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Smart cities group opens accelerator venue



#HyperCatCity provides facility for public and private sectors to test ideas and technology for smart city developments

A group of organisations involved in smart city initiatives has set up an ‘accelerator’ for public sector organisations and commercial companies to work on new projects in the sector.

#HyperCatCity has opened the site in collaboration with the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) in west London.

It was developed as part of a large regeneration project in the area, which has involved the launch of OPDC in April, and the establishment of the Urban Innovation Centre on the site under the Future Cities Catapult.

The Mayor of London’s Office is one of the backers of the initiative, along with a collection of private sector organisations including BT, Cisco and KPMG.

Among the areas to be covered at the #HCC accelerator are smart utilities infrastructure, access to data, technology for health and social care, smart and safe transport, air quality and smart energy. It could also take in work on approaches to financing, governance and procurement in these areas.

Cities' needs

Nick Monnickendam, director of marketing for internet of things specialist Flexeye, one of #HyperCatCity’s backers, told UKAuthority that the accelerator will provide “a physical space and natural organisation to bring together companies that create services and cities that could have a need for them”.

He said the space has been used for a few weeks before its official opening by about 200 organisations, largely small and medium enterprises but also a few city authorities.

“It involves working on a multitude of technologies that relate to utilities, transport, communications and physical infrastructure,” he said. “A lot of it is about sharing the data and turning it into valuable services over time.”

Scott Cain, chief business officer of the Future Cities Catapult, said: “We set up the Urban Innovation Centre to be a destination for businesses, academics and city leaders to discuss and develop the cities of the future. It's a space for urban innovators to work together, so that they can turn human insights and ingenious new technologies and processes into applied products and services that will be deployed in cities around the world.

“We actively support the new #HyperCatCity accelerator as it aligns with our goals and shares our collaborative approach to the complex and compelling challenge of making cities better for all of us who live, work, learn and move through them.”

Image: Lord Erroll, director and chairman of HyperCat, with Victoria Hills, chief executive officer of OPDC





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