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HP Labs and Swansea University to jointly develop a situationally-aware, sustainable campus


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist



From left to right, David L Morgan, HP Wales; Dr Amit Mehta, College of Engineering, Swansea University; Dr Amip Shah, who leads IoT research at HP Labs; Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University; Professor Javier Bonet, Head of the College of Engineering, Swansea University; Mateen Greenway, HP Fellow and CTO, HP Future Cities.


HP Labs and Swansea University’s College of Engineering have announced an exclusive three year joint research program aimed at fostering innovation in intelligent communications, data analytics, green sensors, and cyber security.


The project initially establishes a new research testbed for exploring technologies that lower energy consumption and support the production of clean energy. A second phase will install and evaluate instantiations of these technologies on the Welsh university’s new £450m ($800m) Science and Innovation Campus, one of the top five knowledge economy-based projects currently under development in Europe.


“Developing an intelligent, secure, situationally-aware, and power-saving campus aligns directly with HP’s vision of future cities,” says Amip Shah, who leads Internet of Things research at HP Labs. “It’s wonderful to be able to expand our testbed capabilities and it will be exciting to see the ideas we jointly develop explored in a real-world setting.”


A third key partner in the project is HP Enterprise Services, which initiated the discussions that led to the joint research effort and will supply Smart Grid utility infrastructure solutions to be tested on the new campus.


Swansea_2_web.jpgTo mark the collaboration, Shah recently visited the university and delivered a public lecture titled, 'When Everything’s Connected... And Big Data becomes Really, Really Big.' “I tried to give a sense of where HP Labs’ own research in this area is heading and connect that to what we’ll be doing in our work with our academic and business unit partners in Wales,” he says.


In addition to Shah’s talk, Amit Mehta of Swansea University offered a brief overview of the Swansea Smart Campus project, James Callaghan of Newcastle University spoke about “Smart Cities at Newcastle,” and Miriam Dowle, of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, placed the project in the context of UK energy research. Joining Shah from HP were David L Morgan of HP Wales and Mateen Greenway, an HP Fellow and CTO of HP Future Cities.


While the main goal of the HP/Swansea University joint venture is to further academic and industrial research, the university also expects to benefit from almost immediate cost savings via reduced energy consumption. As such, it also addresses the Welsh Government’s objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent before 2050.


“Working with global enterprises like HP as well as academia and local small and medium businesses is a fundamental part of ensuring a sustainable community,” Professor Javier Bonet, head of Swansea University’s College of Engineering, and the program’s strategic director noted at the program’s launch. “This will have direct economic benefits for Wales in terms of knowledge creation, innovation and exploitation, as well as the development of a highly-skilled work force.”

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