“By 2050 more than 7 billion people will live in urban areas. The UK’s Smart Cities can be an inspiration and global leader in shaping great places to live. Our Smart Cities can not only learn from each other but also share and sell their expertise. So this is a major investment and export opportunity. With the global Smart Cities market estimated to be worth up to £1 trillion by 2020, the UK is extremely well placed to take commercial advantage of this.” – Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister
Let’s look at Uber? Uber has changed the way we travel around London in a smart way. How? By transforming the way we get a taxi. Before Uber, in London, if you were in need of a taxi you’d have to stand on the curb and flag one down without a guarantee that it’s gong to stop for you. But with Uber, it’s so simple. Create an account, store your payment method, enter a destination and request the taxi. Within minutes, a driver responds to your request. The platform allows you to track, in real-time, your driver on his way to your pick-up location. The Uber driver already knows where you are by using your devices location so there’s no need to worry about giving out directions and when you arrive at your destination, your stored payment method prevents you from exchanging cash through a glass divider in the taxi. By increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of a smart ecosystem just like Uber, the costs of things are reduced and it increases productivity and sustainably. This can and has been applied to many ideas, some of which we know today such as Snapchat filters, iBeacon marketing and PokemonGo.
Watch “Geovation Hub – One year on” in the video above to see what some of our current Programme members had to say about their journey on the accelerator so far.
Encouraging the ‘smart’ movement across the world, we’re enabling the use of new products and services that use geospatial data through the Geovation Programme, our accelerator Programme setup to invest funding, resource and business support to people with great ideas. We have one company, Pedals Delivery, who are developing an app for a environmentally friendly, bicycle delivery service for London. Another clear example of how geospatial data can provide benefits for our city, not just by making deliveries quicker for consumers, but reducing our footprint on the environment by using alternative transport methods other than heavy-polluting vans, lorries and trucks to bicycles. Another start-up we’re supporting is Shipamax, the ship-brokerage service that puts the customer in control. By using satellite imagery and local shipping port data, a ship has never been easier to book. It eradicates the long process of worrying about where the nearest ship will be for loading huge stock, and reduces the time and price. Along the way, we’ve attracted some big partners one of which includes the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) we asked Principal Consultant for DSTL, David Barber, a couple of questions about our partnership and this is what he said…
What has been the highlight of being a Geovation Programme partner?
“It’s great to be able to engage with a UK start-up scene that, until the Geovation Programme came into being, didn’t have natural focus. The range and quality of the start-ups you’ve brought into the Programme is impressive. You can really feel their energy and commitment when you visit the Geovation Hub and it gives you confidence that they are going to make a real success of their activities.”
Where would you like to see Geovation in five years time and how will you help us do that?
“In five years I hope we’ve managed to help you build links to other government activities supporting start-ups and accelerating new technologies, especially those with a geospatial element. I also think taking the Geovation Hub brand and approach international is an excellent aspiration as it would really help to galvanise a technology sector that I believe will only increase in importance and opportunity. With Dstl’s partners around the world I hope we can assist while we also ensure that innovative science and technology contribtures to the defence and security of the UK.”
Applications to the Geovation Programme are open until 17 August. Benefits include:
- 6 months of financial support from day one.
- 1:1s, workshops, master classes and events.
- bESPOKE DEVELOPER AND BUSINESS SUPPORT.
- access to software, technology and geospatial data.
- Expert support from industry leaders.
- Resident member status at the Geovation Hub