Bristol Is Open (BiO)

One Of The World’s Leading Smart City Organisations




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Bristol Is Open (BiO) is one of the world’s leading smart city organisations. Focused on improving the quality of life for Bristol’s citizens and visitors, BiO is undertaking a number of pioneering projects with multiple partners to demonstrate how a programmable city can shape our future urban environment for the better.

BiO has created a secure and private research and development testbed that enables smart city-wide experiments and pilots to be undertaken and assessed with the intention to scale for the benefit of all. The network is open to companies and partnership projects to test and prove their technology solutions in an equivalent live network and compute platform. Partners include SMEs such as BluWireless and Bevan Britton and corporates like Nokia, the UK Government, and academic institutions.

Julie Snell, Managing Director

By taking an “Understand the Problem that Needs Solving” approach, BiO designs solutions that utilise digital connectivity for the benefit of Bristol’s residents aligned with the Bristol One City Plan strategy. A recent example of this is the simulated 5G visitor water safety trial, to prevent fatalities and improve rescue operations for the public walking by the city’s Harbourside.

Other projects include Smart Mobility—Walkability and Air Quality to increase citizen awareness about pollution. BiO created a web-based solution that utilises data from different sensors from around the city. This enabled users to decide on alternative walking and cycle routes based on the air quality around the city.


Smart Energy—Smart Homes energy consumption: A major phenomenon that contributes to energy consumption is the so-called “phantom load” the electricity consumed by electrical appliances while they are switched off (but still plugged into an outlet) or in standby mode. It has been calculated that 10% of home energy consumption comes from this “phantom load.” Bristol is Open has developed a mobile-friendly website. Using the web app, householders can monitor their home electricity consumption in real-time and get analytics on their daily/weekly energy consumptions.

Bristol is Open is now working closely with the city authorities to support the key areas of need, enabling the step-change in digital innovation that could be rolled out for the benefit of everyone in Bristol and not the few.


Bristol has been recognised in the UK Smart Cities Index 2017 as the UK’s leading smart city, leading the way in areas such as open data access, energy innovation, and community engagement. Bristol has also been recognised for its smart-city work, winning a Glomo Smart City Award (Judges Choice) in 2018.

BiO is a joint venture between the Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol. It is funded by local, national, and European governments along with academic research funding and also by the private sector.

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