£4.9m bid won to enhance collaboration on the Internet of Things


The University of Sheffield has won a bid which will fund a new project, in collaboration with the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Newcastle, to drive forward collaboration exploring the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of computing capability in everyday objects. For example, home devices controlled by an Amazon Alexa make up part of the Internet of Things.

Some estimate that we will have 50 billion connected elements online sometime in the next decade. The IoT supports a host of so-called ‘smart’ applications ranging from industrial process control through enhanced management of dementia. It is critical to industrial, societal and economic development in the UK.

As the lead university in the successful bid, our academics have been awarded £4.9 million by Research England’s Connecting Capability fund (CCF) to fund the Promoting the Internet of Things via Collaborations between HEIs & Industry (Pitch-In) project.

The Pitch-In collaboration will benefit the UK as a whole via wide-scale collaboration between academic institutions and the public and private sectors.

Our University will lead the project team in investigating the barriers to successful IoT take-up, trialling solutions, and capturing and sharing good practice learning outcomes.

The collaborative project will also disseminate guidance regionally, nationally and globally and will support the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy by significantly enhancing the commercialisation and wider exploitation prospects of UK IoT research and technology.

Professor John Clark from our Department of Computer Science said:

“The Internet of Things underpins much of the current drive to increased industrial automation and enhanced services and is set to have major impact on most of our lives.

“The Internet of Things is set to have a major impact on most of our lives.

“The Research England Pitch-In collaboration between Sheffield, Newcastle, Oxford and Cambridge will enhance the universities’ ability to work with each other and with their regions to promote adoption of the Internet of Things, particularly in manufacturing, health, smart cities and energy.

“Our inclusion of management and social sciences experts also allows us to take a more holistic approach to facilitating IoT collaborations. With the help of some major industrial collaborators, such as the global engineering organisation Siemens, sector and technology specialists and networks such as the High Value Manufacturing and Digital Catapults and the Northern Health Sciences Alliance, regulatory authorities such as OFGEM, and increasing engagement of businesses of various sizes, we have the potential to increase the adoption and exploitation of IoT technology in our regions and beyond, and consequently bring significant societal benefits.

“We undoubtedly have a world class collaboration and I’m delighted to be leading this initiative.”

– Professor John Clark