Manchester wants digital for city centre problems

Council invites ideas for tech solutions that could be developed into demonstration pilots

Manchester City Council has put out a call for ideas on digital solutions that could improve the city centre.

Aerial view of ManchesterIt said it wants to identify a number of technological needs for small scale demonstration pilots, and that the ideas will help it to understand the possibilities in the market and what could be improved.

The council has asked companies to contribute to a consultation in which they follow a short application process. This will place their ideas before the council to feed into a second phase in which it may go out to the market for solutions.

The move is being made under the CityVerve programme, a smart places demonstrator based in Manchester. The project involves a consortium of 21 partners led by the city council and funded by Innovate UK and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The City Centre Review took place in late 2016 and identified a number of areas that could be improved for citizens, businesses and visitors. This included geographical spots and issues such as anti-social behaviour, litter and waste, and homelessness.

CityVerve is backed by a £10 million competition prize, along with £6 million from the partners in the programme, to support trials of internet of thing technology. It is focused on a 2km ‘corridor’ running south from the centre to the Manchester Science Park.

Picture by Daniel Nisbet, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons