£4 million Internet of Things grant awarded to help improve people's lives

The South London Partnership (SLP), a group of five boroughs, has been awarded £4 million to create an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring system.

The IoT will be designed to improve people’s lives through better transport, environment, health and other areas while also improving business retention and sustainable economic growth.

The funding will allow the SLP to develop and deliver a sustainable multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) platform which involves connecting various sensors across borough boundaries. The project will bring together technology and places to create spaces that address challenges in our communities and opportunities to help people live better, healthier lives and live independently for longer. It could also deliver significant savings to borough budgets.

Funds from the London Business Rates Pilot have been awarded to the Partnership, which comprises the councils of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, as part of the 2018-19 Business Rate Retention Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) which is administered by the City of London Corporation. 

The project will use IoT to obtain new data insights using internet-connected sensors, with minimal human intervention.

Examples of this insight are:

  • Being able to understand where people travel to and from, the routes they take, and what times they make their journeys

  • Support planning to build the right type of safer and happier communities and enable regeneration

  • Insight into where and when people visit certain locations

  • Combining air quality and location data to see how many people’s health is affected in certain areas. This can help local authorities make plans to reduce pollutants, resulting in cleaner and healthier places

  • Ultimately, we also need to change the way we live our lives – people must better engage with their environment to make it more sustainable for future generations

  • Ability to monitor the impact of our lives on the environment (e.g. waste and air pollution) 

Ultimately, a national local government IoT network and platform could be developed, including the safe and secure sharing of data between councils, universities and the public. 

Councillor Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council, said:

“We are delighted to be part of this exciting and ambitious project and look forward to working with Sutton, Croydon, Richmond and Merton in order to make this as hugely successful venture.

“We’re confident we’ll gain valuable insights from deploying Internet of Things technology, which is a great opportunity to enhance the lives of residents in our borough, support local businesses and boost Kingston’s economic development.”