Digital Node was recently selected as one of 16 companies to support the Innovate UK-funded ‘Future Cities Mission to Australia’, where we spent a week in Melbourne, Victoria discussing how future cities would evolve and grow. The overarching goal of the mission was to work with organisations who support the smart cities agenda and to establish relationships with the UK and Australia regarding trading opportunities.
Alongside us on the mission were a variety of differing SMEs who work with technologies to support the wider smart city debate, including Just Park – an innovative platform to determine more intelligently how parking could be undertaken with more ease using intelligent data to locate or design parking in a city or for an asset owner. The types of products, people and services were varied and fantastic, and we hope to work with them more in future.
As an expert BIM consultancy, we were chosen to be a part of the Smart Cities discussion and to support the mission. With buzzwords like ‘digital’, ‘data’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ dominating the conversation about smart cities, we are seeing an uptake in how BIM and Smart Cities are linked, and this gave us an opportunity to engage with the industry in Australia (and Melbourne particularly) to grow contacts and connections in this space. Melbourne was chosen as the mission location as it is the fastest growing city in Australia, with the population expected to exceed its close neighbour Sydney by 2025. As a result, the expectation for population increase will increasingly demand further support for industry, in particular for the smart city solution and enabling integrated data, analytics to be able to support future systems and development.
Joining us on the mission were the following organisations:
- Captive minds Communications group
- Citi Logik Ltd
- Grid Smarter Cities
- Inavya Ventures Ltd
- Just Park
- Open Energi
- Predina Tech Ltd
- SEaB Energy Ltd
- Sunamp Ltd
- Upside Energy Ltd
- Westfield Technology Group
The week included two Jam Sessions with Austrade as well as an informal gathering with mission organisations and local industry groups to support workshop and open discussions around the smart cities agenda. We had information sessions where we networked, discussed how smart cities would change, the importance of Australia, and other issues which supported an open and interactive discussion across the groups.