Fifteen British startups have flown to Australia as part of the latest Future Cities Mission with the goal of bringing back lessons on building smart cities and forming business partnerships, and investment and export opportunities.
The mission began with the startups identifying common problems in the cities of each country. Though geographically distant and quite different, the group concluded that London and Sydney share three primary urban problems:
- under-used transportation services;
- the pressure on natural resources; and,
- the density of the cities.
“This kick off event has validated the idea that whilst UK and Australian cities may be half a world apart, their challenges are similar,” said Innovate UK’s innovation lead, James Taplin. “Not the exact same, but with the same core difficulties and opportunities that mean our UK entrepreneurs and their Australian counterparts intuitively understand one another and how they can each contribute to solving future city challenges. It has sparked some immediate close collaborations, and set a strong foundation for the rest of the program.”
The British startups participating in the mission include Westfield Technology Group – the creator of Heathrow Airport’s self-driving pods, JustPark – a smart parking system, Doordeck – a smart key-to-smartphone startup, Inavya Ventures, Loqiva, Grid Smarter Cities, Open Energi, Predina Tech, Bulweria, Citi Logik Limited, SEaB Energy, Sunamp Ltd, MultiPass, Upside Energy Ltd, and Digital Node.
“With this entrepreneur mission, we wanted to help UK and Australian advanced urban services businesses find new collaborators and new opportunities, linking them all with new city opportunities and investment to mutually benefit everyone involved. We believe the greatest innovation comes from the mingling of diverse ideas in an environment that is conducive to their growth. With this mission to Australia, we aim to achieve just that,” said Taplin.