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Scottish government backs IoT rollout blueprint

Scottish IoT
An IoT-supported smart gritting project. Image credit: CENSIS

The Scottish government is backing a scheme to expand the uptake of internet of things (IoT) devices by local government.

A series of technology blueprints, funded by the Scottish government, have been developed by Scotland’s sensing and imaging innovation centre – called CENSIS – and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government.

The groups aim to use the blueprints to showcase various applications of IoT to encourage its adoption by councils in Scotland.

IoT refers to networks of physical devices fitted with sensors and software and connected via the internet.

Among the proposed projects is a smart sensing tool to monitor housing conditions such as dampness and energy usage. Other applications include air quality monitoring, water bacteria monitoring and smart waste management.

“Digital transformation has wide-ranging benefits for local authorities and the people who use their services, from improving processes and saving time to ultimately improving aspects of residents’ lives such as health, wellbeing and the environment,” said Colin Birchenall, chief technology officer at the Digital Office.

Participating councils include East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross and the Highland Council.

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s minister for small business, innovation, tourism and trade, said: “These innovative technologies address diverse challenges such as energy usage in social housing or monitoring air quality in schools and could be used at scale across council areas.

“An important part of our plans for a fair, green and sustainably growing economy will be realising the full economic benefits of this technology.”

In January, Glasgow launched an IoT innovation hub initiative backed by a £2.5m public-private sector partnership.