Smart bid to make most of phone powers

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University boffins and business leaders are working on ways to make Hertfordshire greener by making smarter use of technology.

If the project lead by Cranfield University is successful Hertfordshire could be recognised as the UK’s first ‘Smart’ county.

Smart technology could mean being able to switch on devices like washing machines with a mobile phone or iPad app.

The prestigious Bedfordshire university is working with Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) and key industry representatives from around the county.

The Cranfield team will be looking at the county’s needs in terms of waste, water, housing, education, transport, health and business in order to develop scenarios for more efficient use of infrastructure and smart technologies – those technologies that help us use available resources in a better way.

The team will consider the use of alternative sources of energy, smart grids, greener transport – such as electrical charging points and cars – but also improving infrastructure.

Justyna Spurtacz from Cranfield University’s Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D) said: “The hope is for this research to become the first of many initiatives towards the development of Hertfordshire as a greener county”.

Yolanda Rugg, acting chief executive of HCCI, said: “The HCCI environmental forum has grown from strength to strength in increasing the participation from organisations across the county coming together to share best practice, expertise and knowledge in low carbon practices. As we progress our aspirations to share centres of sustainable excellence around the county to attract inward investment, this research will be the catalyst in how we can attract funding to grow the green cluster in local supply chains and develop a sustainable community across Herts.”