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Huawei launches UK Smart Cities Index as it cements UK commitment

IoT phone city

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has released some new data it’s calling the UK Smart Cities Index, which aims to rank UK cities according to how good at using digital technology they are.

The study was commissioned by Huawei but conducted by Navigant Consulting. It had a look at ten cities and gave them arbitrary scores according to their perceived smart city strategy and smart city execution.

London was top with an overall score of 80.5, just ahead of Bristol. Sheffield was a distant last with a score of 38.1 although, as you can see in the very long infographic below, it seems to have had its overall score significantly marked down for not offering enough detail on its plans.

London got top marks for its congestion charge scheme and the London Datastore, while Bristol got a gold star for Bristol Is Open. Other notable programmes included Manchester’s new Internet of Things City Demonstrator and Milton Keynes’ MK:Smart collaboration on IoT projects with the Open University.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Digital Economy, was at the launch event “The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index highlights cities developing innovative digital projects and measures how well they are performing against each other,” he said. “I hope it will encourage city leaders to share best practice and promote competition, because smarter use of data and technology drives growth and delivers a better quality of life.”

“From Bristol’s open data strategy to Milton Keynes’s pilots of autonomous vehicles there are excellent smart cities projects all over the UK,” said Gordon Luo, Huawei UK CEO. “We wanted to understand how well advanced these schemes were and where lessons could be learnt between them.

“The Huawei UK Smart Cities Index shows that, right now, Britain is one of the most advanced countries in Europe in this field. But it’s still early days and there is more work to do to build more effective partnerships between city authorities and technology providers, and in making the benefits of smart city technology apparent to a greater number of citizens.”

In a busy week for Huawei and the UK public sector the company signed a memorandum of understanding with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) yesterday. The MoU was signed at Huawei’s UK & Ireland Partner Convention in London by Luo and UKTI MD Michael Boyd and covers a three year commitment between the organisations to identify the best UK technology partners for Huawei’s global supply chain and support Huawei’s investment and business development in the UK.

Huawei smart city infographic

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