Bristol Is Open was awarded the global ‘Smart City Innovator’ ‘award at the TM Forum Live! 2016 – Digital World Awards last week.

TM Forum is the global industry association for digital business, connecting talented individuals, leading companies, and diverse ecosystems to accelerate members’ successful digital business transformation. Over 3,500 delegates from 650 different telecommunication and digital organisations attended the four-day event held in France [9-12 May].

The Smart City Innovator Award ‘recognises the most innovative service breakthrough focused on positive impact to the lives of citizens, the cost of delivering services within a city and the applicability of the innovation to other cities around the world’. Bristol Is Open’s Managing Director Paul Wilson accepted the award at the Digital World Awards.

Dimitra Simeonidou, Chief Technology Officer for Bristol Is Open and Professor of High Performance Networks at the University of Bristol, gave a keynote speech about using Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NVF) to help create the world’s first open programmable city, with Paul providing an overview of Bristol Is Open in the smart cities track of the event.

Paul Wilson said: “This award is recognition of the innovative approach Bristol is taking to smart cities.   The joint venture created between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol and the engagement of industry is proving to be a dynamic way to push our ‘programmable city’ activity forward.  We are absolutely delighted to have received such a prestigious acknowledgement of our work on the next generation of communication networks and their impact on city management.”

Professor Dimitra Simeonidou added: “The programmable city concept and architecture has been developed by the High Performance Networks (HPN) Group based at the University of Bristol over the past few years. I am delighted that our unique technical approach and deployment of SDN/NVF technologies at a city scale has been recognised with this award.”

The impartial and independent judging panel consisted of leading industry experts and analysts, including Dr Anastassia Lauterbach, CEO and founder, 1AU-Ventures; Chris Lewis, Telecoms Industry Analyst, Lewis Insight; Joachim Horn, CTO and Information Advisor (CTIA), PLDT/Smart Group; Keith Willetts, founder and former chairman & CEO, TM Forum; and Radhika Venkatraman, Sr. VP and CIO, Verizon;. The judging panel was led by Chairman Steffen Roehn, CEO, Roehn Management Consulting GmbH and former group chief information officer of Deutsche Telekom.

Stephen Hilton, Director of City Innovation for Bristol Is Open and Director of Bristol Futures at Bristol City Council, said: “Bristol has been developing its smart city work for several years, and its pleasing to receive this recognition for what we are doing.  We are focused on making a smart city that works for every citizen that enhances the liveability, sustainability and resilience of Bristol, and that is good for the planet.  The technology cluster in Bristol is very dynamic and Bristol Is Open’s work is contributing to that.”

Bristol Is Open had some stiff global competition from other cities and large vendors operating smart city projects, however the judges commended Bristol Is Open for its ‘openness and application for all types of citizens’. The project received further praise for its model of creating a joint venture with the University of Bristol as well as the pioneering use of SDN and NFV.

Winning the award has already attracted further interest from potential partners, which will be followed up on in the coming weeks. Bristol Is Open will continue to grow and develop innovative projects on a city scale.

You can watch an interview with Paul Wilson after accepting the award below: