School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing

MONICA - Management of Networked IoT Wearables

After 3 productive and rewarding years, the European Commission project; MONICA came to an end.  The Horizon 2020 Project on wearable technologies for outdoor events has just passed the final review as the most successful Large-Scale Project (LSP) on Internet of Things (IoT)! All three reviewers and the PO congratulated the team for the tremendous good work, professional management and extremely useful results for open-air events in large cities!
MONICA project team abroad.

MONICA stands for Management of Networked IoT Wearables – Very Large Scale Demonstration of Cultural Societal Applications. 

The project started in January 2017 with a budget of around €770,000 through HORIZON 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation (Grant Agreement No 732350). It provided a demonstration of how cities can use Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for smarter living. The demonstration involved six major cities in Europe from 2017 to 2020 involving more than 100,000 application users in total. The cities contributing were: Lyon (France), Hamburg (Germany), Bonn (Germany), Turin (Italy), Leeds (UK), and Copenhagen (Denmark).

The project focused on one of the key aspects of the European society: the cultural performances in open-air settings which create challenges in terms of crowd safety, security and noise pollution.

To demonstrate how these challenges can be met through the use of technology, MONICA developed, deployed and demonstrate IoT ecosystems on security, acoustics and innovation, addressing real user needs. Within these systems, several applications were deployed, using IoT-enabled devices such as smart wristbands, video cameras, smart glasses, loudspeakers and mobile phones.

One strand of applications focussed on Crowd safety and security addressing the challenge of managing public security and safety at open-air settings where large crowds gather. These include concerts, carnivals, sporting events and other city manifestations.

The second strand focussed on Solutions for sound monitoring and control demonstrating a number of acoustics applications, controlling and reducing the emission of unwanted noise to the neighbouring communities while ensuring the concert goers had the best acoustic experience.

Working with 29 partners from nine European countries, the Leeds Beckett University team contribution includes transferring users’ needs in terms of functionality, performance, scalability and interoperability into technical requirements for IoT applications. We were also involved in the development of the IoT algorithms responsible for the improvement of the safety and security of both events staff and visitors. Moreover, we were responsible for the project impact assessment, socio-economic relations and business models. We ensured the involvement of citizens and businesses as well as making sure that MONICA impact activities are well communicated.

The Leeds Beckett team is proud to have had the opportunity to work very closely with the partners at Headingley Emerald Stadium where MONICA technologies were used to enhance the visitors’ experience through improved security and the management of crowds utilising IoT technologies such as smart glasses, CCTVs, and mobile apps. Thanks to Mark Arthur CEO of Yorkshire County Cricket, Gary Hetherington (Chairman of Leeds Rugby) and Rob Oates (Commercial Director) supported by Paul Rowbotham (YCCC Projects Officer and Operational support for MONICA project), Tim Leslie and Stephen Green  (Mtech IT and technical provider for stadium and MONICA project), Nigel Chambers (Leeds Rugby Head of Finance and operational support for MONICA project), Jason Herridge (YCCC Finance Administrator  and support for MONICA project), and Dr Helen Whitrod Brown (MONICA Project co-ordiantor for YCCC and Leeds Rugby), it was possible to demonstrate technologies at live events. Special thanks to David Dowse; Ground Safety Officer G4S and operational support for MONICA project, Leeds West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue personnel and West Yorkshire police for agreeing to participate and contribute to the evaluation of the MONICA technologies.

The Leeds Beckett University team also had the pleasure of hosting and organising a smart cities show case event and a hackathon where we invited researchers, start-up, entrepreneurs to develop new innovative applications for a smarter sports experience. 

Through the project, Leeds Beckett produced seven publications, contributed to and participated in several dissemination events across Europe, and gained long term collaborators across Europe. The Leeds Beckett team is already preparing bids with these collaborators for the next project. 

The MONICA team at Leeds Beckett wishes to acknowledge the support received from the Research team in particular Nicoletta Mirachi (pre-award), Lucy Scott and Louise Laybourne (post award team). Not forgetting IT services for supporting the special IT requirements and the hackathon.

Special thanks to LBU academic members who worked on the MONICA project; Prof Dorothy Monekosso, Dr Rasha Ibrahim, Dr Shumei Zhang, Suzanne Morton, Holly Towndrow Dr Santiago Sanchez, Dr Muhammad Ali Nasir and Dr Hazem Heswani.

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