Cambridge City Council has thrown its hat into the ring for a slice of £24 million being offered by the Technology Strategy Board in its UK ‘future city’ competition.
It is one of 30 local authorities chosen to carry out feasibility studies as the first stage of the initiative. Ipswich and Peterborough are also in the hunt.
Cambridge is a hotspot for the smart technologies – driven by Neul, AlertMe and others – that will shape the cities of the future. Councils have to drive the projects but they can engage external parties to evolve their plans.
The councils will each receive £50,000 from the TSB to complete feasibility studies showing how they could integrate their transport, communications and other infrastructure to improve the local economy, increase quality of life and reduce impact on the environment.
The cities that have completed the feasibility studies will also be able to submit a proposal for a large-scale ‘future cities demonstrator’, showing how the city’s multiple systems will be integrated and how challenges in the city will be addressed. One successful city will be awarded £24m funding to implement their proposal.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “We planned originally to fund 20 feasibility studies but because of the number of high quality initial proposals received from councils across the whole country we decided to increase the funding available so that thirty studies could be carried out. The results will be made public and we look forward to seeing some exciting future city demonstrator proposals.”
The feasibility study reports, and proposals for a large scale demonstrator, must be submitted by November 14. After assessment and interviews the winning proposal will be announced in January.
The future cities demonstrator project will demonstrate, at scale and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating a city’s systems.
The project will enable businesses to test - in practice - new solutions for connecting and integrating individual city systems, and will allow cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change.
The Technology Strategy Board is also establishing the Future Cities Catapult – which is a world-leading technology and innovation centre. It will help UK businesses to create products and services that meet the needs of the world’s cities as they adapt to future demands.
The Technology Strategy Board will arrange for ongoing monitoring and collection & analysis of data from the demonstrator through the Future Cities Catapult.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board