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Innovation Week - Birmingham

Sam Markey, UK Cities Lead at Future Cities Catapult, takes a look forward to our week of innovation events in Birmingham. Taking place from 6 to 12 December.

From the Lunar Society and the birth of the Industrial Revolution, to the regeneration and mass house building campaigns of the inter-war years, Birmingham is a city with an excellent pedigree in driving urban innovation.

In recent years, the redevelopment of the city centre – including the new Grand Central concourse at New Street Station, and the extension of the tram network – has once again bolstered the city’s reputation for bold city improvement projects. Consequently, despite its low-key reputation compared to Manchester and Bristol, the city attracts the largest volume of thirty-something Londoners leaving the capital (Source: Office for National Statistics) and ranks above London and Berlin as the top city in Western Europe to invest according to the World’s Most Competitive Cities Report 2015 (Source: Site Selection), with strong performances in eight key sectors judged important to the global economy.

At the Future Cities Catapult, our mission is to foster urban innovation, grow UK companies and make cities better places to live, work and play. Over seven days in December we will be in Birmingham, looking to connect with the urban innovators, entrepreneurs and civic leaders building on the city’s exceptional pedigree and shaping the city and the wider region today.

During the seven days, we will be running a series of open invitation workshops, discussions and networking events. If you are an SME seeking to learn more about opportunities in the future cities market, an innovator looking for thorny challenges in need of brilliant solutions, a business striving to adapt to the changing realities of modern cities, or a city leader asking how the Future Cities Catapult can help make Birmingham even better, sign up and come along to one of our events.


Health and Future Cities:  6 December 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Join this discussion to learn how cities can harness new technologies and approaches to mitigate the negative health impacts of city life and maximise the benefits – and in particular how cultural institutions and the arts can help cities tell stories that enable people to navigate and grasp those opportunities.


Future Of Planning – Innovation Workshop8 December 2016 10:30am – 5:00pm

Future Cities Catapult is running an innovation workshop in Birmingham on Thursday 8 December that will explore the Future of Planning in the UK.This event will include talks from planning system technology innovators, an ‘Ideas Workshop’ and an open Q&A panel discussion on the Future of Planning.

The Future of City Planning8 December 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Future Cities Catapult is partnering with Impact Hub Birmingham to explore how technology could transform planning and urban development in Greater Birmingham and beyond. Join this session to hear from those working on the transformation of the planning system and to learn more about the Future Cities Catapult’s Future of Planning project.

Innovation Week Birmingham – Networking Event: 8 December 2016 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Join members of the Future Cities team on 8 December for a networking event in Birmingham. This will be a chance to meet members of the Future Cities team, forge new connections, and share ideas about the future of (Greater) Birmingham.


Innovation Week Birmingham – Coffee Morning: 12 December 2016 11:00am – 12:30pm

Join us for this informal learning and networking session to hear about how we work with SMEs, upcoming opportunities, and leading smart city expert Joe Dignan will share his predictions for smart cities around the world in 2017.

Introduction To Data Visualisation For SMEs12 December 2016 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Our data visualisation workshop for SMEs is a beginner’s introduction to the tools, techniques and storytelling skills required to turn raw city data into striking visualisations which explore and address urban challenges, helping you to reach new audiences and clients and turn complex information into useful assets.


Interested but can’t make it? We would love to hear from you. Email Sam Markey if you’re interested in getting involved with Future Cities Catapult.

Keep up with the action on Twitter using #IWBirmingham

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