From acquisitions to launching accelerators, global architecture and urban design company IBI Group has had a busy first half of the year.
Here we take a look at some examples of what the Toronto-headquartered firm’s been up to, all, it says, with the ultimate aim of creating cities and towns that are better — and healthier — places to live and work.
Introducing the Smart City Platform | Based on principles of open data and sharing, the Smart City Platform is the first of a suite of software as a service tools (SaaS) to be rolled out this year, although details of further services to come are scant. In March, the company said its scalable platform’s tools and dashboards, which combine predictive analytics gleaned from IoT sensors, control devices and existing city networks, will connect city agencies and staff, decision makers, and residents with the services and information they need.
Ultimately, it says, this ensures services are provided efficiently by “prioritising scarce resources where they are needed most, predicting needs based on a variety of conditions and keeping all parties …. informed and empowered.”
IBI Group says it expects “significant product growth” over the next 18 months. The newly-launched system is already being used in India, and the company adds there has been considerable interest across North America.
Launching the Smart City Sandbox in Toronto | Working with partners including construction firm EllisDon, Ontario Power Generation, The Weather Network, Slate Asset Management, and Microsoft, this accelerator, launched in May, aims to bring new products and systems to market that improve residents’ quality of life.
IBI Group has put aside $500,000 to invest in the project with annual incubator running costs estimated to be around $3m. Target themes include mobility, living, energy, and healthcare and each cohort programme will run for three to 12 months, concluding a demo day for investors.
The accelerator will support small companies as well as entrepreneurs and startups, and will operate out of the group’s Toronto HQ. The accelerator is open to global applications and the first cohort is due to be named later this year.
Acquisition of GreenOwl mobile | This purchase, announced in May, includes all intellectual property and supports the ongoing integration of technology in all group practice areas, the firm said, which is an integral part of its strategic plan. With offices in Toronto and California, GreenOwl Mobile specialises in design of mobile and IoT products, with a core offering supporting the collection and dissemination of geo-location data.
Reappointment to the next phase of NHS Healthy New Towns programme| In March, the company said it would continue to work with the Kings Fund to help produce official guidance (due in spring 2019) as part of the Healthy New Towns scheme.
The initiative aims to rethink how we live, how healthcare services can be better delivered, enabled through tech, and ultimately how health can be improved through the built environment. The new publication will provide evidence-based guidance on creating healthy neighbourhoods, towns and cities.
Also, as part of the NHS Healthy New Towns programme, IBI has been commissioned to design a new health and wellbeing hub in Whitehill & Bordon, East Hampshire, as part of a £1bn transformation of the area.
All images: IBI Group