Enter the Smart Oxford Challenge

Nominet is proud to host the first Smart Oxford Challenge in partnership with W3C, on 18th September 2015

Smart Oxford Challenge logo

Do you have an idea for a connected product or digital service that could make Oxford a better, smarter city?

Apply online before August 7th for the Smart Oxford Challenge

If you are selected, you will receive support on the day (business, technical, marketing) to develop your idea and showcase it to city officials and the press in an exclusive evening showcase.

Ideas will be selected on their ability to cater to Oxford’s unique challenges in new and innovative ways.

You can apply online or find out more at the Smart Oxford Challenge website.

TV white space in Oxford

By: Nominet

TV white space (TVWS) is the name given to the parts of wireless spectrum that were freed up as part of the digital TV switchover in the UK. TVWS can create two-way communications at a relatively high-data rates over long distances and urban environments so it’s good for transmitting applications such as video or collating lots of local area data, like sensors, and transferring it over long distances. It’s also good for enabling WiFi in large open areas where it would be inconvenient to put in new connections.

With more and more machines connected to the internet, our phones, TVs, cars, electric meters, fridges, security, fire alarms and even our heating, this kind of technology could really fuel the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the UK.

The available set of TVWS frequencies varies, so the database that Nominet has developed performs complex calculations and tells devices which frequencies they can use in that area, at what power and for how long. Nominet, best-known as the organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .UK internet infrastructure, is currently involved in a number of projects related to TVWS in order to learn about and foster this new technology.

Here in Oxford, we have been pioneering our TVWS technology to power the Oxford Flood Network, providing wireless connectivity for the flood sensors. Nominet sees great potential in the use of TVWS in both smart cities and connecting remote rural areas. For more information please see the Nominet R&D blog or contact tvws@nominet.org.uk.

Oxford’s Future of Cities Programme

Rethinking the city as a flexible and dynamic space

The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities seeks to re-think the city, in theory and practice, as a flexible and evolving space that better responds to contemporary urban challenges.

The understanding of the urban, whether in theory or practice, stands at a turning point. Cities over the world face complex and rapidly evolving challenges. Addressing them requires ingenuity and versatility, whether in policymaking, investment decisions or everyday livelihoods.

The Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities aims towards rethinking the city as a flexible and dynamic space that better responds to evolving circumstances. The focus on the flexible city presents scholars, policymakers, investors and the public at large with an inherently interdisciplinary perspective and multi-faceted approach to question contemporary concepts, methodologies and policies towards urban change. It asks:

  • Conceptually, what does flexibility mean in different contemporary urban contexts and for whom are cities made flexible?
  • Methodological tools and perspectives can enable us to look beyond the rigidity of mainstream models for urban development, governance and livelihoods?
  • Can concepts and methods for a flexible city reveal the contested nature of places in progressive and pragmatic ways that are useful in practice?
  • What are the benefits and limits of flexible urbanism from a policy and practice point of view?

Find out more about the programme here.

Creating a low carbon future for Oxfordshire

OxFutures is mobilising large-scale investment to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the city and county. The aim is to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon emissions locally by 2020 and make low carbon economic development mainstream.

The programme has been kick-started by a grant from Intelligent Energy Europe* to leverage investment of £20 million into local energy projects by the end of 2015.

This is the start of a journey to make low carbon economic development mainstream and to bring £400 million of investment into Oxfordshire by 2020. OxFutures will secure the City of Oxford’s target to reduce its carbon emissions, and to reach the Oxfordshire County Council target of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, based on 2008 levels.

The project builds on the unprecedented success of the City and County councils on carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

Oxfutures has been kick-started by a grant from Intelligent Energy Europe to leverage investment of £15 million into local energy projects over the next three years.