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New Quarterly Report Highlights Latest UK Cities Trends From Devolution To Public Sector Contracts

A new quarterly report will be launched today at Innovate 2017 in Birmingham, analysing the latest trends taking place in cities across the UK, and at local and national government.

Published by Future Cities Catapult, the Government-backed centre of expertise in urban innovation, 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.

Insights have been gathered across multiple themes including political, economic, environmental and societal, to shine a light on what UK cities are doing, thinking and are concerned about.

Highlights from this report covering the second quarter (Jul-Sept 2017) include:

  • Government launched investment strategies for energy, transport and a £3 billion plan to improve air quality.
  • Devolution deals finalised in Edinburgh and stalled in South Yorkshire.
  • Belfast and Aberdeen taking steps forward with their smart city plans and Milton Keynes announces a new partnership with Huawei.
  • Questions raised on the ability of local authorities to manage personal data and deal with cyber security attacks.
  • Electric vehicles 50% year on year increase in registrations, with new pledges to phase out fossil fuels from vehicle manufacturers and government.
  • The UK’s largest autonomous vehicles trial given the green light to move onto city streets, while Uber is informed that its licence will not be renewed in London.
  • £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
  • £8 billion of funding announced this quarter to support investments in housing, air quality improvements, mobility technologies, tackling litter and cultural regeneration.

Once thought of as a luxury rather than necessity, the report identifies millions of pounds being spent on urban services that are infused in innovations. As Bristol was recently recognised by Huawei’s UK Smart Cities Index 2017 as overtaking London in its smart city capabilities, lots of other cities are stepping up their attempts in using technology to tackle urban challenges from air quality to congestion. Mayor Sadiq Khan will be publishing his ‘Smart London Plan’ next year, and Belfast City Council has 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.

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.”

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.”

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”.

Sam Markey, Head of Relationship Development at Future Cities Catapult, said:

“We’re very happy to launch the first quarterly City Innovation Brief, which acts as a knowledge resource for busy city managers looking to keep pace and know what others are doing.

“By highlighting the movers and shakers, as well as showcasing the innovation underway in cities, the report informs the market on places ‘beyond the usual suspects’ that they might find value in approaching.”




The first issue of Future Cities Catapult’s City Innovation Brief is available here:http://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/City-Innovation-Brief-Autumn-2017_Q2.pdf

Headshots of quoted Future Cities Catapult staff available at hyperlinks.

For further information please contact Naomi Moore: nmoore@futurecities.catapult.org.uk / 07718 584331  

About Future Cities Catapult                                                                      

Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. We bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.

From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

We help innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, we help spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

Follow us on Twitter @futurecitiescat or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our news.

About Catapult centres

The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Catapults network has been established by Innovate UK. For more information visit catapult.org

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