Manchester Metropolitan University

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KTP to create ‘Smart City’ software

Cost-effective IT system will aid urban flow

INTELLIGENT software that helps organisations reduce costs and improve innovation for the smart city age is being developed as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership.

The partnership with the School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology will develop a cloud-based platform to help public sector organisations monitor and analyse data to respond to urban challenges in real time.

The Manchester Met team will work with Shaping Cloud Ltd on the three-year, £176,000 partnership.

The focus is on bringing together numerous IT systems within organisations into a single, seamless operation by developing new algorithms. The computer programs will be overlaid on old IT systems, saving costs by forgoing the need for an expensive and time-consuming overhaul. The new system will then be accessed through the ‘cloud’ – software hosted on the internet.

Real-time

The aim is to help the public sector integrate data from various sources as it becomes increasingly prevalent in the years to come, such as real-time traffic data collected from thousands of sensors on roads.

Lead academic Dr Liangxiu Han, Reader and Deputy Director of the Informatics Research Centre, said: “This project aims to develop a cloud-based environment consisting of different components for public sector organisations.

“These systems will enable agile, rapid development of services by hiding complex and legacy IT infrastructures that can be found across many organisations. The cloud-based system will integrate disparate data from sources at city level, thereby reducing costs, increasing efficiency, improving innovation and driving citizen engagement for smart city initiatives.”

A smart city uses digital technologies to enhance quality and performance of urban services, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage with citizens. Smart city systems are currently being developed across government, health, energy and public service sectors. The goal is to improve the management of urban flows and allow for real-time response to challenges.

Data integration

A KTP Associate will be appointed for the project. Dr Han is joined by Senior Lecturers Nick Whittaker, Knowledge Base Supervisor, and Dr Mohammad Hammoudeh, Support Academic. They are both part of the University research group FUNDS with Dr Han (Future Networks and Distributed Systems).

The project will focus on developing new algorithms and mechanisms related to: data integration from disparate data sources and data analytics/machine learning; workflow composition; the Internet of Things; and resource-service discovery.

Friday, 7th August 2015