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Bristol Is Open wins smart cities award

Press release issued: 30 November 2016

Bristol Is Open won The Smart Cities Award at a prestigious ceremony last night [Tuesday 29 November]. The project, which is a joint venture between the University and Bristol City Council, was one of four nominees in the Smart Cities category at the World Communications Awards (WCA).

The awards have been going since 1999 and celebrate ‘those who have shown the highest level of quality and innovation throughout the year’. This year’s ceremony saw 21 categories being fiercely contested by some of the leading global telecommunications companies with around 500 professionals attending the event.

Joan A Garcia, Platform Delivery Director for Bristol Is Open; Barney Smith CEO and Jessica Ellis, Director of Customer Success, attended the event in London.

Jessica worked closely with Nokia, the Finnish communications and information technology company, on the submission to the awards based on their recent collaboration with Bristol Is Open. Announced earlier this autumn, Nokia will contribute a combination of funding, technical staff and Nokia Bell Labs expertise to test new capabilities.

Jessica Ellis said: “What we are looking to achieve with Bristol Is Open is ambitious and challenging, winning this award is an accolade to the entire team and joint venture partners for the ongoing development of an open programmable city wide test bed in Bristol. We look forward to what 2017 has to bring and working closely in collaboration with our partners.”

Bristol Is Open was competing against projects on a control centre, transport and Internet of Things. A panel of 19 members working in the telecoms industry singled out the “programmable city” project for its ability to participate and contribute to the way its city works.

Barney Smith, Chief Executive of Bristol Is Open, said: “We are delighted by receiving this award – against very strong competition and in recognition of the value of our unique joint venture. We would particularly like to thank Nokia for their support of our experimental platform and appreciate their support in our successful submission.”

The win comes a week after the Autumn Statement announcing a £1 billion commitment to 5G trials. Bristol Is Open is already pioneering 5G and fibre as fundamental infrastructures for providing high speed connectivity in smart cities.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Chief Scientific Officer for Bristol Is Open, Head of the High Performance Networks Research Group and Director of the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol, said: “Bristol has already established an international reputation for pioneering technologies for fibre and 5G convergence.  We are already heavily involved in trialling high-speed fibre connectivity as well as mmWave and Massive MIMO 5G technologies both through Bristol Is Open and our research projects in the University’s Smart Internet Lab.  I am therefore very excited that Bristol Is Open has won this award and with Nokia’s involvement we will be able to put Bristol on the map of 5G innovation for smart cities.”

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.

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