Southwark Council have scooped a prestigious prize for their work on digital infrastructure. The prize, presented at the third annual Smart Cities UK Awards on Thursday, was in recognition of their commitment to create a digitally inclusive Borough where residents and businesses are provided with the digital tools to live and work. The awards, held in London, were presented by former Chair of the Smart Cities APPG and now Chief Whip, Iain Stewart MP. Alongside Southwark, Bristol were also recognized for their work on smart homes. The team at Bristol have engaged one hundred and fifty homes to become ‘smart connected homes’ trialling smart appliances in order to understand possible energy savings.

It was not just Local Authorities who were rewarded on the night, Tricuro, a local authority trading company, were recognized for their ‘virtual beach’ project which utilizes virtual reality to engage patients with dementia or physical impairments. Scooping the health award, Richard Dolan, Innovation & Technology Manager said:

“The power of VR to connect people to human experiences is vast, and our project has been about just that – the use of VR and immersive technology as a tool to create meaningful human experiences that make a difference to people’s live, that enable us to better understand the person, their life, and how we can connect that person to something that gives them an experience that is truly person centred.”

Other awards on the evening went to start-up Hello Lamp Post, a citizen facing communication tool currently installed across the world. Joining HLP was another start-up Immense Simulations who were recognised for their work on policy decision-making via an online platform which drives economic and social outcomes. Commonplace scooped the data award for their work in Waltham Forest.

The evening culminated in the UK Leadership award which this year was split between Leeds City Council, represented by Stephen Blackburn, Data Manager and the Governments Smart Tsar, Jacqui Taylor. Highly commended went to Julie Snell, CEO of Bristol is Open