Alan Fletcher, business development manager at KMI, the Open University, reflected on the legacy of the MK:Smart project, and explained how it continues to shape the future of Milton Keynes, reports Government Europa.
MK:Smart was founded in 2014, funded partly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), whilst the remainder of funding came from partners. Initially, it was intended to be a £16m (~€18.3m) project, but rapidly rose to a figure of £19m as new corporate partners joined.
The project was born out of Milton Keynes’, UK, desire to see where it sat in the world of smart cities after being runners up in the UK’s Future Cities grant – the first of its kind – losing out to Glasgow Future Cities. Undeterred, partners in Milton Keynes took the work which they had conducted, elaborated and repurposed it, and bid to the HEFCE Catalyst Fund call, where it was successful.
Always at the forefront of innovation, Milton Keynes is the newest, fastest growing city in the UK, offering excellent employment diversity and activity.
The Knowledge Media Institute (KMI) at the Open University is a data science research and development lab, and as the business development manager, Alan Fletcher was at the forefront of MK:Smart’s developments.
Taking data from differing projects, activities and test beds, to explore how this data could supplement smart city growth, KMI worked with BT to develop the MK Data Hub at the heart of MK:Smart. Fletcher explained to Government Europa how the legacy of the MK:Smart project is being used to shape the future of Milton Keynes.