• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Funding to meet challenges in the areas of energy, data and transportation.

  • Programme: SBRI

  • Award: Up to £5m

  • Opens: 01 Jul 2013, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 07 Aug 2013, 12:00

  • Closes: 14 Aug 2013, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Future Cities Solutions

Competition results

The results of this competition are now available; see the pdf of the winning project proposals:

Summary

The Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £5m in an SBRI competition to stimulate solutions in three areas, where UK cities face many of the same specific challenges: in energy, data and transportation.
 
There are two phases to the competition. In the first phase up to £1m is available, with contracts awarded to organisations to explore feasible solutions, and to develop proposals for prototyping and implementation. Successful organisations will attract a 100%-funded development contract, up to a maximum of £100,000.
 
In the second phase of the competition, cities have volunteered to come together around specific challenges, and will offer themselves as ‘test beds.' Up to £4m is available, with contracts awarded to develop, deploy and test integrated urban solutions. Based on the quality of their proposals, developed in the first phase of the competition, successful organisations will attract a further 100%-funded development contract, up to a maximum of £1m.
 
The competition is open to individual companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors. 
 
The competition opens on 1 July 2013. The deadline for registration is noon on 7 August 2013 and the deadline for applications for phase one of the competition is noon on 14 August 2013. A briefing session will be held on 3 July 2013
 

Update for applicants!

We have expanded the scope of challenge two to allow for broader applications - see amended wording in the scope section below.
 

Background

Cities are vital to the future global economy. One third of the UK's population lives in the country's ten largest urban areas, and cities are the engine of economic growth. 
 
However, cities are struggling with climate change, changes in population and demographics, congestion and healthcare, and pressure on key resources. Over time there will be a large market for innovative approaches to creating efficient, attractive and resilient cities.
 
The Technology Strategy Board launched the Future Cities Demonstrator competition in the summer of 2012. In the first phase, 29 UK cities were given funding to carry out feasibility studies that showed the value that could be created by integrating city systems. This allowed UK cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing their environmental footprint and increasing their resilience to environmental change. The feasibility studies can be accessed at https://connect.innovateuk.org/ web/future-cities-special-interest- group/feasibility-studies
 
In January 2013, Glasgow was chosen to carry out a large-scale demonstration of how city systems can be integrated, and the Technology Strategy Board has funded smaller demonstration projects in Bristol, London and Peterborough. These projects will enable businesses to test new solutions for connecting and integrating city systems.
 
The Technology Strategy Board has also worked with UK cities that participated in the Demonstrator competition, to identify shared challenges facing local authorities, where viable solutions are not yet available on the market. This SBRI competition aims to tackle these challenges, in the areas of energy, data and transportation.
 

Scope

Organisations must identify clearly which of the following challenges they are addressing, and they may only submit one application per challenge. Organisations need to demonstrate that their proposed solutions are not currently available on the market.
 
In implementing their solutions, organisations must use open, non- proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) and data formats, drawing on best practice and established standards, and leveraging proven technologies and systems. Their role is then to adapt, extend and tune these technologies and systems, to address the shared challenges that cities face.
 
While they must address one of the shared challenges below, proposals should also have the potential for wider deployment, as a tested and proven solution, in other cities in the UK and globally. This is an important assessment criterion.
 

Challenge 1: Develop a data platform for power and heat usage with sufficient granularity to identify community trends and individual usage patterns in both domestic and commercial buildings.
 
Cities lack information in the rapidly changing energy market. They are therefore seeking a solution both to bring down, and better handle, the cost, supply and demand of energy. Cities see opportunities in bringing organisations together to create efficiencies, but at present they lack an understanding of the utilities that each uses.
 
With macro-level energy data, cities can invest more intelligently in new technologies, provide more focused geographic support to areas where energy supply is lacking, and gain better decision-making evidence on issues such as targeted retrofitting and fuel poverty. Local authorities are seeking a solution that can give insight on why energy demand changes, in order for them to respond quickly to it.
 
Proposed solutions should: 
  • provide granularity of data, down to a building-level analysis 
  • aggregate granular data in meaningful zones within a city for macro-analysis 
  • review energy consumption patterns, and be able to predict energy consumption and demand in the future. 
 
Challenge 2Develop a solution for a city management platform that can connect the disparate data sets and data sources to be found within a city, using a non-proprietary, generic and open application program interface (API).
 
Cities would like to overlay datasets that they currently have in silos, in order to get a more holistic view of how their data interacts. These datasets include those relating to transport, air quality, energy usage / resource efficiency, and licensing of premises / planning. Cities are looking for companies with particularly innovative solutions to displaying and analysing data.
 

Challenge 3: Develop a scalable, on-demand mobility solution to help employees or visitors reach businesses within a city. 
 
