IoT: 2020 Update

22 December 2020

The IoT initiative became a key focus for the Agency in April this year, it was identified as having potential benefits to supporting the Island during the pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the timing and not having the needed mechanism in place we were unable to support with temperature testing in medical user cases. However, this allowed us the opportunity to explore further options for the technology.

In September this year, our dedicated Internet of Things (IoT) Manager, Sarah Ennett, joined our team, bringing with her nine years’ experience in IoT business and product development.

Sarah is responsible for driving forward our IoT accelerator programme, a not-for-profit, open-access initiative which was launched in July with an initial goal of promoting the use of IoT and subsequent tech trials for the social and economic development of the Island.  The Department for Enterprise through Digital Isle of Man is leading industry engagement with support from Private, Public, Education and Third sector representatives.

Through the IoT accelerator programme we are providing free access to a government funded Low Power, Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) which is designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet. This will provide an opportunity for testing, developing and commercialising IoT solutions, examples of which include smart parking, flood prevention, and agricultural solutions such a soil quality monitoring. Our network is currently available across 70% of the Island, with over 90% coverage expected in early 2021. The majority of projects and proposed plans have been in partnership with the Island’s experts; this has included working closely with Manx Technology Group (MTG) on a number of projects.

Looking to the New Year, January will see us hold our first awareness session, taking place at University College Isle of Man, showcasing our first case study focussed on air quality monitoring and how this is supporting education. We also continue to explore opportunities in complementary technologies like Autonomous Vehicles, CleanTech, and platforms that combine distributed ledger technology (blockchain), privacy preservation, and machine learning.  We hope to attract new businesses to the Island who see the benefit of using the Isle of Man as their Tech Trial Isle.

We encourage anyone to get in touch if they would like to learn more or get involved in our accelerator programme, whether you have a problem to solve or if you’re an organisation that can provide solutions as part of this ecosystem. Our goal is to have a minimum of 15 different trials running in 2021 to showcase the variety of problems this technology can solve.