Future Cities Catapult
The Future Cities Catapult
The Future Cities Catapult is a global centre of excellence on urban innovation. A place where cities, businesses and universities come together to develop solutions to the future needs of our cities.
What’s the big idea?
We’re one of seven ‘Catapults’ launched by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. The aim for each of them is to become a world-leading innovation centre in its own specialist area.
As you can guess by the name, our Catapult is all about urban innovation. In particular, we’re focussed squarely on the challenge of urban integration: how cities can take a more joined-up approach to the way they plan and operate. To improve quality of life, strengthen their economy and protect the environment.
What we do
Based in the heart of London, our role is to get people working together to solve real challenges faced by real cities right now.
Cities sharing what’s worked for them in the past. Companies and universities working together. New innovations being road tested at scale. New solutions getting to market. Financiers, lawyers and city governments teaming up to remove barriers to innovation. The Future Cities Catapult is a neutral space where all this happens.
We’re making London the place to come for cities that need help with urban innovation. And we’re also driving future economic growth in the process. Because we’re based in London we unlock global markets for British business, and help UK businesses create the products and services that cities need around the world.
How will we do it?
Our vision is a world where every city in the world has the products, services and expertise it needs to integrate its systems and future-proof itself for the benefit of its citizens, economy and environment.
To achieve that, our mission is to bring together cities, firms and academics to develop new commercial solutions for integrated city systems. We do three things:
- demonstrate the opportunity and prove what works
- enable innovation through collaboration
- remove barriers to scaling-up.
Too often we do things in cities that fight against each other. We make life easier for the car and create health problems for people. We use energy to keep one building cool next to a building we’re trying to keep warm. We build homes miles away from jobs. We create traffic jams.
The future is integrated
What makes more sense is for city systems to work together for mutual benefit. Waste and energy systems working in tandem to create low-carbon energy from rubbish. Mobile networks helping transport systems deal with rush hour. That sort of thing.
Fostering this integration is what the Future Cities Catapult is here to do. Encouraging cities to operate in a more joined-up way – helping them improve quality of life, strengthen their economies and protect their environment.
But urban integration is a complicated issue. But sometimes one of the hardest things is getting the right people in the right room at the right time. Making this happen is one of the key roles the Future Cities Catapult plays.
We’re creating a cutting edge innovation space in London where experts from all around the world are invited to come together to innovate. A neutral space where businesses, academia, investors and cities sit down and work together, facilitated by our urban innovation specialists from the Future Cities Catapult.
It’s a place where experts from all disciplines can work together. Imagine analysts talking to scientists talking to environmentalists talking to anthropologists talking to behavioural economists talking to architects talking to designers talking to financiers, all figuring out how to sort out urban flooding… This is the way collaborative innovation will make a real difference in the future.