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Sydney Internet of Things (IoT) startup Thinxtra has launched a Partnership Program for Smart Councils, looking to offer 50 local councils around Australia the chance to be connected to the IoT and bring related solutions to their communities.

Thinxtra, which raised $11 million in a Series A funding round in September, creates IoT solutions and services, and has also been tasked with rolling out the low-powered, wide area network (LPWAN) of French IoT company Sigfox around Australia.

A LPWAN is, as the name suggests, a low power network that enables the use of small devices such as sensors and smart meters, or devices that simply collect data and send it to another system that can process and analyse the results.

Through the Smart Council Program, Thinxtra will provide Sigfox network coverage within four weeks for free; to enable this, the company has invested $5 million into the program. It includes free installation, connectivity for smart council application developments, and development kits for incubators.

According to Thinxtra, the Program will improve council services by enabling applications such as infrastructure monitoring, waste management, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring. It will also allow for educational and community initiatives using and teaching IoT.

Coffs Harbour was the first city to sign up to the program, with Loic Barancourt, CEO of Thinxtra, saying that with its “burgeoning business and innovation centre”, Coffs Harbour was the perfect test case for the company to demonstrate how IoT can help boost regional economy and business.

Andrew Beswick, Coffs Harbour City Council’s Director Business Services, said, “Coffs Harbour is a city noted for its enthusiasm for forward-thinking technological innovation. The SIGFOX network is a major step forward which will make the city even more attractive to new business, as well as helping improve community services and the quality of life for our residents.”

Smart city solutions provided by Thinxtra include parking management, helping drivers save time when looking for parking; manhole monitoring, sending an alert when a cover is opened; bin monitoring, providing daily information on filling levels, alerts in case of a fire, and GPS tracking for moving bins; and smart lighting.

Thinxtra is also working across sectors including environment, agriculture, industry, utilities, and buildings.

The launch of the Thinxtra initiative comes at a time when governments of all levels around Australia are increasingly considering IoT and the rise of the smart city.

The Federal Government earlier this year launched Hypercat Australia, a technology standard to support the development of smart cities by creating an “interoperable IoT ecosystem”, in collaboration with industry and corporates.

The Newcastle City Council has also provided seed funding to Eighteen04, a coworking hub in Newcastle focused on the cleantech and smart city sectors. Startups working in the hub include a smart bin sensor, which informs councils as to whether public bins are full or empty to optimise the garbage truck route and minimise the time trucks spend on the road.

You can learn more about the Smart Council Program here.

Image: Coffs Harbour. Source: coffscoast.com.au

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