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2 May, 2018 - 12:47 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge role in new IoT roadmap

Cambridge University Tim Minshall

Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing is helping to enhance the roadmap leading to the successful implementation of the Internet of Things.

It is working as part of a new collaborative venture led by the University of Sheffield and including Oxford and Newcastle – the £4.9 million Pitch-In project (Promoting the Internet of Things via Collaborations between HEIs & Industry).

The initiative is being funded under Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund.

IoT is the internet connection of physical objects, where physical objects are coupled with digital monitoring and analytics capabilities.

The Pitch-In project will investigate the barriers to successful IoT take-up. The project teams will trial solutions, and capture and share good practice learning outcomes. The effort will focus on four priority sectors which are early buy-ins to IoT:-

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Digital Manufacturing
  • Energy systems
  • Smart cities.

The IfM has been awarded £1million of the total funding to lead the manufacturing theme, while also supporting the smart cities theme. Dr Alexandra Brintrup will lead the manufacturing theme as Cambridge’s principal investigator for the Pitch-In project.

The IoT supports a host of so-called ‘smart’ applications ranging from industrial process control, such as remotely monitoring when a factory machine needs maintenance, through to enhanced support for patients with dementia, such as reminding someone to take their medicine.

It is estimated that there will be 50 billion connected elements online within the next decade. Effective implementation of IoT is critical to industrial, societal and economic development in the UK.

Dr Brintrup said: “This will be a great opportunity for us to increase the technology readiness levels for some of the state-of-the-art research the University of Cambridge conducts in Industrial IoT.

“The project will provide funding for feasibility studies and demonstrators, as well as creating pathways to remove industrial knowledge transfer barriers in this field through the development of best practice guidelines. 

“Pitch-In greatly strengthens the IfM’s digital manufacturing research programme, and supports engagement with the Cambridge cluster of high technology companies.”

Professor Tim Minshall (pictured), head of IfM, said: “The adoption of digital technologies will be key to the ongoing competitiveness of UK manufacturing firms of all sizes. We are really excited by the opportunity this project offers to accelerate research and its application in this critical technology area.”

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