Category Archives: Birmingham Smart City Commission

Birmingham listed in top 3 of UK smart cities!

A Smart Cities Index Report – the first of its kind – commissioned and released earlier this week by Huawei UK has listed Birmingham as the 3rd smartest city in Britain ahead of the likes of Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds!

To be listed as a ‘contender’ in this report goes to show that the collaborative work we have undertaken with Birmingham’s Smart City Commission and with partners since the launch of the Birmingham Smart City Vision statement in 2013 has come a long way and it’s a great boost to be given this recognition on a national scale! Particular highlights in the report include the work being established around the East Birmingham Demonstrator and forthcoming HS2 related activities.

Further details and the full report can be found at

Smart City Commission Journey

Follow the journey of Birmingham Smart City Commission through past meeting notes and papers.


Papers / presentations:

  1. East Birmingham Corridor Demonstrator-FCC.SW
  2. Incubator developments and activities-iCentrum Update-DH
  3. Incubator developments and activities-STEAMhouse update-JB
  4. Smart City Commission Governance-Executive and Smart Board for GBSLEP Region-DB.RM
  5. Smart City Commission Governance-Refresh Proposal-DB-v1.0
  6. Birmingham Smart City Activity Tracker 2015-16-14.01.16-v1.2


Papers / presentations:

  1. Data Workshop Update
  2. A Roadmap Framework for East Birmingham
  3. IOT Demonstrator-WM Regional Bid & other DB Bids
  4. Birmingham Smart City Activity Tracker 2015-16-v1
  5. The WMP2020 Blueprint


Papers / presentations:

  1. Future Council Programme
  2. E Birmingham Demonstrator-FCC
  3. Release of data-DB
  4. Open Data-Boilerhouse
  5. Refresh of Smart City Commission-DB
  6. Overview of Bids-DB


Papers / presentations:

  1. Thematic Presentations-Mobility-Amey
  2. Thematic Presentations-Health-Tim Jones
  3. Thematic Presentations-Skills-David Hardman
  4. Eastern Corridor-Spatial Context and challenges-DBLT
  5. Lessons from elsewhere-LD Arup


Papers / presentations:

  1. Discussion Paper_Birmingham Smart City_Effective_Commission_Working_04_11_14 FINAL




Data Workshop – 15 September 2015@ Impact Hub Birmingham

Presentations from the session are now available below:

Birmingham’s Smart City Commission invited key individuals with a keen interest in all things ‘Data’ and ‘Health’ to their share knowledge and expertise which will be key to enabling Birmingham to become an‘Open by Default’ city.

The work follows on from June’s Smart Commission meeting and the recommendation from Cllr Lisa Trickett for a Data Workshop to shape the development of the Open Data and wider Data agenda of the Birmingham region with a view to producing a briefing paper for wider circulation and adoption.

Smart City Commission Data Workshop
Hierarchy of Data Needs

Hosted by Impact Hub Birmingham and Facilitated by Robin Daniels, Managing Director of Redpill Group, the day included a case study contribution from Atos and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council/Public Sector partners on their Multi Agency Data Sharing:  Vulnerability Intelligence Project (VIS); and participants were asked to help determine the challenges/pain points, service engagement and data interactions in a ‘Day in the Life’ of an archetype citizen (focusing on the ‘Health of Older People’).

The workshop details can be viewed on Eventbrite.

Please post your comments and perspectives here as we would welcome your input.

Share PSI workshop in Lisbon – call for papers

Following its first workshop on Samos during the summer, the Share PSI network are preparing for their second meeting in Lisbon. This will be 3-4 December at the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering.

The second workshop is entitled “Encouraging open data usage by commercial developers” which is a subject of some interest to Data Unlocked, and so I’m really pleased to be going there to represent Birmingham.

If you are interested in attending there are several ways in which you can participate:

  1. Lead a session. This entails facilitating a discussion. It may begin with a very short set up presentation but 90% of the time should be allocated for discussion. Proposals should not be academic papers but descriptions of the discussion you would like to lead and the experiences you have to offer. These are expected to be 1 or 2 pages in length and will fill slots in the Open Track.
  2. Give a plenary talk. Longer papers, up to a maximum of 5 pages in length, are invited for consideration as the basis of a plenary presentation of which no more than 3 are expected to be presented at the workshop.
  3. If you would like to attend but do not wish to lead a session or give a plenary presentation, please outline your interest in a short position paper. The intention is to make sure that participants have an active interest in the area, and that the workshop will benefit from their presence.

