This initiative will enable urban entrepreneurs to deliver innovative solutions to address the city’s strategic challenges.
Ferrovial Services, through Amey and the Centre of Excellence for Cities, has reached an agreement with Sheffield City Council to create Sheffield Smart Lab.
This programme—a first not only in Sheffield but also worldwide—seeks innovative solutions to address two major challenges that Sheffield faces: to energise the city centre, and to support people to live independently.
Sheffield Smart Lab will make the city the key place for urban innovation focused on citizens. The programme is being headed by Ferrovial Services’ Centre of Excellence for Cities.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Business, Skills & Development said: “In setting out to be the best we can be as individuals and communities, we need to be in touch with the cutting edge of innovative approaches, alongside other major European cities. This programme will also help us find the best way to realise our economic potential”.
Keith Bennett, Amey’s Sector Business Director for Local Government, said: “Supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs is a great way to introduce innovation and revolutionise the way services are delivered. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to enhance the social, economic and environmental well-being in the region, as well as making a tangible difference to the people of Sheffield.”
Íñigo Jodra, Director of Ferrovial Services’ Centre of Excellence for Cities, said: “this long-term cooperation project with Sheffield is a unique platform for developing projects for innovation in cities that combine efficiency and sustainability. We plan to contribute our know-how in collaboration programmes to lend efficient support to Sheffield’s strategic development, improve citizens’ experience and promote quality entrepreneurship in the city.”
Sheffield Smart Lab
A launch event was held on Tuesday, 30th June, at the Electric Works in Sheffield, where representatives of the partners and the urban innovation ecosystem described the initiative and outlined the benefits it would bring to the city, its citizens and entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs interested in participating can submit their projects and solutions via the Sheffield Smart Lab website until 30 September. At most 10 ten solutions will be short-listed at the end of the year.
Winners will get the opportunity to participate in an incubation & accelerator programme to develop their solution and business case in a ‘smart lab’ facility, supported by both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to put their solution to the test in a real life situation on a pilot basis in the city.
Commitment to urban innovation
Sheffield Smart Lab is part of Ferrovial Services’ strategy to support cities in developing innovation focused on citizens, enhancing services using the most innovative solutions, and contributing to the development of society by supporting entrepreneurship. In addition to this initiative, the company already has other collaborative innovation programmes such as Madrid Smart Lab, Madrid Smart Parking and Cities Open Challenge.