Local government has been invited to bid for a £10m cash pot to sponsor an Internet of Things (IoT) research and development project in a city region.
The competition is part of a wider £40m government investment in IoT and could build on smart city initiatives in areas such as street lighting or data collection from traffic and road sensors to help ease congestion and reduce emissions.
All project bids must be collaborative and led by a local authority or Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) to deliver specific benefits for citizens, the city region and the environment.
The maximum grant available is £10m, and the project is expected to run for up to two years.
Nick Appleyard, Innovate UK’s deputy director for government partnerships, said: ‘The Internet of Things is on the brink of connecting communities and commerce across the UK. The transformative technology will make our lives more connected, allowing us to make more informed decisions based on data and drive the productivity of companies.
‘The UK has the opportunity to become a world-leader in this sector, boosting the economy and creating the jobs of tomorrow. Innovate UK has a vital part to play in working with companies and local partnerships to make this happen.’
Additional requirements include producing economic benefits for businesses and local authorities, both during and after the initial trial and maintaining appropriate security and privacy features.
Entries must also be able to work across a variety of sectors, with transport, housing and social care cited as examples.
In a statement the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said 'local authorities, public bodies, third sector organisations and academic institutions could receive up to 100% of their eligible project costs (up to a maximum of 30% of total project costs), small businesses 70%, medium-sized businesses 60% and large businesses 50%'.
The deadline for registration is at noon on 23 September 2015, with the deadline for applications at noon on 30 September 2015.
Interested parties can get more information either online at the Innovate UK website, by calling the competition hotline on 0300 321 4357 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a briefing for potential applicants in London on 21 July 2015, Edinburgh on 23 July 2015, Belfast on 24 July 2015, Cardiff on 28 July 2015 and Birmingham on 29 July 2015.