Businesses in Scotland are set to benefit from the most advanced ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) network in the UK, as part of a new £6 million collaborative project between the SNP Government and the public and private sectors.
The new network, called IoT Scotland, will provide a wireless sensor network for applications and services to collect data from devices and send that data without the need for 3G/4G or Wi-Fi to support businesses in developing new and innovative applications.
The three-year project includes a £2.7 million investment from the SNP Government, a £113,000 contribution from Scottish Enterprise and £30,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with the remaining investment coming from Boston Networks, a Glasgow-based firm specialising in wireless systems.
The network will enable all businesses to have the ability to monitor the efficiency and productivity of their assets, equipment, scheduling maintenance and improving production.
For example, IoT Scotland could support wider use of smart bins that wirelessly inform local authorities when they require emptying, ensuring best use of bin lorries but also helping to reduce carbon emissions. Similarly, the network could monitor office environments to lower costs by saving energy, while reducing carbon footprints of buildings.
Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy Kate Forbes MSP said:
“The Internet of Things is set to transform every sector of our economy, from manufacturing to agriculture and presents an exciting opportunity to revolutionize the way businesses and the public sector across Scotland work.
“Our £2.7 million investment in this project underpins our vision of a Scotland that stimulates innovation, welcomes investment and promotes its digital industries. We want Scotland to be recognised internationally as a natural test bed for innovation in connectivity which is why we are investing in our digital infrastructure.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Innovation is central to a dynamic economy in the 21st century, and this network will provide low-cost access to next-generation connectivity, helping organisations develop new solutions and devices which could be exported worldwide.
“With the most advanced IoT network in the UK, this project has the potential to revolutionise the use of smart technologies in Scottish businesses from small start-ups to multinationals, making Scotland an even more attractive place to do business.”