Government launches funding for cities of tomorrow

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Wants to give one city £24 million funding

The Government is calling on cities around the UK to demonstrate how they can integrate their services to improve their local community for a chance to win £24 million.

The funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) wants to see cities come up with plans that demonstrate how they can integrate their transport, communications and other city infrastructure to improve the quality of life in that area as well as reduce impact on the environment.

The Future Demonstrator Programme, which opened for bids this week, will work by inviting local governments and local authorities to bid for one of twenty £50,000 grants to carry out a feasibility study to develop their demonstrator project proposal.

These cities will then be invited to submit a proposal for the large scale demonstrator – and one successful city will be awarded £24 million funding to implement their proposal.

To be in with a chance of winning councils should put together a plan that shows how they will tackle specific challenges in the city as well as showing how it will have the potential for a large impact on the economy, quality of life and environment of the city.

The proposals must also show how the council will provide a platform that allows innovative companies, particularly SMEs, to test their ideas as well as have the potential for further development and use beyond the initial two years of funding.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “People and technology are developing and changing all the time, and we can’t expect our cities to stand still while that is happening.

“Cities face major challenges such as changes in population and demographics, congestion, waste and pressure on resources and services.  This underlines the need for our future cities to have high-quality, integrated infrastructure to meet these challenges.

“There is great potential for Britain to lead the way in this area and that’s why this programme is so important. I’m looking forward to hearing about the bids which cities put forward and seeing what the city of the future may look like.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added: “In the future there will be a large market for innovative approaches to delivering efficient, attractive and resilient cities.

“We have world-leading companies in areas such as project management, engineering, architecture, energy and transport systems, communications and the digital economy.  The UK has a world-class science and research base that supports the development of innovative solutions and provides a talent pool for UK and global firms, so we are well-positioned to exploit the growing market.”

The competition is for cities or equivalent local authorities responsible for an urban area with at least 125,000 residents.

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