IoT Initiative: Strategy and Objectives

strategy and objectives

IOT at the University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh Internet of Things (IoT) Initiative is building the facilities and supporting services that will enable research and teaching at the University to safely and responsibly explore the rapidly expanding world of connected devices.


The Internet of Things (loT) covers a wide spectrum of applications, including the detailed real-time sensing of our environment and the embedding of connected intelligence into everyday objects. Eventually, almost any thing will be able to have its own verifiable identity, be location-aware, have the ability to communicate and trade information, become a direct consumer and provider of services, and have the potential for fully autonomous operation.

The first phase of the initiative will provide an IoT Research and Innovation Service, incorporating a new Low Power Wide Area Network for IoT devices, that will be available to use in research and teaching at the University of Edinburgh from Q1 2018. Later in 2018 this service will also be made more widely available to organisations and businesses from across the city region.

The University of Edinburgh IoT Research and Innovation Service provides an infrastructure that includes data capture devices, a dedicated secure communications network operating across the city of Edinburgh, and a centralized system for data collection, visualisation and analysis — a “sensor to insight” platform. New devices and projects can be added to the network, and new insights and understanding can be gained by analysing the multitude of device data collected within the system in real-time.


The Initiative is initially being piloted with University of Edinburgh staff and students to explore initial ideas and projects to trial the network and understand challenging aspects. We have a particular focus on security assurance as part of this initial piloting phase and are undertaking work with external auditors to ensure the security of our network.

We will be opening up the network to local businesses to trial and experiment from Spring 2018 (see our Roadmap) and welcome approaches and ideas from the wider community. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about the Initiative as it develops.

The University of Edinburgh IoT Initiative is also seeking to develop a larger infrastructure for IoT research and innovation as part of the proposed World Class Data Infrastructure (WCDI) for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. These extended facilities will significantly enhance the capability and diversity of locale from dense urban to rural IoT application for Data Driven Innovation and generate social and economic benefit for the entire 7,700 km2 region.

Programme Objectives

The objectives for the IoT Initiative are to:

  1. Enable and support world-class research and innovation through the development and use of IoT technology;
  2. Enable the development of a rich talent pipeline with “hands-on” experience of IoT, complementing the University’s existing teaching Programmes and Edinburgh’s world-class strengths in Data Science;
  3. Promote the Edinburgh region as a world-leading “Living Lab” for proof of concepts with the potential to generate significant social, commercial and academic value.
  4. Help the University to capture and generate value from the application and use of IoT technologies in future service delivery and operations.

Key Principles

Our key principles are the following:

  1. Building open Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure and services that maximise innovation across the multiple value chains;
  2. supporting collaboration across the widest possible set of partners, both regionally and internationally; and
  3. establishing strong and transparent governance structures that encourage broad participation by stakeholders, ethical collection and use of data, and innovation for social good.