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Tech project will improve safety and wellbeing

HomeLINK, part of Shropshire Company of the Year winner Aico of Oswestry, has been awarded a 12-month project with Leeds City Council in a move towards improving the safety and wellbeing of their residents with IoT (Internet of Things) technology.

The £500k investment from GovTech Catalyst for the district will see the deployment of up to 1,000 environment sensors such as temperature, humidity and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) in up to 1,000 of its homes.

Approximately 50 of these properties will also include further smart technology, like the Aico SmartLINK Gateway, for the remote monitoring and management of fire and Carbon Monoxide alarm systems. Aico’s SmartLINK Gateway utilises Aico’s next generation wireless technology to report events including fire/CO activations and alarm head removals as they happen to the SmartLINK cloud portal, for full visibility and remote monitoring to improve efficiency, reduce costs, aid with forecasting and compliance and enable smart asset management.

Luke Loveridge, CEO of HomeLINK, said: “We're thrilled to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council, the University of York and the University of Leeds on the next phase of this £500k GovTech challenge.

"Leeds is ambitious, forward-thinking and at the cutting edge of the smart city agenda. Providing enough homes that are efficient, safe and supports people's health and wellbeing is of critical importance; especially as people have been spending significantly more time indoors recently.

"With a deployment of up to 1,000 smart homes, we will test and develop new maintenance and wellbeing services for social housing residents. I'm glad that we are part of a partnership that has the experience and technology to support Leeds in this journey.”

This project, in partnership with the University of Leeds and the University of York, follows as phase two from an earlier deployment in six properties.

The initial phase included interviews, feedback and collaboration with over 100 residents, resulting in clear objectives for the second phase: integration of property management systems, mapping processes and the development of a resident app.

The resident app is a vital component of the project as phase one identified that by providing residents with their own data and suggested actions they could take reduced the risk of condensation, damp and mould. This project also had significant positive impact on relationships and engagement with residents, with all residents keen to participate in phase two.

“Housing is a recognised public health issue with research evidence showing that poor housing presents a risk to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. This is why this project is really important and we're keen to work with innovative partners like Leeds City Council and HomeLINK.” said Dr Maria Horne, associate professor in Community and Public Health at the University of Leeds.

Stephen Blackburn, data and innovation manager for Leeds City Council, said: “It’s great to be able to continue working with HomeLINK on phase two of this Government-funded GovTech Catalyst project. We’re keen to promote Leeds as an innovative city where new technology can be tested and trialled.

"This project offers us a great opportunity to better understand how new technology and data insight can help us further improve the service we deliver to our tenants.”

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