Boost for research into cities of the future
25 November 2011
London is becoming a global leader in future cities research, after Imperial College London, Cisco and UCL entered into a three year initial agreement to create a Future Cities Centre in the capital on 10 November.
The Centre will be a physical space in Shoreditch where businesses, academics and start-ups can openly collaborate. It will be part of Tech City, which is the fastest growing technology cluster in Europe.
The Future Cities Centre will focus on the thematic areas of Future Cities and Mobility, Smart Energy Systems, the Internet of Things and Business Model Innovation. It will form a major node of Cisco’s National Virtual Incubator, which is a sustainable public technology network that promises to stimulate entrepreneurship by connecting physical sites through IT infrastructure.
Under the agreement, new Research Associates from Imperial and UCL will co-locate in the new facilities, where they will embark on new research activities whilst also drawing on the institutions’ existing research excellence.
At Imperial, researchers are already working on two research programmes that are exploring how cities can become more intelligent and sustainable. The Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community is looking at issues such as dramatically reducing cities’ carbon consumption. The multidisciplinary Digital Cities Exchange is investigating how digital technologies can boost the capabilities of the energy, health, transport and utility resources in our cities.
Deputy Principal Research and Business Engagement for the Business School, Professor David Gann, said: “Understanding users and markets for new services and creating entrepreneurial capabilities will be done in tandem with developing engineering systems and technologies. This combination will fuel the business models that we need for jobs and growth in the digital economy. Imperial’s internationally leading researchers in the areas of infrastructure, transport, energy, ICT and business will develop new ideas for making our cities smarter, more resilient and more sustainable.”
— Laura Gallagher, Communications and Development