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SMEs and Start-ups


The projects we work on are multi-disciplinary and vary in size, requiring expertise from numerous organisations. You could partner with us on a project from the outset, or undertake a discrete piece of work for us as a contractor.

Our collaboration opportunities are typically either Collaborative Research and Development contracts or private commercial opportunities:

CR&D Bid Collaborations
We frequently apply for large Collaborative Research & Development contracts and are always looking for suitable partners to collaborate with for the duration of the funding cycle.

Commercial Opportunities
Our work often requires highly specialised expertise—from data science and economics, to prototype development and user-centered design—which we often seek to fulfil using SMEs from around the UK.

In both cases we use open calls or challenges to choose new collaborators.

Open Calls
Many funding streams require us to undertake formal open calls, which adhere to EU funding guidelines for procuring the services of companies to undertake work.  We’ll guide you through the process and make it clear and easy — whether it’s developing urban software models or building a prototype sensor.

Where we’re not required to perform a formal open call, we use a similar framework to run what we call Challenges. Our Challenges are a competitive process which moves faster than open calls, allowing us to select the most suitable candidates for a specific piece of work with greater speed — whether it’s designing an immersive data visualisation or rolling out a new device in a city centre trial.

For those SMEs that don’t collaborate with us on project work but would like to take part during the delivery phase of our projects, there are opportunities available to use our urban demonstration spaces to test products and services.

Demonstrator Network
We often apply for projects that include a broad network of demonstration spaces in cities across the UK and Europe, with the vital digital architecture required to measure accurately the performance of your product or service. We welcome SMEs to use them, in order to show off what they can achieve in a real-world setting.

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