European accolade for Sunderland City Council

An app helping people live independently has helped Sunderland win a European award.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 11:45 am
Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland City Council has been named winner of the 2020 Civic Innovation in Technology Award (Europe) from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard.

The Social Health Enabling Independent Living (SHIELA) App’s innovative use of assistive technology helped the authority earn its place as top civic innovator in technology across Europe for 2020.

The council has been developing technology enabled care as a core element of the social care offering in the city.

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The app uses a range of next generation technologies, connectivity and data to support the wellbeing of residents.

Sensors, push alerts and data analytics are just a few of the features of the app, which was praised by the panel for its transformative innovation in the 2020 pandemic.

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “It is with a huge sense of pride that I stand here not only as a representative of the UK’s smartest city for 2020, but now a leading European city as the recipient of this incredible accolade from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard on behalf of my team and our partners.

“The prevalence of engagement with citizens, carers and healthcare professionals has been and still is an integral success factor in the SHEILA app and its future development.

“In our smart city of Sunderland, technology is embraced as an enabler and essential driver for positive change, but there is very much a belief across the city that a ‘citizen first, tech second’ approach will continue to ensure the needs of individuals is at the forefront of our ongoing dynamic developments.”