Transporting people, goods and services within a city is costly, and it affects a city's environmental footprint: on any given day in the UK, 15% of CO2 emissions are caused by people driving around looking for a parking space.
 
Cities are looking for an on-demand mobility solution that allows for the planning of journeys to businesses within a city, in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Some of the challenges cities would like to address include, but are not limited to:
  • overcoming diseconomies in getting people to work 
  • developing flexible modes of transport to enable more flexible ways of working 
  • making transport an enabler of other smart initiatives 
  • improving the transport of goods and services (eg improving mail order delivery services, making better use of fleet vehicles, ensuring on-time delivery of goods) 
  • managing the interdependency of various modes of transport. 
 
In all of these areas, we are particularly interested in proposals that:
  • tackle the specific challenges identified in the competition, with innovative solutions 
  • have the potential to make significant improvements to a city's economy, quality of life and environmental impact 
  • have the potential for further development and use beyond the initial two years of funding. 
 
We are specifically excluding proposals that: 
  • do not provide solutions in one of the shared challenge areas 
  • use the funding to bridge resource gaps in existing projects, though we welcome new applications or modifications of existing technology
  • are led by a city authority or equivalent. 

SBRI and funding allocation

SBRI enables public sector bodies to connect with innovative ideas and technology businesses, to provide innovative solutions to specific challenges and needs. 
 
The public sector is able to find innovative solutions by reaching out to organisations from different sectors, including small and emerging businesses. New technical 
 
solutions are created through accelerated technology development, while risk is reduced through a phased development programme. SBRI also provides applicants with a transparent, competitive process and a reliable source of early-stage funding.
 
SBRI competitions are open to all organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution. The SBRI scheme is particularly suited to small and medium-sized businesses, as the contracts are of relatively small value and operate on short timescales. Organisations in the public, private and third sectors, including charities, may apply.
 
Projects are 100% funded and focus on specific identified needs, increasing the chance of exploitation. Suppliers for each project will be selected through an open competition process and will retain the intellectual property generated from the project, with certain rights of use retained by the contracting authority. This is an excellent opportunity to establish an early customer for a new technology, and to fund its development.
 
In this competition, we will invest up to £5m in projects that meet the challenges outlined in the scope above. 
 
There are two phases to the competition. In the first phase up to £1m is available, with contracts awarded to organisations to explore feasible solutions, and to develop proposals for prototyping and implementation. Successful organisations will attract a 100%-funded development contract, up to a maximum of £100,000.
 
In the second phase of the competition, cities have volunteered to come together around specific challenges, and will offer themselves as ‘test beds.' Up to £4m is available, with contracts awarded to develop, deploy and test integrated urban solutions. Based on the quality of their proposals, developed in the first phase of the competition, successful organisations will attract a further 100%-funded development contract, up to a maximum of £1m.
 
This competition is open to individual companies and other organisations from the private, public and third sectors. 
 

Key dates

  • Competition launch: 1 July 2013 
  • Briefing session: 3 July 2013 
  • Deadline for registration: 7 August 2013, at noon 
  • Deadline for phase one applications: 14 August 2013, at noon
  • Applicants notified of decision: 18 September 2013 
  • Feedback provided by: 25 September 2013 
  • Contracts awarded by: 18 October 2013 
  • Phase one projects commence: 1 November 2013
  • Phase one projects completed: 31 March 2014
  • Phase two opens: 2 May 2014
  • Deadline for phase two applications: 7 June 2014, at noon
  • Phase two applicants notified of decision: 14 July 2014
  • Phase two contracts awarded by: 13 August 2014
     

Application process

This competition opens on 1 July 2013. The deadline for registration is noon on 7 August 2013 and the deadline for applications for phase one of the competition is noon on 14 August 2013. A briefing session will be held on 3 July 2013 in London for interested applicants. It will be an opportunity for companies to ask questions about the SBRI competition and meet some of the cities that will be participating as ‘test-beds'. Read further Information about the event
 
 

Further information

To apply for this competition you must first register with us. When you register you will get access to all the supporting information you need to read before you apply, including the Guidance for Applicants and the application form. Directions on how to enter this competition can be found in the Invitation to Tender (SBRI_Dept_CompCode_001).
 
Application forms are suitable for one application only. If you intend to submit more than one application, please request further information from the Business Support Group, at competitions@innovateuk.org.
 
For more information about SBRI see www.innovateuk.org/sbri
 
In putting your application together, you may find it helpful to use a free tool, called Horizons, which is used by the Future Cities team and the Technology Strategy Board to ‘future-proof' strategies and drive innovation. If you'd like to discuss the support available to help you use Horizons, email Clare Martynski.
 
 

Publicity

As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive. The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the award is confirmed as final. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.
 
E-mail pressoffice@tsb.gov.uk with any queries.