Smart City Alliance

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What we do:

The Smart City Alliance is a cross-sector network whose membership includes practitioners from universities, local authorities, businesses, voluntary organisations and SMEs from across the whole West Midlands region.

The group meets bi-monthly and provides visiting speakers a platform to share their smart initiatives and the opportunity to forge relationships with Alliance partners.

Thematic workshops also look to drive collaborative activity in response to current opportunities.

Chairs: The group is co-chaired by Alex Cole, Chief Innovation Officer at Tin Smart Social, and Rick Robinson, Digital Properties and Cities Leader at Arup.

Co-ordinated by: Iain Mansell, Project Manager at Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands.

Get in touch:


Twitter: @innovationwm

Next meeting:

  • Date: Wednesday 11th September
  • Time: 9am – 11:30am
  • Venue: Manufacturing and Technology Centre: MTC Limited, Ansty Park, Coventry, CV7 9JU

Past meetings:

Wednesday 10th July at Aston University (meeting point: EBRI)

Our last meeting took place at Aston University, where we began the day by taking a sneak peek behind the doors of the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI), part of Aston’s smart city ‘ASTUTE’ activity.

We also got to hear a fascinating talk from Aston’s spin out company ‘Grid Edge’ on how they are pioneering the application of Artificial Intelligence for building energy systems.

We also welcomed ‘DIGI-RAIL’. DIGI-RAIL is an ERDF-part funded project providing long-term innovation support to eligible SMEs within the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) areas, on developing digital products and services for the rail industry.

Wednesday 1st May at Birmingham City University

On Wednesday 1st May 2019 IAWM’s Smart City Alliance had the pleasure of supporting Birmingham City University (BCU) for the launch of the ‘CityGate’ urban data platform. It was really overwhelming to see such a great turnout at Millennium Point, Birmingham, with over 50 regional innovation experts coming together to engage with our ‘data’ themed event.

The morning kicked off with a special welcome from BCU’s Prof Andrew Aftelak, Head of the School of Computing and Digital Technology followed by a series of data focussed initiatives including Birmingham in Real Time; The Big Data Corridor; and West Midlands 5G, introduced by Dr Adel Aneiba, Associate Professor in IoT. The event was rounded off by a Smart IP session delivered by the Intellectual Property Office and Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

Read all about it here.


City Gate

Birmingham in Real Time

Big Data Corridor

Smarter IP

Wednesday 6th March at University of Birmingham

The March Smart City Alliance meeting took place on Wednesday 6th March hosted by University of Birmingham. The meeting kicked off with a tour of the University’s new ‘Green Heart’. We also received presentations from:

(The energy generating paving at the Green Heart)

See more about the Liveable Cities Project:

Wednesday 9th January at STEAMhouse

Our January meeting took place at SteamhouseUK, with speakers from Maas Global, Streamr, and Smart Oxford.The day began with a brilliant tour of the venue, and ended with a fruitful networking session.

(Tour of STEAMhouse)

See more about STEAMhouse:

7th November 2018 at West Midlands Combined Authority 

Our final meeting of 2018 took place on the 7th November at WMCA, with speakers from JCP Support For Schools, Slenky, Digital Birmingham,  plus discussions led by our Chairs on the implication of 5G in the West Midlands, and the potential for an Intelligent Services Roadmap.

(Alex Cole on the potential of an Intelligent Services Roadmap)
(Cec Richards, Slenky)

See more about Slenky:


You can find a full list of Smart City Alliance members here.