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Sunderland builds on smart city excellence with Connexin data platform

Sunderland City Council has announced the deployment of a new Integrated Smart City Platform (ISCP) to enhance services and cement its position as a UK smart city leader.

The Council has signed a contract with Connexin, which will see the IoT and smart cities provider implement its ConnexinOS platform. The solution will pool data sets across Adult Social Care, Council Tax, Anti-Social Behaviour, Environment Incidents & Health and Child Services from both the Council and will include third party data. This collated information will be aggregated and analysed to inform a collective and coordinated multi-agency response at the earliest point, whether that’s removing graffiti or helping people who are at risk or need support.

ConnexinOS uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to identify trends in data sets and suggests the best course of action, ensuring that no potential issues are missed and the correct pathway is taken. The platform is also scalable, meaning that the Council will be able to add and remove new solutions and data sets to it in the future.

The project follows the announcement of Sunderland City Council’s 20-year strategic partnership with BAI Communications to design, build and operate next-generation digital infrastructure including a private 5G small cell network. This, along with implementation of the ConnexinOS, will support Sunderland’s ambitious City Plan, which aims to make Sunderland a connected, international city that provides opportunities for everyone.

The Council has already been recognised internationally for its smart innovations, having been named a finalist at the World Smart City Awards 2021, while Chief Executive Patrick Melia was named one of the top three digital leaders in the UK at the Digital Leaders 100 Awards.

ConnexinOS’ secure platform represents endless opportunities for the city and many communities across Sunderland. Amidst plans to rejuvenate Southwick, this data platform will support the wide range of issues being tackled by the SARA (Southwick Altogether Raising Aspirations) partnership, such as crime and disorder, mental health and unemployment, and help to shape priorities and support needed in the area.

Underpinning the work of the SARA community hub, data gathered on the ConnexinOS platform will simplify data aggregation and integration, bringing different datasets into one single space and enabling efficient management of what is happening in the community.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council said:

“Our new contract with Connexin marks another significant milestone for our smart city as we strive to make Sunderland a leading global smart city of the future.

“Connexin’s experience in delivering end-to-end smart city projects with an agile, flexible and collaborative approach meant they were the perfect partners to meet our needs in the short term, but also increasing the scope and capabilities of the platform into the future. Working together, we will be able to put in place a platform that will further revolutionise our services, continuously improving the smart management of our city to create better futures for our communities.”

The contract between Sunderland City Council and Connexin will run for three years and will cover the entire lifecycle of the project from concept to delivery. Connexin will also provide training through its Connexin Academy to support those out of employment and young people going into work within Sunderland through mentoring programmes, CV workshops, career guidance, mock interviews and literacy support.

 

Ralph Varcoe, Chief Growth Officer at Connexin said:

“Having deployed the UK’s first ever smart city platform for Hull City Council in 2019, we are thrilled to be able to work with another forward-thinking council and empower Sunderland to develop and level-up through the power of technology to benefit their residents.

“Sunderland is a shining example of what towns and cities across the UK can achieve when they embrace smart solutions and we are delighted to be implementing ConnexinOS to develop this further.”