Aims of the project:

  • The project is working across the themes of energy, mobility and ICT to explore innovative solutions to reduce costs, reduce energy consumption and engage with Manchester citizens.

The energy theme is focussed on:

  • Building Optimisations in Manchester Art Gallery, MCC, and Ellen Wilkinson Building, UoM.
  • Grid Separation – simulation of the disconnection and re-connection aimed at reducing demand.
  • Central Controller – a central system that controls and enables optimal usage of controllable assets. Central Interface Components have been installed at MCC and MMU.
  • Energy Assets – Electrical Energy Storage solution is being installed at the MMU Birley Energy Centre to maximise the use of the generated energy by offering a new option to store surplus energy for use at times of high demand. In addition, 157kw of PV installation has been installed at the MMU site also.

The mobility theme is delivering:

  • Electric vehicles – 7 vans & 2 pool cars at MMU and UoM.
  • Charging infrastructure – for the electric vehicles.
  • ECargo bikes – for use along the Corridor, currently being trialled by an SME and the IT department at UoM.
  • Education – integrating the learning and data into courses run by the 2 Universities.

The ICT theme is focussed on:

  • An Open data Platform – MCRi.
  • 3d Visualisation of the data generated by the scheme.
  • Development of three exemplar apps for use of the data EG a behaviour Change app to encourage students to reduce their energy consumption at peak times.
  • Open Innovation Challenges to explore new ways to utilise the data

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

  • Working across public and private organisations each with different strategies and policies and objectives to reach through the project. Strong governance structure with senior level support and established project delivery partners.

Key success factors:

  • Implementation is complete, combination of close partnership working and collaboration has made this possible.

Key learnings:

  • Technology is not the blocker to being innovative but organisational structures and processes can be the most challenging aspect of delivering a project of this nature.

Organisation: Manchester City Council

Commissioning Agent: Horizon 2020 European Union ‘Smart Cities and Communities’ Programme

Delivery Agents: Manchester City Council with University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Siemens and Clicks & Links

How long has the project been operational: The project started in February 2015 and lasts five years.

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: Through the project bidding process, over a year until the project became live in 2015.

Funding: EU Horizon 2020

Total project cost:  The funding for the project in total is €26m with €9m for Manchester partners.

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