Log into your Xpand Account

Does your business have a problem that could be solved using innovative technology? 

Maybe the solution already exists and you need to discuss or collaborate with a specialist? Funding is now available.

About the programme 

Things Connected NI is a regional program that will see the deployment of LPWAN a ‘Low Powered Wide Area Network’ across most of Northern Ireland. This infrastructure will be free to use for experimentation and testing, demonstration, and piloting digitally innovative products and services. This innovation programme helps SMEs access industry mentors, as well as commercial and academic expertise to help them bring their products to market.

A consortium led by the University of Ulster, Invest NI, Tourism NI and Local NI Councils has successfully bid for funding and a challenge call is available to develop initiatives that will seek to accelerate the demand and innovation of industrial Internet of Things (IoT) products with the adoption of these LPWAN networks.

What is IoT? 

The LPWAN infrastructure, also known as an Internet of Things (IoT) network, provides a means of inexpensive, secure, long distance communication between a sensor which is based in the community and the owner of the sensor. Up to 50 gateways will be strategically placed across Northern Ireland to collect data. The sensor may be measuring anything from temperature, humidity, to asset tracking etc, but many of the business applications are still to be discovered.

In Ards and North Down 

In the Ards and North Down area we aim to promote the opportunity for local businesses to become involved in this project. Across Northern Ireland various challenge areas have been identified as potential accelerators for development and growth of SMEs.

A funding package of £145,000 has been identified with £2,000 available per project to help develop technology using IoT. An ecosystem for industry could be developed from the following areas with the support of Invest NI and relevant industry clusters:-

  • Transportation & logistics
  • Healthy smart buildings
  • Manufacturing
  • Creative technologies
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture/Food Manufacture
  • Management of playable open spaces

Ards and North Down have been identified as the challenge leader for transport and logistics, however any SME that is interested in solving any programme challenge should apply. A technical background is no pre-requisite and there are plenty of tools and resources available to guide. Funding is now available for businesses to develop or progress devices, applications, products and services using IoT technology.