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User Story 3: City wide digital growth

To demonstrate that Newcastle is a home for innovation and digital growth

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Digital City Narrative

Our assets, aspirations and ambitions as a technologically innovative and "smart" city are set out in the ‘Newcastle – Click Here’ narrative. This includes key strengths in relation to connectivity, skills, our history of innovation and the vibrant tech and digital sector. We are taking a collaborative approach which unites different stakeholders across the public, private, voluntary and academic sectors to work together for maximum return. Read our digital narrative

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Smart Street Demonstrator

In summer 2018 Newcastle was home to the “Smartest Street in the UK” when IoT sensors were installed in street lights, parking spaces and waste bins, along with CCTV in a ground-breaking ‘triple helix’ project that integrated multiple data sources into a single live stream, viewable online and in real time. Newcastle City Council, along with Cisco and private sector partners, plus academic partners (Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory), learned the importance of being able to access and analyse data sets across different ‘verticals’ to understand trends and consider new solutions to old problems, including how video analytics alongside temperature and weather information can start to create a predictive model for ‘road failure’ (eventually leading to pot holes). You can read more on the project here or watch a video here.

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Newcastle Helix

Right in the centre of Newcastle is a landmark 24-acre hybrid city quarter built for international tech and science businesses, the local community and residents. Home to national and globally recognised assets, such as the National Innovation Centre for Data and the Biosphere science business accelerator, it provides us with the perfect opportunity to work collaboratively with world leading academics on public service transformation and reform. In particular, we have engaged with the Urban Observatory – the largest set of publicly available real time urban data in the UK – to better understand air quality and mobility within the City, using data to help inform policy changes. You can find out more information on Helix here

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Skills and Inclusion

We’re taking a 'playground to PhD' approach to equip our residents with digital skills for the future. Within our Community Hubs and Libraries, we offer basic support to help our residents ‘get online’, techy tea parties where people learn how to use their own devices in an easy going environment and free access to PCs on our People’s Network, along with more targeted business skills provision through the Skills Hub and BIPC. Find our more here. We’re also helping build Digital Champion capacity within the local private sector, for example by providing awareness training for a group of Lloyds Bank staff. Across the City, the University Technical College 14-19 (backed by high profile partners including locally based Sage and Ubisoft), Newcastle University and Northumbria University are nurturing STEM talent, and we’re working with them on many projects and placements which benefit the Council, the student and the City.

(photo credit: Tech for Life)