Smart city accelerator launched in MediaCityUK testbed

A smart city initiative has been announced that aims to find ground-breaking technology solutions that will positively improve the quality of life for people and businesses post-pandemic.

The Smart City Innovation Testbed accelerator programme has been launched by UP Ventures Group, backed by Manchester-based digital, tech and creative hub MediaCityUK and Connected Places Catapult (CPC).

Market-ready technology

The programme is aimed at UK based start-ups and scale-ups which have market-ready technology solutions that aspire to help people live, work, play and learn in new innovative ways.

Smart City Innovation Testbed will take place from January 2021 and last 12 weeks. It will give successful candidates access to a testbed, using MediaCityUK’s technology infrastructure, and provide opportunities to pilot innovations within a real-life setting.

As well as access to online learning and dynamic workshops, candidates will be supported by talented technologists, industry experts, dedicated coaches and investors drawn from UP’s international network.

“Our mission with this programme is to find and enable the technologies that can have a profoundly positive impact on citizens and the places that they live and work,” said Steven Thomas, managing partner, UP Ventures.

“Our team and partners are hugely passionate about technology and how it can help people and businesses thrive again in such difficult times.”

According to the partners, the testbed offers an ‘unrivalled’ opportunity for progressive businesses to explore the role of places in the future, including, but not limited to: how technology can enhance safety in existing and new building design and positively enhance future business models, as well as how places can evolve to encourage meaningful interaction and creativity both now and in the future.

Sustainability is key to applications and the announcement of the programme follows MediaCityUK being recognised as having the highest cluster of net-zero carbon buildings in the UK after a further six of its properties were third-party verified against the UK Green Building Council’s 2019 definition.

“Our world is rapidly evolving and by supporting an important accelerator programme such as this means we’re able to invest in the talent who, going forward, can make a positive difference to the way we lead our lives in a post-Covid world,” added Stephen Wild, managing director of MediaCityUK.

“MediaCityUK is very much a living smart city laboratory where we will be the springboard for some of the greatest innovations of our time and we very much want these talented technologists to succeed and grow within the MediaCityUK community.”

The programme is fully funded and there is no equity exchange with any partner. Deadline for applications is 23 October 2020. To submit an application, go to Smart City Innovation Testbed.