British prime minister David Cameron has announced a £45 million ($75 million) funding boost for the development of M2M technologies, including services aimed at reducing energy consumption, according to press reports.
Speaking at this week’s CeBIT IT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany, Cameron is reported to have said the UK government will double public-sector funding for companies addressing opportunities in the fast-growing M2M sector.
“I see the internet of things as a huge transformative development – a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change,” Cameron is quoted as saying by BBC News.
Cameron also said that British expertise in software and services and German excellence in engineering and manufacturing could be combined to create a leading play in the M2M area.
The UK premier was attending CeBIT to hold official talks with German chancellor Angela Merkel and with Britain this year’s ‘partner country’ at the technology event.
According to the BBC, Sir Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific advisor, has been tasked with conducting a review into precisely how new emerging M2M technologies could be used in a real-world setting.
However, Cameron made specific reference to technologies including electricity meters, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, saying these could help consumers get “the best deals” through use of communications technologies.
Unlike in a number of other European countries, the UK government has taken a very proactive role in the smart-grid area, having recently awarded contracts to a number of IT and telecoms players – including Spain’s Telefonica (Madrid) – for the rollout of supporting technologies across the entire country.
Elsewhere, utilities have largely been left to work out for themselves how to introduce technologies that will lead to a 20% reduction in carbon emissions between 1990 and 2020, as mandated by the European Union.
However, Cameron appears to have provided little indication of how the UK and Germany could collaborate in the M2M area in future.