Sunderland makes a bid for the future
SUNDERLAND City Council has been awarded a five figure grant to help it make a case to win more than £24million, as part of a programme to create a ‘future city’.
The government innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, has selected 30 city and borough councils from across the UK to explore ways in which they could better integrate IT and communications and transport to help grow their economy.
Sunderland City Council, along with thirty other councils, has received £50,000 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 and boroughs that completed the feasibility studies will also be able to submit proposals 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, with the successful city being awarded £24 million funding to implement their proposal.
Tom Baker, head of ICT at Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland’s vision to become a truly forward-thinking, innovative city is something the council has already made a clear commitment to, with significant investment in the city’s ICT infrastructure including the development of a private city cloud and wall-to-wall superfast broadband.
“To have the opportunity to add to this investment, with £24m to accelerate the city’s vision represents a huge opportunity. Our bid will be based on how we can integrate systems and information from across the city to provide better and more cost effective services to the public, and an enhanced environment for economic growth. We are very pleased to note that the Technology Strategy Board has deemed the vision worth of further exploration. The team will be working now very hard towards the final submission.”
The future cities demonstrator project will reveal, 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.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “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 2012. After assessment and interviews the winning proposal will be announced in January 2013.
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.
Through its Future Cities Demonstrator competition, the Technology Strategy Board will invest up to £25m in a large-scale demonstrator for future cities. The project will demonstrate at scale, and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating city systems. The project will enable businesses to test, in practice, new solutions for connecting and integrating city systems, and will allow UK 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.
In the first part of the competition, 30 grants of £50,000 have been awarded to cities and urban areas to carry out a feasibility study and develop their demonstrator project proposal. In the second stage, cities will complete their feasibility study report and can also submit a proposal for the large-scale demonstrator. Up to £24m is available for the project and the successful applicant will be announced in January 2013.