Live Labs Blog

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs Programme is a two-year, £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport that will run until Spring 2021. This page will give regular updates on the project.

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Live Labs Blog: Embracing Virtual! Adept Live Labs Expo

18 December 2020

On December 2nd, the Live Labs teams fully embraced our ‘Working from Home’ credentials by holding our first Virtual Live Labs Expo. The original plan of a live event has been postponed until 9th June 2021, when we look forward to seeing you all in Derby. Although no one got to shake hands with any of our teams and have a face-to-face conversation, the virtual aspect of the Expo did have its advantages!  

Neil Gibson, our host for the Expo and Chair of the Live Labs Commissioning Board, kicked the event off with a warm welcome, followed by our keynote address from Baroness Vere of Norbiton. As Minister for Roads, Buses and Places in the Department for Transport, the Baroness was able reiterate the importance of the work the Live Labs are leading.  

Next up was David Symons from WSP who shared his learnings on innovation trails and projects from a non-highway perspective followed by an introduction to the Live Labs programme from Hannah Bartram, our ADEPT Chief Operating Officer.  

The eight Live Labs were introduced by Jason Pavey, who is the Market Director for the Atkins UK Local Transport Business. Each delivered a quick ‘elevator pitch’ before Jason launched into his questions. These discussions enabled the Live Labs project teams to turn the spotlight on the incredible ambitions and progress the Live Labs have made since the programme began. 

After each of the Live Labs came the SME ‘Pechakucha’ section of the Expo – the chance for eight SMEs, who are working alongside the Live Labs, to present their innovations in a fast-paced and dynamic pitch. Both the Live Labs discussions and the SME Pechakucha gave the attendees a fantastic opportunity to gain insight into the innovations the Live Labs projects are delivering – from kinetic roads to plastic ones! 

To bring the event to a close, Neil took the reins again with a talk on ‘Capitalising on the Live Labs’ - which included a Q&A session - and Giles Perkins, our Programme Director, took some time to discuss the next steps for the programme.

This three hour Expo was jam-packed with content and contributions from our DfT Ministers down to the SMEs and teams who are delivering the work – we even managed to squeeze in an interactive quiz! The energy and enterprise of our Live Labs was definitely reflected in the event!

The virtual aspect of the Expo meant that we were able to connect with more people than before, and following the event new conversations have been opened and new connections have been made. We can’t wait to hear the progress from all the Live Labs teams at our Live event in 2021 – see you then! 


More posts

  • 10 December 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Buckinghamshire partnership boosts enLight’s growth, despite pandemic

    David Aarons of enLight, has written a guest blog about enLight's work on the Live Labs project.

    The Coronavirus pandemic has dealt a massive blow to the UK economy, with projects stalled and businesses hurting. enLight, through its partnership with Buckinghamshire Council’s ADEPT Live Lab project, has bucked these trends. We have created new jobs at our Norfolk HQ, enabling us to deliver the key Smart Cities solutions that are core to the scheme.

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  • 30 November 2020

    Live Labs Community Impact: Adult Social Care

    In our latest blog, Zoe Collis, the Live Labs Adult Integration Project Manager from Buckinghamshire Council, and Brigitte Sodano-Carter, the Project Delivery and Development Manager from Suffolk County Council, talk about their Live Labs trials to support adult social care within their communities. 

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  • 2 November 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Top Marks for Collaboration

    To deliver cutting edge innovations, our Live Labs have turned to a wide range of partners, including those in academia. Collaborating with universities has offered many benefits for all involved.   

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  • 30 September 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Getting ready for winter

    As the nights start to draw in and temperatures drop, we take a look at how some of our Live Lab innovations can support highways in the winter months…

    One of the most exciting initiatives is Central Bedfordshire’s Thermal Energy Live Lab. The Council is using the Thorn Turn Highways Depot as a test site for a system called Power Road. 

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  • 28 August 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Kent goes international

    From drone and road surface temperature sensor trials, to collaboration with other Live Lab projects and fostering international connections, Carol Valentine, Highways Project Manager Live Labs at Kent County Council, gives an update on Kent’s Local Highways Asset Management Technology Incubator initiative.

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  • 3 June 2020

    Live Labs Blog: Buckinghamshire lights up

    As with all local authority programmes across the country, Buckinghamshire’s Live Lab, a SMART connected community project in Aylesbury Garden Town, has been impacted by COVID-19. While work has continued at a slower pace with some partners furloughing staff and the team working from home, some aspects of the project that began before lockdown, are able to carry on.

    In our latest blog, John Hartley from Exel Composities UK, brings a partner perspective…

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  • 16 April 2020

    Live Labs blog: Birmingham test-bed for innovative video analytics

    The Network Resilience Live Lab is progressing well in its aims to use innovative video analytics to help combat road congestion in Birmingham and Solihull. 

    In this blog, we take a look back at the very first trials conducted in February 2019 and how these tests were vital in gathering valuable insight that continues to inform our project activities and deliver best practice.

    Identifying the ideal test route 

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