Archive for the ‘Digital Birmingham’ Category

LILA – user driven innovation 18/07/2014

Digital Birmingham were one of the key partners involved in helping to establish the LILA project, which is all about user driven innovation and it’s great to see that this is now underway in Birmingham being led by Birmingham City University. Click here to find out more about the project and how to get involved.
LILA logo

Blognix 2014 registrations – now open! 07/05/2014


Blognix 2014 is a blogging conference that comes to Birmingham on Saturday 14 June 2014.

Bloggers from all walks of life are invited to celebrate all that is positive about blogging, learn new skills that will equip them to take their blog further, and forge new connections with others.

For more information about the event or to book your place, please visit


Birmingham households will be first to pilot new technology being developed by WMG at the University of Warwick that aims to create the next generation of ‘Smart’ homes with “smart” things working together in a “smart city”.

WMG has secured funding from the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Digital Economy Theme to partner with Birmingham City Council to create the HARRIET (HAT Resource Integration and Enabling Tool) project. This will equip homes with technology and software to create a HAT (Hub-of-all-Things), which aims to assist individuals to better understand their household behaviour and make “smarter” money saving and time saving decisions based on the data they then share on how they act as consumers within their homes see

Read more here

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Birmingham City Council – Digital Birmingham successful in obtaining ESF funding 29/04/2014

In November/December 2013 the  Dept for Work and Pensions invited bids for European Social Fund (ESF) funded projects to support proposed Local Support Services (LSS) activity. The closing date for this exercise was 31 December 2013. The pilot projects will provide learning that will contribute to the development of the LSS and act as exemplars for other Local Authorities (LAs) wishing to access ESF to expand their LSS support in the future.

Birmingham City Council in conjunction with Gateway to Birmingham Advice Services (GBAS), West Midlands Fire Service, Citysave and DWP Employment Outreach are to create a Service Directory and Referral System (SDRS) that can be used as an accessible reference source for residents and agencies offering support to unemployed people in Birmingham.


Open Data Best Practices – Call for papers 16/04/2014

Digital Birmingham is a partner in the European Share-PSI 2.0 network, which is looking at innovation in Public Sector Information (PSI) sharing. The aim of the network is to increase the publication of public open data and exchange best practice of governments and cities across Europe. The network has recently launched a call for papers, looking to receive case studies and best practice examples. A paper can also be linked to a presentation at the event held in Samos, Greece 30th June and 1st July.

If you have a case study you wish to share go to:

Technologies for Care event 25/03/2014

Last Tuesday (18/3),  Digital Birmingham together with its UK Discover partners – Bham City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology , Health, Design & Technology Institute (HDTI) and The Open University held an event to spark dialogue about digital and ict related training for formal and informal carers, how new technologies and the use of technology can support them in their lives as a carer as well as those they care for.

There was a great mix of people in the audience, from carers (formal and non formal) to carer support agencies to health and care providers to skills agencies to Universities to training providers which encouraged an dialogue about the imorertance of it skills in this day and age.

With Bob Gann, from NHS England chairing, the event kicked off with its first presentation from Verina Waights (Discover PartnerOpen University) who spoke about the Discover EU project  ( and the benefits of digital skills to carers.

Madeleine Starr MBE of Carers UK then went on to speak about the key roles of technology in a caring environment bringing to light that even tech savvy people are not aware of how technology can support them as well as those that they care for. She also emphasised that statutory and private services need to adopt technoloigies and change skills of whole workforce to promote tech. View Madeleine’s presentation here

Matthew Kemp of Midland Heart went through a care plan for an older person outlining all possible interactions between family, friends, care authorites, NHS etc by way of a cleverly designed ‘web of care (or despair)’. He then went on to explain the 10 recommendations from the User and market analysis report: Planning and co-ordination of informal and formal care for older people (this will be made availaible shortly – currently pending final checks and signoff). View Matthew’s presentation here

Nigel Wynne of Birmingham City University (Discover Partner) spoke the importance of embedding digi skills and technology in care  followed by a showcase of the Discover e-learning  platform (email if you’d like to trial this for yourself or for carers in your organisation). 