I really enjoyed the first workshop. The network has some strong partners involved and the standard of presentations was really high. We’ve changed the format around for the second workshop so there’s more opportunity for participation by delegates, with both pre-programmed and open sessions planned. We are also running the workshop in parallel with the LAPSI 2.0 and LIDER projects giving lots of networking opportunities.

The call for participation closes on Sunday, so if you want to come along you’ll need to be quick.

Mobilising for Action

Bull Ring at night (Creative Commons
Bull Ring at night (Creative Commons

The Birmingham Smart City Commission has established a number of thematic working groups, based on discussions with its members, with the aim of establishing a programme of strategic priorities and activity that will support delivery of Birmingham’s Smart City Roadmap. All activity aims to embed the principles of and address the strategic aims set out in the Roadmap:

  • Use of digital technologies and information to increase capacity of existing infrastructure and services
  • A joined up, integrated approach to service delivery across all sectors
  • Release and access to data
  • Citizen involvement, cooperation and citizen focused service delivery

Each working group is chaired by a lead representative from the Smart City Commission who is responsible for progressing the Smart City principles alongside the needs of the sector / area and its membership focused on practical actions that deliver real outcomes.

Working Groups and leads are as follows:

Benchmarking and Progress – Mark Barber, KPMG
Civic Economy – Jas Bains, Ashram Moseley Housing
Education, Skills & Innovation – David Hardman, Innovation Birmingham Ltd
Energy – TBC
Health – Tim Jones, UHB
Mobility – Nick Gregg, Amey
Open and Big Data – Bjorn Birgisson, Aston University

We are holding a meeting at the end of September to bring together the leads above with the Chair of the Commission (Cllr. Lisa Trickett – Cabinet Member – Green, Smart and Sustainable City) to agree the framework and collective vision that will ensure an integrated  approach across the themed areas.

You can read more about the results from the stakeholder analysis, undertaken with the Commission members and supported by Mark Barber from KPMG that helped to inform the development of the working groups and the timeplan for next steps here

Birmingham Smart City Roadmap launches

The Mailbox, Birmingham at night
The Mailbox, Birmingham

Today we launched the Birmingham Smart City Roadmap , which sets out over 35 actions that aim to influence the city’s approach to creating a sustainable and better future for its citizens by responding to challenges such as unemployment, the skills gap, health inequalities, effective mobility and carbon reduction targets.

The Roadmap has been developed by the Birmingham Smart City Commission, a body created by the city council which includes leading figures from the business, academic and public sectors, supported by Digital Birmingham.

It represents a collective ambition by city stakeholders to deliver real change by developing intelligent and integrated services through the use of digital technologies, data and open collaboration, driven by the citizens and communities that are core to the city’s future growth.

The three intrinsically linked themes of Technology & Place, People and Economy underpin the roadmap’s 39 proposed actions, to be delivered over the next three years, identifying funding through European, national and regional programmes.

We invite people to be part of our smart city journey and the Roadmap provides the means to get involved.  Please tell us what you think – the online version of the roadmap provides space to comment on all of the 39 actions covering digital infrastructure, connectivity, digital inclusion, data, mobility, skills, health and energy, as well as a simple online form to tell us what you are doing; alternatively you can email: if you want more information or would like to get involved in anyway.

Birmingham Smart City Commission – Terms of Reference

These are the terms of reference for the Birmingham Smart City Commission
Statement of Ambition 
Birmingham is acknowledged for its industrial heritage and as a powerhouse of the  industrial revolution that was borne out of a dynamic spirit of entrepreneurial collaboration with strong civic leadership to provide for its citizens.
Cities everywhere are now finding themselves challenged on many levels: a slow economy, a growing but also ageing population putting existing services under strain, partly legacy infrastructure that is no longer fit for purpose and rapid technological change that has raised citizen’s expectations about how services are being delivered (e.g. real-time information, instant communication and ‘always on’
society). With these challenges comes the momentum and exciting opportunity to  redefine our city that will secure our sustainability and prosperity for decades to come.
Our ambition is to create a city that can deal with these challenges and address future city needs by:
  • making it adaptable and knowledgeable about itself
  • having the means to assign scarce resources in the most beneficial way
  • creating a future-proof city that is attractive to citizens, business, visitors and investors alike
  • enabling a culture of innovation and collaboration.
Birmingham has started its journey towards addressing many of  these challenges, and is putting in place the governance, infrastructure and enabling activities to establish Birmingham as a leading smart city.
Birmingham is recognised by National Government as a strategic leader in its approach and has been working with BIS and the British Standards Institution (BSI) to shape national policy and create frameworks for smart city implementation. It is working with the Technology Strategy Board, the Catapults and other organisations
to drive innovation and accelerate transformational change within the City. Under the leadership of Councillor McKay, Cabinet Member for Green, Safe and Smart City, we published the Smart City Vision setting out the challenges and the strategic and collaborative approaches the City will take in order to enable Birmingham to stand out as a truly smart city, one that meets its future needs.
A task and finish group was put in place to further develop the vision into a roadmap and action plan. It was recognised that the Commission going forward must demonstrate strong leadership, be outward looking, bring together expertise and strategic thinkers from key fields to direct and deliver the longer term strategic  vision for the city.

