Written by Peter Harrison

Jersey is to invest close to £500,000 in a new 'lab' to help businesses explore the 'Internet of Things' (IoT).

The IoT is a network of devices such as vehicles or home appliances which have the ability to connect to each other and exchange data.

While only 8% of firms in the Channel Islands use IoT devices, a recent survey by Logicalis found that 69% of them will be affected by it in the next three years.

It's now been agreed to give £449,000 to Digital Jersey to set up the lab at JT's exchange at Red Houses.

The States say their investment in the IoT sector is consistent with their aims to promote the digital economy and to position Jersey as a 'test-bed' jurisdiction.

Digital Jersey says the lab will, "...enhance the island’s capacity for new ideas, enterprise and jobs in the digital sector. It will make Jersey a more investible place to locate a digital business than other similar locations, and it will grow a pipeline of specialist skills to meet the needs of industry. The IoT Lab will also encourage academic and industry collaboration on applied research and development, which is a crucial advantage to establishing the centre."

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey said: “We are delighted to be given the go-ahead to create a facility that will offer a focal point for businesses to collaborate and share resources, apply research to real-life scenarios, and turn IoT ideas into commercial ventures. The IoT Lab will offer access to world-leading internet speeds, a data platform for analysing large data sets collected from IoT sensors around Jersey, and communal workshop space for building and testing IoT devices."

Assistant Minister, Deputy Scott Wickenden, said: “The global growth of IoT presents significant opportunities for Jersey but we will need to invest in promoting and fostering the sector if we are to see a strong local IoT presence. By funding Digital Jersey to establish a dedicated IoT Lab, Government is showing its commitment to achieving this goal.”