation, then this is a coastline of opportunity for you: a place brimming with prosperity, prospects, positivity and pride.
“We are passionate about leading our communities to a sustainable future, a future where innovation, digital connectivity and collaboration are at the heart of our economy. By focusing on doing things that matter to local people, communities and businesses, we generate value, both for the place we serve and for the technology partners and investors who join us.”
One expected benefit of the council’s presence at Smart City Live is to raise the profile of its Smart Place R&D (Research & Development) Consortium and the technology companies within it. A distinctive ecosystem of organisations, the consortium connects charities, public sector services, education and other organisations who face challenging problems, with an open, co-creative community of technology companies who can develop and implement innovative solutions.
Arun Kar, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Xpertnest, one of the consortium members, said:
“The BCP Smart Places programme is the perfect innovation ecosystem for us to test ideas and develop solutions and that is why we have already located an office within Bournemouth Town Centre. We are excited to be working with BCP Council and members of the R&D Consortium in co-creating solutions that will ultimately benefit the local community. We look forward to increasing our physical presence further in the BCP area over the coming years.”
Over 40 Digital Tech companies have already joined the Smart Place R&D Consortium but the council hope their appearance at Smart City Live prompts even more technology companies and organisations to get involved in developing cutting-edge solutions to real challenges, creating positive change in the lives of people who live and work in the local area.
Companies interested in taking advantage of the benefits of a co-creative approach can find out more at BCPCouncil.gov.uk/SmartPlace
For more information on Smart City Live, please see smartcityexpo.com