Work to Date
In 2012 the City set up a number of advisory bodies / Commissions to help address  issues ranging from climate change, youth employment, social cohesion and  inclusion, health to economic growth opportunities and the development of skills  and enterprise. In line with this, the interim Smart City Commission was set up in
2012, which created the below vision that was published in January 2013 and the full  document can be downloaded from the Digital Birmingham website.


Many of these advisory bodies have already produced their own actions plans for  and it is clear that there are considerable overlaps in the organisations that need to work together, the technologies and the resources required to deliver the outcomes. The Smart City Commission now has the opportunity to play a central role in bringing together these agendas to maximise their potential.
The Smart City Vision sets out the challenges and opportunities for the city and the wider region. Working collaboratively with industry, business, community and academic leaders the Smart City task and finish group has developed the roadmap and action plan to implement the vision.
This roadmap provides the strategic direction for the city across the 3 pillars of People, Place and Economy. It aims to apply and embed smart principles such as cross-sector cooperation, integrating services and use of data and information for decision making into all city activities in order to deliver better outcomes and quality
of life for its citizens.
The Roadmap is a statement of our aspiration to change the city as much as it documents specific actions that we have identified for the short term; it is meant to be a living document that needs to be reviewed and adapted on a regular basis. This will allow us to continually embrace new opportunities as they emerge.

It is important to note that the speed of change in the technology sector is considerable making it difficult to develop detailed plans beyond a 3-year horizon.  However, where activities relate to infrastructure, organisational or behavioural change they may well span a 5-10 year outlook.

The Smart City Commission
The Smart City task and finish group recognised the high importance of local  leadership and active involvement from strategic organisations that make up a city to be represented on the Commission. Working with local leaders and institutions will provide an opportunity to implement the far reaching vision and strategic
approach that will set the wheels in motion for its delivery.

The Commission therefore needs to:

  • Be strategic and independent in its thinking with the ability to influence the strategic direction of the City and enable close cooperation of leaders and experts across key disciplines
  • Provide strong leadership and citywide governance in order to establish a holistic and integrated approach to city wide planning for Birmingham and the wider Greater Birmingham and Solihull region
  • Have the authority and accountability to ensure the delivery of the Smart City Roadmap and Action Plan, monitor its progress and promote its activities locally, nationally and internationally
  • Be aware of and influence of the development of new standards essential to smart city operations for example in areas of interoperability, data, performance and commissioning

Aims of the Commission:

  • Implement the Smart City vision and change how the future city operates
  • Establish the leadership and governance structure for the future city
  • Identify emerging challenges and strategic opportunities for the city and wider region
  • Put in place the drivers and enablers that will provide opportunities for ICT  advancement in the city
  • Create the conditions for attracting and accelerating investment in the city

What the Commission will do:

  • Endorse the roadmap and action plan and ensure they continue to evolve and reflect the need of the city, its citizens and businesses
  • Review and advise on the best use of changing technologies, suitability of existing infrastructure and processes to maximise benefits for citizens and the economy
  • Work with other commissions and create partnerships where appropriate to address synergies and ensure an integrated city approach
  • Liaise, influence and advise on the delivery plans of own and other
  • organisations to secure resources for the delivery of the roadmap and action plan and identify funding and investment opportunities
  • Evaluate results and existing work undertaken in the field

Commission membership:
The commission needs to include local representation from a range of fields (ICT, Health, Environment, Transport, Education, Skills, Economy) to facilitate an understanding of the societal issues in conjunction with technological advancement to deliver the future city vision. As this is an evolving topic, it is important that that a
number of external experts are included to ensure that the City benefits from the latest developments and opportunities.
In addition to the Birmingham Smart City Commission a wider stakeholder group (both internal to BCC and external) will be sought to ensure wider challenge and peer review around the city’s vision and priorities.

These terms of reference can all be downloads in the Smart City Commission Terms of Reference Draft PDF