Intel plots UK economic boost by turning London into a sustainable city


Intel has partnered with Imperial College London and University College London to launch a centre for research into sustainable cities and give the UK economy a much-needed boost.

The Intel Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI) for Sustainable Connected Cities is part of Intel's 48 million a year investment into R&D in the UK.

The three aims of the initiate are to enhance citizen wellbeing; improve the environment and increase economic viability.

The ICRI will be dedicated to solving wide-ranging problems from long commute times to droughts. London will be used as a laboratory, with sensors placed around the city to collect information and measure energy consumption. This information is expected to be made available to citizens through via devices such as smartphones.

Researchers will also collaborate with partners from Tech City in East London to analyse information from social media sites, such as Twitter.

London was chosen by Intel because it is the fifth largest city in the world, has the largest GDP in Europe, and has over 200 ethnic communities amongst its inhabitants.

This makes it a "microcosum of the planet, which cannot be replicated in a laboratory", said Justin Rattner, Intel chief technology officer and director of Intel Labs, during the launch at 10 Downing Street.

According to Rattner, half of the world's population lives in cities.

These cities consume 75 per cent of the energy and contribute 80 per cent of the greenhouse emissions. By 2050, there will be nine billion people living in cities, piling pressure on infrastructure and resources.

"The megacities such as London, Beijing, and New York will only continue to grow and the aim is to help them make the best use of technology to better the quality of life," Rattner told IT Pro.

"We still may look to have a sustainable city in the US, and look to developing areas such as South America. China is also an interesting region as it is building new cities at present."

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.