Sheffield Smart Lab has held its Demo Day in Sheffield Hallam University with the attendance of 50 stakeholders from the British ecosystem of urban innovation. The event featured presentations based on the innovative ideas of the 9 winners of the programme, as well as Simon Green, Sheffield City Council Executive Director of Place, Iñigo Jodra, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Cities of Ferrovial Services; Professor Steve Haake, Professor in sports and engineering, from Sheffield Hallam University.
Sheffield Smart Lab ,a programme launched in June 2015 by Sheffield City Council, Amey and the Centre of Excellence for Cities of Ferrovial Services, identified 50 solutions developed by urban entrepreneurs from 10 different countries and selected the best to tackle the Sheffield’s strategic challenges: invigorating the city centre and supporting people to live independently. During the first trimester of 2016 the entrepreneurs participated in an incubation and acceleration programme managed by Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University. All the winning solutions are included in the Catalogue on Innovative Solutions of Ferrovial Services.
Support for entrepreneurship and urban innovation
Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Business, stated: ”as a City Council it is very important for us to encourage innovation in Sheffield. There is a lot of demand for innovation among citizens and we are conscious that to achieve this we need partners such as start-ups or businesses that focus on innovation. This is what Sheffield Smart Lab is about: supporting entrepreneurs, helping them to develop their ideas and make them happen. Thanks to this we benefit not only the city but also entrepreneurship.”
Iñigo Jodra, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Cities of Ferrovial Services, has highlighted that “one of the differentiating aspects of the Sheffield Smart Lab is that entrepreneurs have the opportunity to try their solutions in a real context in the city. This step gives great visibility to the solutions and drives the necessary subsequent collaboration from entrepreneurs with other stakeholders from the ecosystem to continue perfecting their solutions and launch them in other cities.”
Commitment to urban innovation
Sheffield Smart Lab is in line with Ferrovial Services interests in supporting the most forward thinking cities in putting into practice innovation orientated towards citizens, enriching the offer of urban services with better innovative solutions, as well as contributing to the development of society through, for example, supporting entrepreneurship. This initiative can be summed up in other collaborative programmes such as Madrid Smart Lab, Madrid Smart Parking, Urban Solutions Project, Changify and Cities Open Challenge.