Announcing the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Cities

It’s with great excitement and anticipation that I write this blog on the launch of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities based in London;  the latest addition to Intel Labs Europe’s Energy and Sustainability Lab, and sustainable cities research portfolio.

Why focus on cities? More than 50% of the world’s population live in cities. Moreover cities consume more than 75% of the world’s energy as well as contributing approximately 70% of greenhouse gases. By 2050 over 70% of the world population shall live in Cities. Cities are places where people meet, exchange and interact. They bring people with different interests, experiences and knowledge close together. They are the centres of culture, economic development and social change.


At this London-based institute; Intel principal investigators (PI’s) shall collaborate with PI’s from  Imperial College London and University College London to drive new frontiers in the application of computing technologies to advance the social, economic and environmental well being of cities. Together we envisage the opportunity to collectively research and create the evolutionary leap for cities in terms of resource efficiency, new services and ease of living. Using a quadruple helix innovation approach involving Government, Industry, Academia and city dwellers we hope to catalyze and drive a new vision for sustainable cities.

Why London? London is the 5th largest city in the world, it has the largest GDP in Europe, and with over 300 languages and 200 ethnic communities, its diversity is a microcosm of the planet itself offering an exciting test bed to create and define sustainable cities. London is the host city to the 2012 summer Olympic games, and we shall seek to understand the experiences of a city under pre-planned stress. What systems worked, failed and why? How were the daily lives of the denizens, workers, and businesses of London affected?

 What shall we do?

– We aim to create new, cross cutting inter-disciplinary “Systems of Systems” Cities research  methodology to understand key city challenges and technology opportunities.

-We shall create a citizen-lead, technology enabled research agenda

– We shall create cross sector urban infrastructure solutions & services

– We shall partner with London communities and authorities to validate / test our research hypothesis.

– We shall collaborate with fellow travellers to envision future sustainable cities.

Sample research topics:

Citizens and Community :

  • How can technology “sustain sustainable behaviours”?
  • How can you design and evaluate connected and sustainable services and user-centred information for diverse needs of city dwellers.
  •  How do you engage city communities to participate in developing technological innovations that will improve their environment, transport systems and local services

City as a Platform

  • What are the system architectures that would compose the notion of the city as a platform?
  • How can edge nodes compose an adaptive, resilient urban membrane?

Big Sensor Data Management and Analytics

  • How do we architect distributed analysis, decision making and resilience from dust to edge to cloud?

Human,  Environment Interface

  • What novel interfaces and interactions are required to encourage participation of citizens, business and government?

Privacy, Security & Trust

  • How do we protect privacy, security and disconnection in a city of a billion sensors?

Integrated Urban Services

  • How can technology enable ubiquitous integrated services?

Policy + Business Models

  • Who pays? Who repairs? Who profits?

The institute will engage with local communities to understand how they want to live in their cities and involve them in designing technological innovations. These innovations will include making cities more ‘aware and adaptive’ by harnessing data gathered through sensor technologies embedded in city infrastructure and data shared by communities.  The institute will use this data to develop models for more sustainable behaviour, including community energy management or water conservation. The institute will also explore how fixed and mobile sensors across the city including intelligent connected vehicles, can be used in the collection of data on the weather,  emissions and traffic flows, for use by city planners in the development of more sustainable cities in the future.

We passionately feel the institute shall contribute to Intel’s Vision:-  “This decade we will create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth “

Within the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities – London; the team are highly excited to collaborate and vision future sustainable cities.


Charlie Sheridan – ICRI Sustainable connected cities PI & managing sponsor



David Prendergast – ICRI Sustainable connected cities, Intel social science (PI)

Martin Curley – ILE Director

Prof. Yvonne Rogers, University College London (PI),

Prof. Julie Mc Cann, Imperial College London (PI)

2 Responses to Announcing the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Cities

  1. That’s a great news, in order to compete with the booming smart cities in APAC and find practical solutions for brownfield cities we need an EU based research center. The Urban platform, that reminds me of the Urban Operating System by Living PlanIT, is a very promising approach, above all when combined with IoT, citizens involvement through social network and e-democracy and Open Data.

  2. Ross says:

    UCL – Imperial also have a joint Transport Centre which you might want to look at for sustainability issues (cycling walking public transport as opposed to peronal motor transport). London also has a disused Post Office underground railway which could feasibly be re-used for freight distribution (reducing numbers of lorries?) which is tipped to suffer during the Olympics. Green Lanes is the longest road of the same name and the greatest number of different nationalities in it; it’s quite a difficult road to use.