£800,000 one-year project awarded as a part of the Technology Strategy Board’s “Internet of Things Demonstrator” Competition

LONDON – August 21, 2013 – DISTANCE, a consortium for furthering education through advanced technologies, today announced its new “Internet of School Things” project.  The £800,000 collaborative development, led by industry and academic experts, leverages the emerging power of the next great Internet paradigm, known as the Internet of Things, to develop innovative methods for teachers and students to take a more active role in creating and sharing digital content in schools.

DISTANCE was awarded funding for the project through the “Internet of Things Demonstrator” programme run by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency. The consortium will initially work with at least eight schools across the UK to define how the Internet of School Things can enhance learning in science and other subjects, such as technology and geography. DISTANCE’s goals are to have students and teachers measure and share data—using new technology on the emerging Internet of Things—in ways that help make learning fun, link directly to the curriculum, and ultimately inform the design of the next generation of schools.  In turn, this initiative will help incentivise UK businesses to collaborate with the education space around a technology market that analysts expect to be in the trillions of dollars, while setting the conditions to better prepare children with unique skills to work within the digital economy.

The consortium is made up of ScienceScope, Intel, Xively (formerly Cosm), Explorer HQ, Stakeholder Design, University of Birmingham’s Urban Climate Laboratory, UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, and The Open University Department of Computing.

DISTANCE will accomplish its goals by creating an information hub in the cloud using Xively Cloud Services™, a cloud platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things. This will enable the consortium to identify the mix of incentives required to encourage educators, students and businesses to share certain types of data openly for the first time. The key innovation is the provision of a platform and service layer to connect schools with third-party service and application providers, who can then supply Internet-enabled measurement equipment and interpretation software.

The consortium plans to work with the schools on participatory design at the end of the 2013 summer term. Schools piloting the ecosystem will focus on four themes:  transport, energy, weather and health. Over the summer, DISTANCE will be developing a range of exciting apps and visualisations of data that can be collected by schools, together with comprehensive curriculum-based activities for the schools to trial in the autumn term. Following these trials, the consortium will develop comprehensive resources using the Internet of Things that can be used at scale across the UK as the project moves into its second year.

For more information on DISTANCE, contact David Crellin, ScienceScope Ltd, +44 (0)1225 850020,david@auc.co.uk

For more information on the Internet of Things Ecosystem Demonstrator please go to:


About ScienceScope Ltd

ScienceScope leads the DISTANCE consortium project. Based at Writhlington School near Bath, ScienceScope is a leading UK company providing Datalogging hardware and software for science education. With a strong focus on innovation, ScienceScope provides UK and international education establishments with the tools to explore, innovate and develop Datalogging and science within their institutions.  ScienceScope customers are advancing science and teaching by providing a solid education for the scientists of the future. Further information can be found atwww.sciencescope.co.uk

About Intel in Education

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company has a special commitment to helping improve the quality of education around the world, which serves as the foundation for future innovation and well-being. Over the past decade alone Intel has invested over US$1 billion and Intel employees have donated over 2.5 million hours toward improving education in more than 60 countries. The DISTANCE project is part of on going Internet of Things research at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI) for Sustainable Connected Cities (www.cities.io). ICRI Cities is concerned with how technology can be used to enhance the social, economic and environmental well being of cities. To get the latest Intel education news, visitwww.intel.com/newsroom/education/.

About Xively

Xively provides the first public cloud purpose-built for the Internet of Things (IoT). Xively’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) helps companies simplify and accelerate development of a new generation of IoT-connected products that easily interact with other connected offerings, and effortlessly scale to billions of devices. With Xively, businesses of all sizes can focus on their innovation, instead of infrastructure, and bring compelling connected offerings to market at significant cost savings. Through the power of Xively’s Connected Object Cloud™, solutions can securely and selectively interconnect, creating an exponential effect.  A subsidiary of LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM), Xively is headquartered in Boston’s Innovation District. www.xively.com

About Explorer HQ

Explorer HQ are the creators of Mission:Explore: an award-winning set of children’s books, an iPhone app and cutting-edge social gaming platform which encourages exploration, learning and creative play. We are working with organisations such as National Geographic Education, the Environment Agency, Scouts and the John Muir Trust to develop innovative and exciting activities for young people, and provide professional development materials for educators. http://www.missionexplore.net

About Stakeholder Design

Stakeholder Design is an international innovation agency that helps clients transform their education, health and social service provision. The company is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of user-led design and social innovation. It was founded in 2006 by Sean McDougall, who had previously led the education team at the Design Council. Major educational projects since then have included Project Faraday (UK Dept of Education) and Fountaineers (winner of Futurelab’s annual innovation competition). Stakeholder Design has unrivalled ability to help companies, governments and communities build working models of future spaces, systems and services.

About Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory (BUCL), University of Birmingham

The Birmingham Urban Climate Laboratory (BUCL) is a high-density, near-real time network of weather stations and air temperature sensors currently being implemented by School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The majority of the sensors are located in school grounds across the City of Birmingham, and the resulting data will be used for a variety of urban climate research, societal applications and educational purposes.  www.bucl.org.uk

UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) is one of the leading forces in the science of smart cities and big data.  Generating new knowledge and insights for use in policy and design it draws on the latest geospatial methods and ideas in computer-based visualisation and modelling. Part of The Bartlett: UCL’s global faculty of the built environment, it created the technology behind the Tales of Things IoT platform and the current CityDashboard projects. http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk

The Open University Department of Computing

The Ubiquitous Computing and Sustainability Lab, part of the Centre for Research in Computing at the Open University, conducts world-class research in experimental computer science and human-computer interaction with a focus on the Internet of Things, urban computing, and ICT for sustainability. The lab develops fundamental technologies with applications to future energy, transport and education solutions. The Open University is a pioneer in Internet-of-Things education and since October 2011 has been offering a first-year computer science online course focused on the Internet of Things, which has been completed by several thousand students. http://crc.open.ac.uk

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.  Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.


Press contacts:

UK inquiries:  Xively@hotwirepr.com

US inquiries:  Xively@bakercg.com