Hatfield Business Park to become test-bed for 'smart' living

Work has commenced on Hertfordshire County Council's Hertfordshire Living Lab project, set to pave the way for future smart towns and cities across the country.

Hatfield Business Park

The county council has secured a £748k Local Growth Fund grant, from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The project brings together partners Ocado Group, BT, the University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire LEP. Together they will transform Hatfield Business Park into a model 'smart place' with the introduction of an open and experimental digital ecosystem.

Hatfield Business Park has a mix of private businesses, public sector organisations and residential properties, making it an ideal multi-use environment in which to develop innovations to serve local communities. Digital twin, driverless cars, drones, robots, smart infrastructure and smart services will be used to support the development of pioneering solutions to everyday issues.

The Lab will 'learn by doing' by delivering experimental services to residents, local employees and students from driverless delivery of goods to the provision of new mobility services such as shared bikes and e-scooters. People will also have exciting opportunities to co-create these innovative services and solutions through a dedicated digital engagement platform.

Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment for Hertfordshire County Council, said:

This is a great step forward for our Hertfordshire Living Lab project. Residents and local communities are at the heart of what we do and these proposed sustainable, smart services will go a long way in helping us to achieve our vision for a smarter, more sustainable county, which will benefit not only our organisations but the people and businesses of Hertfordshire and in the future, the wider UK.