Sunderland builds on Smart City excellence with ConnexinOS IoT platform


Sunderland City Council has announced the deployment of a new Integrated Smart City Platform (ISCP), which will harness the power of IoT to enhance services and cement its position as a UK smart city leader.

The council has signed a contract with Connexin to implement our ConnexinOS IoT platform. This solution will collate council and third-party data sets concerning adult social care, council tax, anti-social behaviour, environmental incidents, health, and child services. The information will be aggregated and analysed to inform a collective and coordinated multi-agency response that is both appropriate and timely, whether that’s removing graffiti or helping people who are at risk or need support.

ConnexinOS uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify trends in data sets and suggest the best course of action, ensuring that no potential issues are missed and the correct approach is taken. The platform is also scalable, meaning that the council will be able to add and remove new solutions and data sets in the future.

Support for long-term IoT Smart City initiative

The project follows the announcement of Sunderland City Council’s 20-year strategic partnership with BAI Communications to design, build and operate next generation digital infrastructure. This will include a private 5G small cell network to provide the capacity for a huge increase in the number of IoT devices across the region. This, along with the implementation of ConnexinOS, will support Sunderland’s ambitious City Plan which aims to make it a connected, international smart city that provides opportunities for everyone.

The council has already been recognised internationally for its smart innovations, having been named as a finalist at the World Smart City Awards 2021, while Chief Executive Patrick Melia was named one of the top three digital leaders in the UK at the Digital Leaders 100 Awards.

Harnessing the power of IoT

Our secure ConnexinOS IoT platform offers endless opportunities for many communities across Sunderland. For example, amidst plans to rejuvenate Southwick, this secure data platform will support the work of wide range of issues being tackled by the SARA (Southwick Altogether Raising Aspirations) partnership to tackle a wide range of community issues, such as crime and disorder, mental health, and unemployment.

Underpinning the work of the SARA community hub, the ConnexinOS platform will simplify data aggregation and integration, bringing different datasets into a single space and enabling deeper understanding of what is happening in the community to help determine priorities and support allocation.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, said: 

“Our new contract with Connexin marks another significant milestone for our smart city as we strive to make Sunderland a leading global smart city of the future.

Connexin’s experience in delivering end-to-end smart city projects with an agile, flexible and collaborative approach meant they were the perfect partners to meet our needs in the short term, but also increasing the scope and capabilities of the platform into the future. Working together, we will be able to put in place a platform that will further revolutionise our services, continuously improving the smart management of our city to create better futures for our communities.”

Training opportunities through Connexin Academy

The contract between Sunderland City Council and Connexin will run for three years and will cover the entire lifecycle of the project from concept to delivery.

Connexin will also provide training through our Connexin Academy to support those out of employment and young people going into work within Sunderland, through mentoring programmes, CV workshops, career guidance, mock interviews, and literacy support.

Ralph Varcoe, Chief Growth Officer at Connexin, commented: 

“Having deployed the UK’s first ever smart city platform for Hull City Council in 2019, we are thrilled to be able to work with another forward-thinking council and empower Sunderland to develop and level-up through the power of technology to benefit their residents.

Sunderland is a shining example of what towns and cities across the UK can achieve when they embrace smart solutions and we are delighted to be implementing ConnexinOS to develop this further.”

About Connexin

Founded in Hull in 2006, Connexin is an innovative and disruptive technology company specialising in building and operating award-winning Smart City infrastructure to support the Internet of Things (IoT).

Connexin has established itself as a UK market leader in the provision of end-to-end Smart City solutions, such as smart water, smart parking, smart lighting and smart waste.

Thanks to Connexin, Hull became the first city in the UK to benefit from its own purpose-built smart city operating system.

Connexin also gave Sheffield a smart technology overhaul by using the ConnexinOS IoT platform to integrate, view, manage, and respond to information in order to improve highway maintenance services and revolutionise service delivery across the city and surrounding areas.

Connexin, in partnership with Cisco and Newcastle City Council, has helped deliver the UK’s smartest street, which was announced at the Great Exhibition of the North.

Connexin was named one of the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in the Northern Tech Awards.

Find out more about our IoT smart city solutions.

About Sunderland’s Smart City

Sunderland City Council’s Smart City Plan connects people to places – a decade of social and digital transformation to accelerate city-wide improvements for generations to come.

The dynamic city of Sunderland is an attractive place for investors and talented individuals alike. By connecting people and places, this smart city will enable smarter systems and increase opportunities to transform the ways in which citizens exist for a connected, healthy, and vibrant experience for all.

For more information, contact [email protected]