A ground-breaking Scottish project to monitor air quality in social housing using real-time sensors has been shortlisted for a global internet of things (IoT) awards ceremony.

Technology developed by iOpt has been used in a £1m project with Renfrewshire Council to pick up on dampness and ventilation problems in up to 2,400 homes in its catchment area.

The company, the only headquartered in Scotland, has now been put forward with five other firms in the Smart Cities, Government and Utilities category at the IoT Global Awards 2020, alongside rivals from California, Melbourne and Paris, including industry giant Thales Group.

The Glasgow-based company, which provides world-leading remote access monitoring services to the operators of large-scale housing stock, is working in partnership with the council – is believed to be the first of its kind in Europe – and is supported by the Scottish Government.

To date, studies have shown savings of approximately £190-a-year per property through adoption of the technology, which sends data to gateways via a LoRa system; some of the gateways then send the data on via mobile networks, with some sending it via fibre.

Managing Director Dane Ralston is hopeful that their inclusion in the global shortlist will spark a conversation about how the public sector can gain huge benefits through embracing the innovative use of IoT.

Mr Ralston said: “Being recognised alongside some of the leading players in the IoT sector globally is a real feat for us, and something we are incredibly proud of. We believe that IoT can unlock huge benefits, particularly in the UK’s social housing sector.

“With Covid-19 far from behind us, we believe that there is huge value in the services we provide. Tenants are rightly concerned about unnecessary visits to their property while housing providers are naturally concerned about the overall economic impact of Covid-19. Our technology removes the requirement for unnecessary visits and the cost savings, combined with the ability to foresee any potential issues, is of enormous benefit to large scale housing providers.

“We know that economic difficulties hit ordinary people in pocket and that there’s a real risk of fuel poverty taking hold in these circumstances. The fact that the public sector is showing a willingness to embrace innovation is really encouraging, and a trend that we hope will continue long into the future.”