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Smart city in Songdo: SparkLabs launch IoT accelerator

Posted: 10 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Songdo International Business District? IoT? South Korea?

Start-up accelerator SparkLabs is showing the way to go with smart city, having inked an agreement with the company behind South Korea's $35 billion Songdo International Business District (Songdo IDB) to launch its new Internet of Things accelerator in Songdo in early 2015.

Songdo IBD is a "smart" city built on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land. Located adjacent to the Incheon International Airport on the western coast of the Korean peninsula, Songdo is widely viewed as one of the world's most technologically advanced and environmentally responsible cities, featuring almost 14 million SF of LEED-certified space. In partnership with Korean and U.S. companies such as Cisco Systems, LG CNS and ADT Caps, the city is already serving as as a test bed for both public and private "smart" city solutions, services, and technologies.

"We believe a critical component of the IoT accelerator will be to provide a test bed for our companies. Songdo IBD provides a robust test bed of more than 35,000 residents, and within one of the most technologically advanced and wired cities in the world," explained HanJoo Lee, co-founder and general partner at SparkLabs.

The new IoT programme from SparkLabs will be open to any start-up in the world and plans to be housed in both Seoul and Songdo.

"This partnership builds on our existing ecosystem of world-class corporate, governmental, and academic partners," said Stan Gale, Chairman of New Songdo International City Development (NSIC). "With the IoT accelerator pioneering cutting-edge technologies in Songdo IBD, we are confident that our population of early adopters will embrace the new technologies that are developed by SparkLabs."

The South Korea government launched a similar initiative years ago as part of its nationwide smart grid projectthe construction of the Smart Grid Testbed in Jeju Island. The project targets to raise energy efficiency, build eco-friendly infrastructure that reduces carbon emissions, create new growth opportunities and enhance the quality of life. (Read the article here: From Jeju to West: South Korea exports smart grid tech)

Since the completion of test bed's construction in 2011, more than 2,000 homesout of the approximately 6,000 totalhave been connected to the test grid, according to The New York Times. The residents received new electrical meters, switches, home appliances and other technologies to enable a two-way real-time communication between the end user and the utility company. For the most part, this encourages electricity use when it is at the cheapest rate.





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