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Future Cities Catapult Launches City Innovation Brief

We have launched the first edition of our new quarterly innovation report, analysing the latest trends taking place in cities across the UK, and at local and national government from July - September 2017.

The ‘City Innovation Brief’ summarises key developments and changes from cities across the UK, identifying where money is being invested and what future opportunities might look like within the advanced urban services sector.

With insights gathered across multiple themes including political, economic, environmental and societal, our team of experts have shone a light on what UK cities are doing, thinking and are concerned about.

Nicola Yates, Chief Executive Office at Future Cities Catapult said:

“Managing the ongoing growth and complexity of our cities requires the very best of human ingenuity, and fortunately the UK has a wealth of innovative companies that can help. We call this the advanced urban services sector.

“In this and in future issues, our City Innovation Brief will show how cities across the UK are harnessing advanced urban services to help them become more productive, sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and more liveable.

“Through the latest sector trends and deep-dive insights from city officials we will share and champion best practice in the sector, providing opportunities for cities to learn from one and another.”

Whilst once thought of as a luxury rather than necessity, the report identifies £227 million of public sector contracts advertised related to advanced urban services, with 35% of tenders attributed to the digitalisation of services and 47% to intelligent systems.

Ian Meikle, Director – Infrastructure Systems, Innovate UK said:

“Innovate UK, working with the Future Cities Catapult, is committed to developing smart city solutions enabling cities to be viewed and managed holistically, allowing all citizens to be healthier, happier and more productive and resilient. This report can help to shape the smart decisions needed to deliver these outputs.”

With Bristol recently recognised by Huawei’s UK Smart Cities Index 2017 as overtaking London in its smart city capabilities, this report clearly evidences lots of other cities are stepping up their attempts in using technology to tackle urban challenges from air quality to congestion. This includes Belfast City Council who have recently launched its Smart City Framework, harnessing the strength of Belfast’s digital sector and encouraging greater innovation and collaboration between local businesses, universities and the public sector.

Deborah Colville, Smart Cities Portfolio Manager for Belfast City Council said:

“Local government needs to take a leadership role in creating the circumstance in which cross sector innovation can flourish to build a future where our citizens can reach their full potential, businesses can transact and prosper locally as well as globally, and where we attract and keep talent in our cities.

“We need to become intelligent clients and understand the markets, collaborating across sectors and learning from other local authority experiences”.

We hope the City Innovation Brief will act as a knowledge resource for busy city managers looking to keep pace and know what others are doing, as well as a window onto customer demand for businesses in the advanced urban services sector. Please do share feedback and get in touch if you’d like to contribute to our next Brief.

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