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*** For immediate use October 23, 2012
Tokyo, October 23, 2012 - NEC Corporation is conducting joint research with Imperial College London in the United Kingdom to develop innovative technologies to manage "smart" water systems.
Researchers from Imperial and NEC signed a contract with the aim of establishing a smart water systems Lab at the College. Scientists at the Lab aim to develop technologies to improve ageing water supply infrastructures, to make them more energy efficient, adaptable and to reduce their impact on the environment.
"This collaboration is a unique opportunity to integrate NEC's cutting-edge cloud, Big Data analytics and sensing expertise with the novel sensing and modelling technologies we developed at Imperial," said Dr Ivan Stoianov, Project Principal Investigator from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. "This will enable near real-time management and robust control of water supply networks. For example, we aim to reduce leakage and energy use, and improve water quality while increasing the system's reliability and resilience."
"Exploiting smart sensing, control and IT infrastructures will bring agility to water network systems allowing them to avoid problems or adapt their operation when problems arise," explained Dr Julie McCann, Principal Investigator from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London. "This is a significant change in water management and also the design of complex cyber-physical systems."
Naoki Nishi, General Manager of Green Platform Research Laboratories NEC Corporation, said: "We are honoured to work with Imperial College London in contributing to the improvement of social infrastructure. As our research in smart water systems advances we hope to expand into new areas of smart city development."
Lord Stephen Green, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said: "Water is a precious and increasingly scarce resource in many parts of the world. The development of smart, energy efficient water and wastewater treatment systems is an essential response to ensuring water security, whilst minimising the impact on the environment and contributing to carbon reduction targets."
"This new partnership will help to ensure that the UK continues to engage in the development of smart technologies in collaboration with like-minded international partners. I wish all success to the new partnership and look forward to seeing the results of this joint research."
Professor David Gann CBE, Deputy Principal for Research and Business Engagement, Imperial College Business School, says: "Global challenges such as climate change mean that cities need to be more responsive, efficient and sustainable with their water resources. I welcome today's commitment between Imperial and NEC to develop the Smart Water Systems Lab because our research will lead to real innovations in the way that we manage water resources. The technologies and processes that we develop as a result of this project could be adopted by many cities around the world."
NEC is already driving the growth of smart cities throughout global markets, including rapidly developing regions such as Brazil and China. Furthermore, NEC's leading assets include a wide range of end-to-end solutions that span the cloud, energy and security fields.
Going forward, NEC will continue to leverage these assets towards the expansion of the smart city field.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies that benefit businesses and people around the world. By providing a combination of products and solutions that cross utilize the company's experience and global resources, NEC's advanced technologies meet the complex and ever-changing needs of its customers. NEC brings more than 100 years of expertise in technological innovation to empower people, businesses and society. For more information, visit NEC at
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Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.
In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.
Imperial already has strong research capabilities in developing technologies for making cities more sustainable DigitalCity Exchange is a five-year Digital Economy multi-disciplinary research programme at Imperial College London funded by the Research Council UK Digital Economy Programme. Researchers are exploring ways to digitally link utilities and services within a city, enabling new technical and business opportunities.
The programme of research focuses on harnessing next generation digital systems to combine and repurpose city data: ultimately, transforming the planning and use of cities.