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01 September 2018

Dorset launch Smart Place Research & Development Consortium

Dorset launch Smart Place Research & Development Consortium

Start Date: 01/09/2018                         


Project Lead: Bournemouth Borough Council

Project Summary

The Smart Place Research & Development Consortium, which includes major private sector technology partners, local authorities, local universities, the LEP, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health Dorset, has been formed to accelerate the region’s Smart Place programme that will enable productivity, drive innovation across the region and generate value for people, business and place.

The Consortium aims to deliver a pioneering programme of outputs including:

  • Gigabit connectivity across Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester
  • Internet of Things, Public WIFI and 5G connectivity across the region
  • Acceleration of research and development into 5G enabled machine to machine connectivity in partnership with the Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster enabling a new market place for innovation
  • Investment secured from a manufacturer to supply 5G millimeter wave (26GHz) proof of concept mobile equipment that will enable a world first in 5G mobile deployment in a ‘real world’ environment 
  • A data platform or ‘City Brain’ that hosts real time ‘place’ data including transport, health, energy, community and security. Data analytics and artificial intelligence within the platform will optimise the utilisation of public resources and enable the place to provide services more efficiently. The platform will be hyper-scalable, fully automated, intelligent and secure
  • A city style ‘App Store’ to encourage open innovation, enabling digital SMEs access to city data to create digital applications in transport, health, energy and other verticals
  • An entire new ecosystem where new business models will support sustainable growth, creating value for businesses, people and place


  • 60 new jobs in the region working on 5G applications
  • 3 technology partners setting up new office locations in the region
  • The economic benefit of developing and implementing a 5G/Smart Place programme across Dorset is significant - investors have forecast that between £50-100m could be deployed across Dorset in the next three years

Whilst the Smart Place programme will enhance Dorset’s digital connectivity, the real driver is to enable Dorset to become a world leader in emerging technologies in line with government’s Industrial Strategy. The consortium and its programme will enable Dorset to move as quickly as possible to secure competitive advantage and support the LEP’s vision of ‘By 2038, Dorset will be one of Britain’s Core City regions and the most sustainable of these. Its competitiveness will be driven by innovation'.


Contact details

Bournemouth Borough Council

Ruth Spencer

Tel: 07990 080650


Adrian Hale

Tel: 01202 451349


Dorset LEP

Lucy Green, Programme Manager

Tel: 01202 965755 



Achievements in 2018

  • Completion of the ‘fibre ring’ around the LEP funded Lansdowne digital testbed
  • 3 global technology companies secured as partners in the R&D Consortium
  • 5G equipment investment from a US company secured to develop proof of concept in Lansdowne
  • Submission of a number of major bids into DCMS’s 5G and Local Full Fibre Networks programmes (shortlisted for LFFN, an outcome expected Spring 2019)
  • Submission of the area’s Transforming Cities Fund bid, including major innovation and digital aspects (outcome expected December 2018)
  • Submission of Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole’s ADEPT Live Lab bid (Transport and transport related initiatives – outcome expected December 2018)
  • Securing of 5G testing licences from Ofcom. A current pioneering application to allocate spectrum to place is live with Ofcom and plans are underway to develop an extensive lobbying campaign through the LEPS, Key Cities and LGA networks
  • Deployment of an Internet of Things (I.o.T) network in Bournemouth, with roll out to Poole planned for Q1 2019
  • 5 local technology and engineering businesses actively involved in developing I.o.T software and sensors for Bournemouth Borough Council
  • World-wide coverage of the area’s ‘Smart Place’ ambitions through the BBC Click interview (07:10)
  • Detailed mapping for a digital ecosystem including the underlying ‘Full Fibre’ network
  • Detailed network design for a pan-Dorset fibre backbone
  • Commencement of the business case for commercialisation of full fibre and wireless networks
  • Engagement with the Engineering & Manufacturing Cluster around further 5G roll out including major centres and industrial areas in Poole, Christchurch and wider Dorset with the potential to revolutionise manufacturing and increase productivity
  • Industry 4.0. Workshops scheduled for January 2019 with interested local companies on how they can drive innovation through 5G and IoT
  • Engagement with the Marine cluster including Port of Poole and Portland Port on how they can drive innovation through 5G and IoT
  • Engagement with Silicon South on the opportunities for digital companies to develop Smart city applications and benefit from ‘open innovation’ with workshops planned for Q1 2019
  • Engagement with Public Health Dorset and Dorset Clinical Comissioning Group with a ‘Smart health’ workshop planned for January 2019
  • Ongoing engagement with major investors, looking to invest in the wider area
  • Deeping relationship with government departments and in particular DCMS
  • Significant support from local MPs and lobbying of Ministers




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