News in brief: Star Wars, UKTI, Smart Cities

News in brief
News in brief

UKTI videos celebrate Britain as the home of Star Wars

The UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign, Disney and Lucasfilm have joined forces for a series of videos to complement the UK cinema release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The videos, featuring British icons such as Sir Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and Jessica Ennis-Hill, profile the incredible British talent that has made Star Wars the global phenomenon it is today.

The story continues with the latest instalment, which was filmed in the UK using some truly GREAT British talent in both the production team and among the on-screen stars, including the droid-building skills of two British fans, Oliver Steeples and Lee Towersey, who were recruited to bring R2-D2 to life, plus British actors Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie, who play Rey, Finn and Captain Phasma in the new film.

In addition The Industry Trust for IP Awareness, the UK copyright education body, is launching a Star Wars: Made GREAT in Britain 55” trailer as part of its Moments Worth Paying For campaign.

Lucasfilm president and Star Wars: The Force Awakens producer, Kathleen Kennedy said: “Britain is the home of Star Wars. Returning to the UK and setting up at Pinewood felt like a kind of homecoming, especially with the generations of crew members who go back to the early days of the Star Wars saga. It’s been wonderful to see this new generation drafting off that classic sensibility while working on these new films.”

UK’s Smart Cities receive global recognition

At the recent Smart Cities World Expo in Barcelona, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) took 16 UK businesses and four cities to display British world-leading innovation and technology. There was a special focus on this year’s main theme: intelligent transport and mobility – the use of new and emerging technologies to transport people and goods more smartly and efficiently.

At the Congress, Peterborough and Milton Keynes were specifically praised for their pioneering work in the field of Smart Cities. Peterborough was judged ‘Smart City of the Year 2015’ – beating competition from around the world. Peterborough aspires to become the UK’s Environment Capital and its first Circular City. Its smart city programme, Peterborough DNA, has been running since 2013. Cecile Faraud, Circular Economy Lead, Peterborough City Council, and Poppy Rai, Innovation Project Officer, both collected the award.

Faraud said: “This award shows that a smart city is not about being a capital or mega city. A medium-sized city with the passion and ability to deliver on its ambitions can develop world class smart capability. This is a huge tribute to the team in Peterborough and the people who live there.”

Milton Keynes’ project, MK:Smart, was a finalist in the same category and the city was also recognised for its advances in the field of smart cities.