Nokia joins Bristol is Open smart city project

11 October 2016 | James Pearce


Nokia has signed up to the Bristol is Open initiative (BIO), becoming the first vendor to join the UK city’s smart city solutions testbed.

BIO sees the entire city transformed into a testbed aimed at integrating and developing technology solutions designed to benefit citizens. These smart city projects range from solutions for traffic congestion and air pollution, to trials of self-driving cars.

The joint-venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council is funded by local, national and EU governmental bodies, with backing from the private sector.

Nokia Bell labs already had a pre-existing relationship with Bristol University, and the Finnish firm will provide consulting services to BIO. Its networking division will also provide network and infrastructure support, while Nokia’s application ecosystem program, ngConnect, will bring apps, ideas and companies into the BIO development program.

Barney Smith, CEO of BIO, said "We are delighted that Nokia has accepted our invitation to join Bristol Is Open. Building on the excellent relationship we already have with Nokia Bell Labs, the skills and experience that Nokia has will enable us to take BIO to the next stage of its development: solving real world problems for citizens and creating opportunity for all. 

“Nokia brings a unique set of capabilities for smart city solutions that, through our open programmable city, are replicable and applicable in other cities."

Nokia said it plans to use the partnership to test applications, ranging from innovations in video to environmental impact studies, healthcare, and public safety.

The first project it will get involved with will be focus on video analytics tools used in Bristol’s city-wide CCTV system, which consists of more than 1,700 cameras.

Nokia's chief marketing officer Barry French said "There is a great deal of talk around smart cities, but there are not many places where talk has led to action. This innovative program will show what can be achieved by bringing together experts from various technology areas to deliver integrated solutions that actually improve people's lives, a fundamental principle driving our everyday work."