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Blog: India Means Business

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India Means Business

19th January 2016

Senior analyst, Emma Shaw,  explores the emerging smart city market in India and looks at the Future Cities Catapult's 'City Academy' work with New Town, Kolkata.

Last summer the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced his 100 Smart Cities Mission. The $7.2 billion[1] initiative will see cities across India compete to receive investment from the government’s Ministry of Urban Development, to help them kick-start the delivery of their smart city plans.

With match funding from state governments, the prize pot for successful cities is significant: $150 million[2] over five years – and that’s before private investment from foreign and domestic players. Greater Mumbai, Pune and New Town, Kolkata were among the 100 cities selected for the mission.

Modi’s announcement has caught the attention of the global business community. According to UK government sources, the smart city project in India is part of a $1.5 trillion[3] global market opportunity. With its strong ecosystem of smart cities innovation, it’s an opportunity the UK business community is keen to tap into.

Future Cities Catapult has been working with New Town, Kolkata – a seven year-old planned satellite city on the outskirts of India’s cultural capital. Supported by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Prosperity Fund, our role is to provide independent, expert support to New Town’s authorities, to help ensure their smart city proposal is rooted in local needs and strategic priorities. Our shared ambition is to see New Town selected in Modi’s first round of investment.

We’re running our Smart City Academy programme to help New Town’s city officials make sense of the complicated smart cities market. Taking a user-centred design approach, our multi-disciplinary team of data scientists, anthropologists and economists have developed a suite of smart city concepts for New Town’s citizens – informed by collaborative workshops and global best practice.

New Town’s smart city proposal was submitted to the Government of India’s Ministry of Urban Development in December. The first cities to receive investment will be announced later this month.

This project is a collaboration between Future Cities Catapult, UK Trade and Investment and New Town’s city authorities, working closely with Buro Happold and Deloitte.

Emma Shaw, Senior Analyst

[1] Source: Government of India, 2015

[2] Source: Government of India, 2015

[3] Source: UK Trade and Investment, 2015

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