News story

Urban innovation: creating solutions for our future cities

The new Urban Innovation Centre will help UK businesses turn their innovative ideas into practical solutions for cities around the world.

Image of a future city
The Urban Innovation Centre will support businesses in creating solutions for our cities of the future

The state of the art Centre was created by the Future Cities Catapult, a global centre of excellence on urban innovation.

The Centre will help UK SMEs and other businesses turn their ideas into real solutions for cities across areas such as:

  • architecture
  • engineering
  • infrastructure
  • design
  • digital technology

It will serve as headquarters for the Catapult, housing:

  • a ‘Cities Lab’: a decision-making theatre and exhibition space
  • a number of resident innovators and collaborators
  • a selection of Future Cities Catapult projects including:
    • ‘Sensing London’, creating a new infrastructure of sensors for cities
    • ‘Cities Unlocked’, a collaboration with Microsoft and Guide Dogs for the Blind which is changing how blind and partially sighted people navigate cities

Pioneering our future cities

Opening the Centre today (17 March) Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Supporting the pioneering technology behind future cities will help make our cities more clean and efficient.

The government-backed Catapult centres are hubs for British businesses and academics to work together, helping bring their research to market.

The Future Cities Catapult is already helping deliver cutting edge technologies such as the audio headset to help blind and partially sighted people navigate cities and the new Urban Innovation Centre is the UK’s next step in designing and developing the cities of tomorrow.

Bringing innovators together

Today also sees the announcement that Ordnance Survey will be locating its Geospatial Innovation Hub within the Urban Innovation Centre, taking up the first resident innovator’s spot in the building.

Director of Products and Innovation at Ordnance Survey Peter ter Haar said:

The Urban Innovation Centre gives OS’s innovation team wider access to skills, knowledge and technology.

With over 10,000 daily changes to our database of more than 460 million unique geographic features, we have the most accurate and current picture of Great Britain, and our collaboration with the Urban Innovation Centre and the Future Cities Catapult should be invaluable in helping existing players and newcomers to the geospatial industry unlock its commercial potential.

The Urban Innovation Centre can be found at One Sekforde St, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0BE. For more information on any of the above, including how to book the space, please visit www.urbaninnovationcentre.org.uk or follow them on Twitter @UIC_UK

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Published 17 March 2015