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CityX: ideas into action

City Strategies: Supporting Urban Innovation

Discover how city authorities are looking to work with the most innovative UK businesses and universities to create the thriving, prosperous and connected cities of the future.

Many cities around the world are examining how to improve their urban environments, enhance citizen services and boost the ways they collaborate. They are harnessing the potential of innovation in data, connectivity and design.

The market for connected cities is expected to be worth over $750 billion by 2020. This offers innovative businesses that have developed or are developing new urban technologies the opportunity to play an important role in transforming global cities.

We want to connect innovative UK businesses with all the opportunities that cities present. If you have new ideas or technology potential then we want to hear from you

Case study: City Strategies Review

In our Smart City Strategies Review we partnered with professional services specialists at Arup to showcase cities around the world that are leading the way in using innovation to transform urban environments.

Cities need a robust strategy do this, so they can engage with partners, businesses and service providers effectively and efficiently. In the review, we share recommendations and examples from 21 global cities on how to best to achieve this.

We want to help cities to look at how innovation can play a role in improving every aspect of their city; be that digital tools for planning, intelligent transport systems or better use of data.

If you’re a city authority looking for expertise to create a city strategy we can work with you to achieve this. Talk to us

Case Study: Belfast is Open for Innovation

Belfast is taking a forward-thinking approach in its ambition to become a more vibrant and prosperous city.

It wants to use the strength of its digital sector and the expertise in its universities to become a ‘living laboratory’ for businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs and researchers who want to design, test, and build advanced digital solutions for a twenty-first century city.

This offers exciting opportunities for innovative businesses and urban technologists across the UK to collaborate with the council and develop ideas to meet its city challenges.

The Catapult worked closely with the City Council to develop, launch and start to implement a ‘Smart Belfast Framework’ to support urban innovation from 2017-2021.

The ‘Smart Belfast’ programme has the potential to transform services in the city and make it a better, more efficient place to live and work. By combining technology, data, collaboration and user-led design, it has the power to accelerate the transformation of services in the city.

Attracting Funding through City Strategies

We also worked with Belfast City Council to create a strategic case for funding , with commitment from industry partners to support the framework.

The Belfast City Region Partners (comprising six councils and two universities) were subsequently awarded £350 million for the innovation and digital proposition as part of the City Deal.

This will use digitisation and innovation to deliver inclusive economic growth focusing on improving job prospects, making a positive impact on the most deprived communities and ensuring a balanced spread of benefits across the region.

Part of the funding will help support innovation projects aligned to key sectors including media, advanced manufacturing, cyber security and health and wellbeing.

Belfast: Working with innovative UK businesses

Belfast has already started working more collaboratively and proactively with innovative UK businesses and universities including Analytics Engines, See.Sense, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University to tackle some its city challenges through innovation.

It has been using machine learning to enhance the accuracy of the city’s Rates Register, urban capacity mapping tools for planning future growth, the deployment of an Internet of Things sensor network to generate big data for city infrastructure planning and has plans for a world-class Immersive Technology hub.

These highlight a huge range of opportunities to innovative UK businesses to deliver projects that can address city challenges while developing long term capabilities for innovation.


Get Connected

We are keen to connect innovative UK businesses with the opportunities that cities like Belfast offer. To find out how you can get involved get in touch with the Catapult.

If you’re a city authority looking for expertise to create a city strategy, talk to us. We can work with you to create a plan.

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