11 Oct 2016

Economy, Enterprise, Business and Jobs

Nokia and Bristol Is Open commit to partnership to develop the open programmable city

Bristol, 11 October 2016 - Nokia, the Finnish communications and information technology company, announced today that it is forming a partnership with Bristol Is Open, an ambitious joint venture between the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council.  

Nokia is a world leader in programmable networks, 5G and Internet of Things technologies.  It will trial, test and demonstrate new and emerging capabilities on Bristol Is Open’s city-scale digital research and development network.  

Nokia is contributing a combination of funding, technical staff and Nokia Bell Labs expertise to Bristol Is Open. This will set the groundwork to support trials of various Nokia capabilities at scale whilst developing the company’s leadership position in smart cities.

Cormac Whelan, head of UK and Ireland at Nokia said: “We have chosen Bristol Is Open because through the University it has an advanced understanding of programmable networks and the technology involved in the smart city of the future, whilst through the council it has a proven track record of demonstrating social innovation using new forms of digital connectivity. The combination of ‘how’ and ‘why’ to build a smart city that we see in Bristol is very appealing and we are delighted to join the Bristol Is Open project as a long-term partner.”

Having Nokia on board will help realise Bristol Is Open’s vision of creating a truly open programmable city and the partnership will further benefit from being able to draw upon the company’s staff that are based locally.

Jessica Ellis, Director of Customer Success at Bristol Is Open, said: “Nokia is a significant employer in the city and I am very happy to welcome the company as a partner to Bristol Is Open. Having local Nokia employees engaged in developing the world’s first open programmable city with us is a win-win for both organisations and for Bristol.  It is a sustainable long-term approach that everyone is pleased to collaborate on.”

For the University of Bristol this development will ensure that the project can focus on meeting its deliverables whilst enhancing the skills and knowledge within the collaboration.

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Chief Technology Officer for Bristol Is Open, Head of the High Performance Networks Group and Director of the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol, said: “Working with a technology giant such as Nokia will provide so much value for the university, its staff and this project. Nokia already has a strong connection to the technical and academic communities in Bristol, in particular, Nokia Bell Labs have had a very fruitful relationship with the University of Bristol over many years. This is a unique opportunity to work together to create and deliver new technology solutions for smart cities of the future.”

The technical work that Nokia will be collaborating on will help fully deploy smart city solutions using the existing infrastructure within Bristol Is Open. 

Joan A Garcia Espin, Platform Delivery Director for Bristol Is Open, said: “By working with Nokia we will continue to extend Bristol Is Open’s technology platform capabilities so that it will provide richer support to experiments aimed at finding solutions to urban issues such as traffic congestion, air pollution and even assisted living for an elderly population. I am therefore very much looking forward to working with Nokia on their range of applications for Bristol Is Open’s experimental platform.”

Nokia’s involvement is set to begin in the autumn and will firstly look at video analytics from Bristol’s CCTV system consisting of over 1,700 cameras.