The Apex Suite is a business engagement platform that includes both physical facilities (based at University Campus Milton Keynes) as well as remote facilities, including access to the MK Data Hub.
The Apex Suite can be used to host meetings, demonstrate technology, or simply connect with like-minded people. There’s an online portal to access services such as the MK Data Hub, gain remote support or promote a business via a case study. You can also start up a virtual machine to develop your own applications and products, and buy or sell applications or data feeds via the service management platform.
Both technical and non-technical support is available online and by phone. UCMK uses an online ticketing system to answer FAQs, where you can ask for help solving a specific technical problem. You can help develop the self-supporting community by contributing to the forum, too. Questions, answers, videos and other forms of media are all welcome. For more information, go to the Enterprise page of the MK:Smart website.
Through a range of initiatives, the Apex Suite has so far involved over sixty businesses and formed 400 unique connections within the business community.
Urban Startup Lab
MK:Smart has teamed up with Fronesys to deliver an Urban Startup Lab that will bring entrepreneurs together to create new products and services in a Smart Cities context. This programme which starts in September 2016, will be valuable to anyone who wants to better understand and influence how technology transforms business and society in an urban context. Contact us to find out more.
- The public launch of the MK Data Hub, at UCMK, 502 Avebury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday 15 June 2016. You can register here.
- A series of IoT developer workshops on the Thingworx platform—a tool for developing smart, connected applications that’s suitable for all business types, including those who don’t have a technical background
- A Post-Graduate Certificate in New Enterprise Creation that will allow entrepreneurs to gain a qualification in how to build and maintain a startup
- An MSc in Sensors and Smart cities, a University of Bedfordshire course that will be run in Milton Keynes
- A smart city workshop for newly engaged businesses to discover the commercial opportunities that smart cities can present
- Two 48hr hackathons led by The Open University
- A smart cities workshop with the University of Bedfordshire on the theme of funding and competitions
Ways we’ve already engaged businesses
- Holding a satellite applications workshop focusing on how business can utilise satellite information to explore new business opportunities
- Developing a series of SME case studies demonstrating that the project has allowed businesses to build applications that offer smart city solutions
- Hosting two smart cities workshops that focussed on lean startup and design approaches, aimed specifically at the SME community
- Engaging with nationwide businesses around smart cities development
- Working with SMEs and project partners to build a service management platform, allowing commercial activities, such as buying and selling datasets, to be integrated into the MK Data Hub
- Organising and hosting a drop-in session for citizens who were looking to transform their ideas into products
- Hosting a range of business delegations including global organisations from South Korea, China and Brazil
- Hosting the MK Data Hub private launch event (October 2015) with over sixty per cent of attendees from the business community, with other delegates coming from academia, government and the startup community
- Working closely with inward investment agencies such as UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to foster investment and economic growth within Milton Keynes and the surrounding area
- Holding hackathons that brought students, academics and businesses together to develop smart city solutions
- Hosting ask the expert sessions to help disseminate knowledge about technology to the wider business community
- Working with students who are looking to take their ideas and concepts towards working solutions
- Hosting the MK:Smart graduate and employability fair, which focussed on the technical aspects of smart cities
- Hosting a cross-catapult event that linked satellite, digital, future cities and transport
- Hosting a workshop on funding opportunities, including Innovate UK and Horizon 2020
- Supporting the establishment of a new Internet of Things (IoT) group
- Working with local technology groups to foster the role of women in technology
- Developing collaborative relationships with other IoT clusters, such as EIT Digital and Innovation Birmingham
MK:Smart project features as a case study in new World Bank Group report on IoT
As a result of the work conducted under the MK:Smart project umbrella, Milton Keynes takes a prominent place in recently published report by the World Bank Group that focuses on governmental response to the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon. Specifically, with respect to how governments and businesses could collaborate to exploit potential benefits that the […]
MK:Smart in China
Geoff Snelson, director of strategy and futures of Milton Keynes council presented the MK:Smart vision to the TM Forum 3rd Smart City in Focus Forum in Yinchuan, China. The MK delegation included leader of the council, Peter Marland and Alan Fletcher from KMi who were invited to the Forum to contribute to the wider debate […]