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Bristol showcases city-wide test beds in the European capital

Press release issued: 3 March 2017

The University of Bristol is playing a lead role in the creation of experimental test beds that will drive digital innovation and shape the way cities of the future operate.

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Engineering, including Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Director of the University's Smart Internet Lab, showcased pioneering research which uses Bristol as a city-wide test bed for digital innovation and living, at an event in the European capital this week.

The University is enhancing its existing presence in Brussels and continuing strong collaboration with European partners via an initial six month collaboration with Bristol City Council through the Bristol-Brussels Office, which hosted the event.

The University has been using optical networks and wireless technologies (including Internet of Things and 5G) to create a platform for city-scale experimentation. By deploying cutting-edge infrastructure across the city of Bristol, the University is developing a platform on which technologies – hardware and software – can be tested and trialled in real-time at city scale.

The aim of the event was to share insights with European partners about the application of novel network technologies and data to develop concrete solutions to world-wide city challenges, including energy management and driverless cars.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bristol said: "The University is a global leader in driving how communications and digital technologies will impact the way people live in the future. The event held in Brussels is a strong example of our important ties with Europe and gave academics from the University the opportunity to discuss how our experimental test beds are shaping digital innovation and solving urban challenges.  We are excited that Bristol is leading on 5G and together with the city we are developing the communication systems of the future.

"This openness to experimentation and collaboration with partners, at home and abroad, is enabling the public and private sector, academia, and importantly citizens to co-develop innovative services and solutions to urban challenges."

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, commented: "The connections we have through our existing Bristol Brussels Office have allowed us to access EU funding and participate in the right policy conversations for the benefit of the city. These connections also play a part in our planning for a post-Brexit future."

Further information

About the Smart Internet Lab
The Smart Internet Lab, is an interdisciplinary activity that uniquely brings together more than 200 experts across the boundaries of communications and digital living research. Our research aims at addressing a key limitation with the current Internet, its inability to scale enough to support the demand and rapid changes in the way we consume Internet services. 

We provide a holistic approach to hardware and software co-design used to solve critical problems in the global Internet evolution. This is due to the fact that we are one of very few Universities that have expertise, and combined thinking, across optics, networks and wireless technologies, enabling us to bring together end-to-end, wired-wireless network design and optimisation. 

As a hub for internet research, we challenge the complexity of tomorrow’s world by fusing research expertise and innovation in a range of areas such as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) and eHealth. 

The Smart Internet Lab involves academics and researchers from the Communication Systems & Networks (CSN) Research Group, the High Performance Networks (HPN) Research Group, the Photonics Research Group, as well as, experts from other fields at the University of Bristol, working together to address grand societal and industrial challenges.   



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