A University of Canterbury wireless communications expert has been included as part of an elite New Zealand delegation to look at smart city research in Europe later this year.
UC’s Wireless Research Centre research leader Graeme Woodward will participate in the delegation which is funded through a European initiative in connection with National Centre for European Research run out of UC. The NZ delegation will attend the smart city expo world congress in Barcelona in November, in addition to touring other European research centres with smart city initiatives.
The Wireless centre is responsible for driving wireless research to maintain New Zealand expertise at the forefront of international telecommunications research.
``A smart city uses ICT to underpin sustainable economic development. Sustainability requires intelligent management of energy, and ICT plays a critical role,’’ Dr Woodward said today.
``Recent events in Christchurch and the huge investment that will occur over the next 5-10 years, provides an unprecedented opportunity to rebuild Christchurch along ‘smart’ principles.
``Christchurch has already been marked as a smart city and as the hub of the South Island economy, as mentioned in the Christchurch Economic Development Strategy, recently released by the Canterbury Development Corporation.
Dr Woodward said he was keen to learn more about smart wireless research ideas that would be helpful in the rebuild of Christchurch. Being part of the New Zealand delegation and attending the world expo would get him right up to speed at the forefront of cutting-edge wireless technology for smart cities.
Another goal was to raise awareness within Europe of research strengths and activities in New Zealand in the area of smart cities and the opportunities for research collaboration. Innovation and ICT are a key part of the rebuild of Christchurch, with an innovation precinct, which is already started with the construction of the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus in the CBD.
``Europe is well advanced with the concept of smart cities. It is the ‘go-to’ place to learn about smart cities, and see initiatives underway. This is a great chance for the University and Christchurch to learn from Europe in the rebuild,’’ Dr Woodward said.
UC is already playing a major part in revamping the national power grid turning it into a smart grid. Dr Allan Miller, Director of UC’s Electric Power Engineering Centre, recently received $6.4 million of government research funding to help make the national grid smart.