City of Manchester, United Kingdom

manchester2The City of Manchester is one of ten local authorities which make up the Greater Manchester conurbation. With a total population of 2.7 million people, it accounts for the second largest economy in the UK. Manchester itself is located at the core of this conurbation; it has two of the largest universities in the UK and the UK’s third largest airport. Industry sectors such as business services, ICT, digital and biomedical sciences are key to economic growth in Greater Manchester in terms of new investment, job and GVA creation. Manchester is the economic powerhouse of the North West region of England.

The city boasts several key drivers that help sustain the economic growth of the area. These include its world-class universities, a knowledge-based economy, a thriving city centre, a skilled workforce, and Manchester International Airport. Manchester (along with the other southern districts in Greater Manchester) generated economic activity around €45 billion in 2011. As a major regional centre, the city attracts above-average rates of new business start-ups, a diverse employment structure and a competitive labour market.

The Manchester consortium is led by the City Council and includes Siemens, Clicks and Links, University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. ‘Corridor Manchester’ will be the focus of activity; a 2km spine that contains two of the UK’s largest universities and one of the largest medical research campuses in Western Europe, it generates nearly €3 billion, which makes up 20% of the city’s GDP. It employs 60,000 people in the knowledge economy sector with a further 20,000 expected to be added in the next 10 years. There are 72,000 students in the Corridor, which is expected to reach 110,000 by 2020.

Manchester’s approach is based upon an understanding that cities function as systems, involving a complex interaction between individuals, markets, infrastructure networks and public services. Every individual intervention has been chosen because it demonstrates the benefits of integration in different ways. Building on the investments already made, the focus will be on the integration of energy, mobility and ICT systems around core infrastructure assets within ‘Corridor Manchester’. These assets supply heat and power to the respective estates and buildings belonging to the Corridor partners. The funding for Triangulum will enable the partners to build on the work already undertaken to establish a smarter, more independent infrastructure whereby energy generation, its supply, storage and use is managed in a much more demand responsive manner.

All the new investments around renewable energy generation, supply and demand management will be connected through a new ICT infrastructure called ‘The MCR-i’. This platform will consist of a number of discrete layers, which will create two new knowledge environments. The first; a network of data and services that bridge the investments set out above in an integrated way to enable greater analysis and better-informed decision making at both a strategic and operational level to improve energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and a greater ability to meet demand in a more cost effective way. The second is the establishment of an open access marketplace from which innovative end-user and business applications can be developed and marketed independently.

In addition, the city’s programme to remove cars from the Corridor also provides the opportunity to develop a new mobility component focused specifically on logistics and freight distribution, whilst at the same time exploiting the opportunity to connect new modes of electric vehicle transport to the electricity infrastructure.

Local Activities

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester covering a population of 510,772 people across a geographical area of 115km2. It lies at the heart of the wider Greater Manchester Metropolitan area, which covers a population of 2.7 million and generates €58 billion GVA pa. The Council has significant experience of delivering smart city related major transnational projects including IREEN, NICE, PEPSEC and ODYSSEUS. Greater Manchester also has extensive experience in running financial instruments, having established the Evergreen fund as a revolving Urban Development Fund for the North West of England under JESSICA. Manchester City Council is a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors and has led work across Europe on the Green Digital Charter. It is one of 15 EU cities leading the EU China Smart City Forum.

Siemens is behind a wide range of the technology and services we take for granted in our daily lives. Today, it designs and manufactures products and systems ranging from traffic lights, gas turbines and turbine spares to the superconducting magnets used in medical scanners and the drives that are behind many of the UK’s manufacturing plants. Relevant projects it is involved in include the Stedin self-healing network aimed at overcoming power failures in the distribution grid. The Stadtwerke München (SWM) integration of distributed generation is aimed at the integrating increasing numbers of small distributed energy producers into the power grid requiring improved reliability of planning and forecasting of distributed power generation sources, loads, and storage in order to ensure a stable power supply. The Vienna Living Laboratory is a project bringing together power supply, building systems, intelligent power grids, and information and communication technologies so that they will interact optimally. This project represents an opportunity to develop a long-term integrated concept for an energy-optimized city district using appropriate technologies, products, and solutions in a real-world infrastructure. The goal is to make the whole system “smarter.”