Robin Vickers of Digital Life Sciences went on to speak about about exisitng technology enabled care tools (DALLAS programme) and what the future of digital healthcare will look like with the emphasis of the user at the heart of their health/caring journey.

Kevin Campbell-Wright of NIACE gave a presentation about technology and learning, spoke highly of digial champions in organisations and out there in the community to act as mentors to support learners. He also spoke about reluctance to want to use the internet for security (identity theft, online fraud etc) reasons however with the Digital by Default agenda, communities will have no choice but to do things online. View Kevin’s presentation here

Dame Philippa Russell DBE talked about improving lives of carers and the cared for through the use of  telehealth, and smart homes and about the importance of independence and well-being outlined by Norman Lamb MP and then followed on by explaining the challenges she sees; that 2/3 of carers unaware of benefits of assistive technologies; loss of community libraries, where will people go to use a computer and the interne; Digital by Default agenda and that many areas in the UK still do not have decent broadband connections. View Philippa’s presentation here

If you would like more information about the Discover digital skills for carers project, please email

The Roadmap to a Smarter Birmingham 11/03/2014

Birmingham Smart City Roadmap

Cllr James McKay Cabinet Member for Green, Safe & SMART City and Chair of the Birmingham Smart City Commission talks to the Innovation Daily about the Smart City Roadmap.

The Roadmap has been developed by the Birmingham Smart City Commission and supported by Digital Birmingham and outlines challenges and sets out a framework for key parties to join up and address these challenges.

Remember you too can have your say and get involved by emailing or visiting

Watch the video here 

Discover UK Forum – Tuesday 18 March 2014 11/03/2014

Join us at the DISCOVER UK Forum, a ½ day event to spark discussion and action on issues around ICT related skills and training for carers and will look at the increasing significance and opportunities of digital technologies to support carers in their caring role, as well as the longer term health & wellbeing benefits highlighted through specific initiatives.

The event will bring together strategic leaders and experts from carer associations, health and care providers, training providers, commissioners, skills agencies through to academia, third sector and policy makers, and provide them with ‘big picture’ scenarios and an opportunity to shape how we embed these skills and technologies in caring to make it relevant and purposeful to meet the needs of carers and increase skills and competencies in this area. By attending delegates will be part of a national and European wide network that is addressing digital inclusion of carers and seeking to influence change at the highest level.

For the full programme and to register for your place, please visit

Birmingham Smart City Roadmap launches 03/03/2014

The Mailbox, Birmingham

The Mailbox, Birmingham

Today we launched the Birmingham Smart City Roadmap , which sets out over 35 actions that aim to influence the city’s approach to creating a sustainable and better future for its citizens by responding to challenges such as unemployment, the skills gap, health inequalities, effective mobility and carbon reduction targets.

The Roadmap has been developed by the Birmingham Smart City Commission, a body created by the city council which includes leading figures from the business, academic and public sectors, supported by Digital Birmingham.

It represents a collective ambition by city stakeholders to deliver real change by developing intelligent and integrated services through the use of digital technologies, data and open collaboration, driven by the citizens and communities that are core to the city’s future growth.

The three intrinsically linked themes of Technology & Place, People and Economy underpin the roadmap’s 39 proposed actions, to be delivered over the next three years, identifying funding through European, national and regional programmes.

We invite people to be part of our smart city journey and the Roadmap provides the means get involved.  Please tell us what you think – the online version of the roadmap provides space to comment on all of the 39 actions covering digital infrastructure, connectivity, digital inclusion, data, mobility, skills, health and energy, as well as a simple online form to tell us what you are doing; alternatively you can email: if you want more information or would like to get involved in anyway.

Smart Cities talking heads 20/11/2013

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently published a research paper ‘Smart Cities: background paper’, which looks at what smart cities mean and the opportunities that they present for UK economic growth. More specifically, though BIS also took the opportunity to do a talking heads session with some of Birmingham’s strategic leaders and this provides an opportunity to hear more about what Birmingham is doing to integrate a smart approach across its services. You can find out what they said here.

Digital Birmingham is a Birmingham City Council initiative and part of a city wide strategic partnership of more than 40 public, private and voluntary organisations

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