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SMEs encouraged to explore the ‘Internet of Things’

3 May 2018
Belfast’s small businesses are being encouraged to find out how the Internet of Things (IoT) may change the way they do business in the future.

A new consortium of local councils, Tourism NI, Ulster University and Invest NI have just launched Things Connected NI – a free-to-use IoT network that will allow different devices, machines and sensors to connect to the Internet.

Belfast City Council’s Smart Belfast Programme is also launching a £30,000 competition aimed at encouraging businesses to use the new Northern Ireland-wide network to help the city make better use of its public space.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister, who will officially launch the challenge at City Hall on May 9, said: “There is wide agreement that the Internet of Things is going to have a major impact on the global economy. It’s also going to change the way cities are managed.

“There is a great opportunity here for local entrepreneurs and businesses, whether they are in the digital or more traditional sectors, to explore how this technology could transform future products and services.

“With technical support from our colleagues at Ulster University, Belfast City Council is particularly interested in how the Internet of Things can help us make our streets and public space more attractive to visitors, shoppers and residents. Our competition is designed to encourage local companies to bring innovative ideas to this challenge.”

Nine other councils across Northern Ireland are launching their own IoT competitions aimed at a range of different challenges ranging from enhancing tourism to supporting the farming industry.

Companies that sign up to the programme and competitions will be offered a range of technical support and training, all aimed at helping them prepare for a future in which IoT will play an important role.

A launch event is being held at City Hall on Wednesday 9 May for businesses to find out more, and there will also be the opportunity to network.

To register email smartbelfast@belfastcity.gov.uk
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