Monthly news from @digibrum
Smart City Blog

Monthly news from @digibrum


A digest of digital and smart city activities during November, which are headed up by Councillor Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Chair of the Smart City Commission.


The BIS Select Committee - a cross party parliamentary committee with the responsibility of scrutinising government policy -  visited the city on 30 November to gather evidence for its Digital Economy Inquiry. City Council partners including the GBSLEP, Chamber of Commerce, Business Birmingham, Innovation Birmingham, Google and Barclays were among the many invited to roundtable discussions to exchange information about what they are doing in contributing to the digital economy and in supporting the digital skills and innovation capabilities of businesses, including those that are developing disruptive technologies. A big thank you to all the partners who attended the roundtable. 

The Committee found the visit extremely helpful and really valued the opportunity to talk to local stakeholders and businesses to better understand their challenges as well as a good insight into the wide range of activities that are happening in the region. A full report, setting out their findings through the Inquiry, will be published early next year. 


Our work with the Future Cities Catapult on the development of a Roadmap and series of projects for the Smart City Demonstrator in East Birmingham continues, with the third stakeholder workshop on 19th November held 'on the patch' in Hay Mills. Two initial projects were prioritised addressing childhood obesity and community regeneration. Working collaboratively with partners such as the Canal and River Trust, Centro, West Midlands Police, Harborne Food School, Birmingham Community Health Trust and the Universities, further work is in hand to develop the action plans, which when implemented through an iterative user-centric approach, will provide the most impetus to tackle local problems in a more holistic, layered and integrated way. 

It is anticipated that the East Birmingham Smart City Demonstrator concept on the wider deployment of Smart City/future internet-based technologies and services will help drive innovation and accelerate the delivery of city outcomes bringing together the needs of public services, the community and the private sector. More...


We are holding a partner meeting on 11 December at BBC Mailbox (3-5pm) to bring together the leads that are involved in supporting young people to develop their digital skills in the area of for example coding and digital making. The aim of this is to see how we can build on the current activity (clubs, summer schools, boot camps) and shape how collectively we can strengthen the offer to young people – school age and unemployed – in developing their digital talent and enabling employment / enterprise opportunities to stem from this.
If you are involved in running initiatives in this space then this meeting will provide an opportunity to hear more about what is being planned through initiatives such as Academy of Academies programme led by Birmingham City University and be involved in shaping development of a work package around Future Skills to strengthen the GBSLEP activities in this area.
To sign up or for more information contact:


Digital Birmingham continues to support coding initiatives for young people in the region. The Samsung Code Club Regional Hub in Winson Green was launched in October and provides facilities for children in the community to get involved in digital making and also trains volunteers to inspire children to learn to code.

Code Club are running a coding mentor recruitment drive on Tuesday 8 December 2015, this is designed to give volunteers all the information they need before they start running a Code Club. If you'd like to attend or for further information, please visit


Join the Sustainable Futures Forum on 16th December from 9.30am to 2.30pm at Birmingham City Council House to hear from innovative projects, industry and government on developments transforming the region's economy and environment.
For more information, please visit the organisers Eventbrite page
Coding Brum is open to all under-18s with an interest in coding. The club is an informal meeting which aims to give youngsters with an interest the opportunity to self-teach among their peers, or work together to learn from each other. The club runs from 1pm - 4pm on the last Saturday of every month at the BBC's Mailbox.
For more information, please email 
Google's Digital Garage mentoring sessions are available to small businesses in Birmingham, where they have the chance to seek digital advice from one of Google's expert mentors. 
The Garage is open every day of the week and is based at the Library of Birmingham.
For more information please visit



Below is a selection of some of the funding available to entrepreneurs and businesses in the region as well as discussion groups to have your say on local initiatives.

See a range of funding and business support advice available to start-ups and SMEs; from access to loans, business assist programmes and recruitment advice. More...

The GBSLEP Growth Hub is an online portal for all business advice, funding and support which is available to businesses in the Greater Birmingham area. More...

Startup Direct is the founding delivery partner for the government backed Start up Loans scheme. Providing; funding, mentoring and support to businesses based in England. More...

Contribute your ideas to Birmingham's Smart City Roadmap and aspirations here and tell us about the activities and projects you're working on.
Follow conversations online using #smartbrum.

Birmingham City Council has two live consultations:

  1. What data you would like to see made open to the public?
  2. What do you want the future of Waste in Birmingham to look like?
Register your suggestions via the Birmingham Speaks portal here
If you'd like further information on any of the topics covered above, please call the team on 0121 303 8779.
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