Milton Keynes Council has made a concerted effort to put itself at the forefront of smart city development and is already working alongside the Future Cities and Connected Digital Economy catapults.
Earlier in 2014, Cambridge-based sensor supplier Neul signed an agreement to supply an open-access internet-of-things (IoT) network for Milton Keynes, which aimed to help the city council deploy services – such as waste management and disposal – more intelligently.
The council’s memorandum of understanding with Tech Mahindra will focus research and development efforts around energy, transportation, electric vehicles –Tech Mahindra’s parent is also the company behind the G-Wiz electric car – connected ecosystems and the IoT.
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Tech Mahindra has a long history in Milton Keynes – having had a local office since 2000, it now employs between 350 and 400 people in the area.
Senior vice-president at the firm, TS Narayanan, told Computer Weekly: “We see Milton Keynes as a modern, well-planned city and therefore it lends itself more to innovation.”
He said Tech Mahindra will take the lessons it learns from its collaborative efforts in Milton Keynes and apply them to other cities where it is working on smart city projects, including Melbourne in Australia and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Open University professor and pro-vice-chancellor for research, Tim Blackman, said the idea of smart cities is incredibly exciting and joining forces with Tech Mahindra is a great boost in terms of developing innovative solutions.
“This will make a real difference to the way people interact with their surroundings, from how we consume energy to the way we get about,” he said.
Milton Keynes Council’s Pete Marland said the smart city industry was set to be worth $400bn by the end of the decade, and could bring more than 10,000 new jobs to Milton Keynes in that time.