The ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs Programme, a two-year, £22.9m project that will run until November 2021, has this month published its End of Year One report. It features a number of case studies by local authorities from across eight Live Labs projects, led by local authorities with university and private sector partners, and covers innovation in SMART communications, transport, highways maintenance, energy, materials and mobility.
Over 70 suppliers drawn from sectors including data suppliers and analytics, composites, geothermal, solar and kinetic energy, drones and micromobility have partnered up with the Live Labs teams
As each case study shows, teams have repeatedly overcome these issues to begin trials and project work in over 115 locations, working online and remotely and with real determination to find new solutions and innovations. Over 70 suppliers drawn from sectors including data suppliers and analytics, composites, geothermal, solar and kinetic energy, drones and micromobility have partnered up with the Live Labs teams.
Live Labs Programme Director, Giles Perkins said: 'This End of Year report is a major milestone for the Live Labs programme, especially given the unexpected impacts of COVID-19. Our Live Labs cohort have made incredible progress towards our goal of achieving at-scale innovation across the widest spectrum of the local roads sector.
'As we push into our second full year, we’ll be sharing more insights, learnings and knowledge as the programme not only delivers innovation but the outcomes from these investments to help others capitalise on DfT’s £23m investment.'
More information on the progress of each Live Lab project will be published at key programme milestones, including the first of a series of quarterly White Papers.
In January 2019, ADEPT - the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport - which represents place directors from county, unitary and metropolitan local authorities, secured £22.9m funding from the Department of Transport for the SMART place Live Labs programme. Says ADEPT: 'The advances made in digital technology have transformed how we live and work and will continue to have far-reaching impacts for some time to come. As Place Directors, ADEPT members need to be at the forefront of this rapid change: supporting communities, business and innovation in their areas.'
In 2017, ADEPT created the SMART Places Research Programme to examine the opportunities and challenges facing the adoption of digital technology across the local highway network. Phase 1 of this programme culminated in the publication of ‘The route to the highways systems of the future' in October 2017.
Live Labs is Phase 3 of this programme (phase 2 was a further development stage). Nine local authorities and their partners are working across eight innovative projects. These will develop new smart approaches across communications, materials, energy solutions and mobility. The ADEPT SMART Places programme is supported by ADEPT’s corporate partners: SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP. It launched on 31st May 2019.
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