University College of Man (UCM) and Manx Technology Group (MTG) are working together on a range of innovative projects involving Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor solutions. The partnership involves MTG working with UCM to develop, deploy and test IoT solutions on the Isle of Man.
MTG has played a key role in the creation of an Isle of Man IoT accelerator programme alongside the Department for Enterprise (DfE), the Digital Agency, and other industry partners. The role of the accelerator is to educate, promote and support the use of IoT and smart technology on the Island.
The accelerator has several initiatives planned and its investment in a national IoT LoRaWAN network is already enabling projects such as those being undertaken at UCM.
Joe Hughes, CEO of MTG commented, “MTG strongly believes the Isle of Man should be at the forefront of technological innovation and should lead the way in areas such as IoT and automation. We worked with the Digital Agency to design and implement an IoT network that provides all-Island coverage, enabling public, private and charitable bodies to use this facility.
UCM immediately recognised the advantage of the IoT network, and have been a welcome early adopter. Both business and government have a role to play in this journey, but it is the students who will be the next generation of innovators. They will benefit greatly from early exposure to the latest technology, and understanding the innovative, practical uses of IoT.
Real-world scenarios not only enhance the education of students in areas such as ICT, construction, and horticulture, but also provide an opportunity for industry to benefit from fresh insights and new ideas.”
MTG has a vision that the Isle of Man should become a centre of excellence for IoT, and that UCM will play an integral part in achieving that vision. MTG also expect that IoT will play a major role in the Government’s forthcoming economic strategy.
As an economy, IoT and automation have been proven to enhance the productivity and profitability of business. From a societal perspective, technology can be used to improve the prosperity and quality of life of its residents, enhance public services, and contribute to environmental initiatives in areas such as climate change.
Among the IoT projects already underway at UCM include:
Smart Parking. Construction students, supported by MTG engineers, have installed Smart Parking sensors in the UCM’s disabled parking bays. Occupancy of the parking spaces will be visible online or by using an app. The same Smart Parking sensors are used in some of the world’s most prominent smart cities. Historic data will allow ICT students to analyse usage of the bays to see if there is adequate disabled parking provision. Also, the use of smart parking sensors elsewhere has helped the environment by saving fuel and air pollution as well as saving time and frustration which can occur whilst searching for an empty space.
Air Quality Monitoring. Computing & IT students have installed an air quality monitoring station at the front of the College. The station analyses particulates, NO2 and SO2, which are prime indicators of air quality and pollution, in real-time. The data can be used by the students for analysis and software development projects, while the resultant insights can promote discussions on climate change and environmental impact.
Smart Farming. MTG will be working with horticultural students and several farms to install smart agriculture IoT sensors for the purposes of research & development and technology trials. The sensors will analyse soil moisture, nutrients, weather, and solar radiation, which can inform intelligent decision making.
Geoff Chatwood, Vice Principal at UCM said, “This project is a fantastic opportunity for our students to have valuable hands-on experience working with cutting-edge technology, alongside innovation experts from MTG.
We hope that this exposure in IoT and its applications in various sectors, will empower and inspire our students to develop themselves further in this emerging sector. This is particularly beneficial for students, as IoT is one of the fastest-growing fields today, with an increasing number of job opportunities in the near future.
We would like to thank MTG for their support to engage and involve our students in these exciting projects, which we believe will be instrumental in solving problems and advancing growth in numerous sectors, thus benefiting the Island’s overall economy.”
Joe Hughes, CEO at MTG added, “Partnerships between education and industry help to bring learning to life, and prepares students for future employment, whilst contributing towards a healthy technological ecosystem. We look forward to working with UCM, the IoT accelerator and other industry partners to promote the Island on the global stage in areas such as IoT and automation. Not only do we believe IoT represents a real economic opportunity for the Island, but its use has the potential to improve quality of life and assist with our environmental initiatives.”