Clicks and Links provides IT services and solutions to both the private and public sectors. EU funded projects include DIMMER where Clicks and Links’ focus relates primarily to Modelling, Web-oriented interactive interface, Simulation and virtual visualisation, deploying leading-edge skill set and experience in interactive 3D models, gaming technology, augmented reality and ambient visualization. Clicks and Links are involved in using games to engage citizens on serious issues within CITY-ZEN, by providing an innovative way of engaging citizens in the development of their Smart City. Citizens/players are able to explore their city and take part in challenges such as reducing carbon footprint, improving transport and contributing to ideas for development of the city.

The University of Manchester has been the birthplace of many discoveries, which have had a major impact on society, including the development of the first modern computer and the splitting of the atom by Rutherford. Twenty-five Nobel Laureates have worked here, with three currently on the staff. The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to two staff, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for Graphene. It has a formidable track record in commercialisation of research with 1,600 invention disclosures and 17 new companies formed, attracting nearly €200 million in third-party investment since 2004. Two relevant projects it is involved with include COOPERATE, which will develop an open, scalable neighbourhood service and management platform that integrates local monitoring and control functions with a cloud based service platform for the delivery of innovative energy management, security and other services in order to progress towards energy positive neighbourhoods and achieving 2020 targets. It is also involved in DIMMER building on previous work at the level of building information models to develop wider district energy management using developments in pervasive sensors and actuators that can efficiently control the whole energy chain.

Manchester Metropolitan University is the largest campus-based undergraduate university in the UK with a total student population of more than 37,000. Manchester Metropolitan University along with the neighbouring University of Manchester forms the largest higher education campus in the UK and one of the most extensive education centres in Europe. Manchester Metropolitan University’s roots in higher education date back to 1824, and has committed to a strong future through a £350million investment in its buildings and facilities. Itwas named the UK’s Greenest University in 2013, which rewarded the University for demonstrable and measured change through the implementation of a strong and committed approach to environmental strategy embedded within infrastructure, estate and culture. Its relevant project portfolio includes; the smart in-building micro-grid for energy management, which aims to combine power and communications over a single continuous wire, enabling advanced lighting control systems and Building Energy Management Systems that are easier and therefore cheaper to install. It has also developed an IPv6 based system which uses the existing electric grid network for communication in order to support smart grid applications such as smart metering, demand side management, video surveillance, remote monitoring. Finally, it has led the development of the Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership launched in March 2013; a voluntary collaboration, which brings together key stakeholders interested in achieving the aim of making Greater Manchester an early UK adopter in the fuel cell driven hydrogen economy.


Manchester’s overall objective is for the Corridor to become one of the largest knowledge  driven low carbon districts in Europe. We aim to decouple the link between a reduction in carbon emissions whilst at the same time increasing economic activity. Very few cities have been able to exhibit this ‘smart green growth’; Corridor Manchester has the right conditions and profile to demonstrate this. The rapidly increasing population growth which our urban cores are experiencing (Manchester is the fastest growing city in the UK outside London) will put increased pressure on the way our cities deliver public services, such as; housing, transport, energy, water and other basic services including health and education. The cities that compete most effectively in the future will be those that can deliver ‘smart green growth’ against a backdrop of rapidly increasing urbanisation. This is what we will seek to demonstrate in Manchester, and this is what we will seek to measure in terms of impacts.
Key measurables by which we will measure impact will include:

  • Energy use (buildings and transport)
  • Energy costs
  • % of energy generated from renewable sources
  • Increased Mobility
  • Air quality
  • % reduction of journeys
  • Number of new jobs created
  • Amount of additional GVA generated
  • Improving the efficiency of doing business