• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Investment of up to £7m in collaborative R&D projects that develop products and services from integrated data generated by cities.

  • Programme: Collaborative research and development

  • Award: Up to £7m

  • Opens: 15 Dec 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 04 Feb 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 11 Feb 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

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Urban living: integrated products and services

Competition results

See here for the competition results.


Innovate UK is to invest up to £7m in collaborative R&D projects that develop products and services from integrated data generated by cities.

The aim of this competition is to stimulate innovations that can help cities meet the challenges of achieving sustainable growth and other pressures.

Ultimately, the goal is to make the lives of the people who live and work in them happier, healthier and more harmonious.

We are seeking proposals to prototype, develop and evaluate products and services. Specifically, these will need to use data from an integrated city management system to solve problems around the management and operation of cities.

Proposals must be collaborative and business-led. We expect to fund mainly industrial research projects in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs).

We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £350k to £700k, although we may consider projects outside this range.

This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 15 December 2014. The deadline for registration is at noon on 4 February 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 11 February 2015.

A briefing event for potential applicants will be held in London on 7 January 2015


In 2008, for the first time in human history, more than 50% of the world's population were living in cities. By 2050, this will rise to over 70%.

Cities are more economically productive and have a lower environmental footprint per head than the national average. But they are also having to cope with changes in environmental factors, population and demographics, as well as congestion, healthcare and pressure on resources.

In response to these challenges, city authorities need to encourage sustainable economic activity and a good quality of life, while reducing their environmental footprint.

This cannot be done merely by optimising the separate components of the city infrastructure. It requires innovation to be applied city-wide, innovating from integrated data platforms.

This data might originate from disparate information systems, presented in a variety of formats – such as pure or qualitative numbers, graphs, maps or other visual representations.

Great progress is being made towards creating integrated data platforms, addressing issues of compatibility between existing systems and of capturing, organising and learning from cities' rich data streams.

That work will continue, as will the creation and opening up of increasing amounts of data as internet-enabled sensors become widespread.

Here are links to some UK examples of data from integrated platforms:

Cities will now be seeking products and services that take the rich information from these integrated data platforms and help them to provide their citizens with a better, more sustainable quality of life.

The potential market is huge. More than £6.5tr will be invested across the world in city infrastructure over the next 10 to 15 years. The accessible market for integrated city systems is estimated to reach £200bn a year by 2030. 



This competition will support the development of innovative products and services that exploit data from integrated systems to deliver solutions to problems around the management and operation of cities.

Among the areas of innovation we consider relevant are:

  • transport
  • energy
  • digital
  • health
  • the built environment
  • water use
  • safety and security
  • food
  • independent living
  • citizen engagement.

We are seeking proposals that enable consortia to design, prototype, develop and evaluate products and services, with city authorities and other users in mind.

We welcome solutions that rethink city infrastructure and services, so that ‘hard' infrastructure, such as road networks and buildings, can be adapted to ‘soft infrastructure' – the institutions and relationships which allow a city to function effectively. These include the financial system and those managing social security, education, health care, governance, law enforcement and emergency services.

Take advantage of our Horizons tool to develop your proposals. It provides insights into a wide range of factors shaping the future of urban environments and beyond.

Proposals should identify new products and services based on data from integrated platforms. They can be based on data from any existing platform, or from those under development, providing they meet appropriate standards and can be accessed through open interfaces.

Solutions focused exclusively on integrating data platforms or on creating new data platforms are out of scope. Rather, we are looking for applications that use data from those platforms for innovative solutions to city challenges.

For example, developing a new way of improving health and wellbeing by using a city data platform with access to demographics, transport, building stock, energy usage and air-quality data would be in scope. A project to integrate these data streams into a shared platform would be out of scope.

Applicants must identify the integrated data platforms they will use in their project, describe the innovation that will spring from these platforms, and explain the resulting benefit to a city.

There is no formal requirement to include a city within a consortium, but you might find this helpful to develop test cases and source real challenges and data.

Collaboration and a user-centred design approach at an early stage will increase the market appeal of products and services that are affordable while meeting city challenges.

There are three important aspects to design: feasibility, desirability and usability, and all three elements are central to the scope of this competition.

In this competition we are laying particular emphasis on products and services which are easy to use, effective and desirable. You should ensure that these will be widely used in management and operation of cities, in improving their resilience and/or in making the lives of the people who work and live there happy, healthy and harmonious.

There is no formal requirement for early- stage design, but we welcome proposals from applicants that can demonstrate a user-centred design approach to developing products and services.

We will strongly favour proposals that describe how they will test and evaluate their efficacy.

Applicants should state whether or not they have agreed access to data sources with their owners.

There is a _connect group relating to this and other urban living competitions, with networking opportunities at https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/modernbuiltktn.

Looking for partners to work on your project? 

Go to _connect

Each partner in a project can receive funding towards their project costs – the funding is a percentage of the total eligible project costs and varies, depending on the type of organisation and the type of research.

See general guidance on how projects are funded.


Funding allocation and project details

We have allocated up to £7m to fund collaborative R&D projects that address the technical challenges outlined in the scope.

Successful applicants can attract grant funding towards their eligible project costs. The percentage of costs varies, depending on the type of research being carried out and the type of organisation involved.

For this competition projects must be business-led and collaborative. They should last no more than three years. We are primarily seeking to fund industrial research with a business partner attracting 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for SMEs).

We expect projects to range in size from £350k to £700k. We may consider larger projects but applicants should contact us directly before making their application to discuss further.

Find out if your business fits the EU definition of an SME.


Application process

This is a 2-stage competition that opens for applicants on 15 December 2014.

  • Stage 1 - applicants submit an expression of interest which is assessed.
  • Stage 2 - we invite selected applicants to submit an application.

The deadline for registration is at noon on 4 February 2015 and the deadline for expressions of interest is at noon on 11 February 2015. The second-stage deadline for invited applications is at noon on 15 April 2015.

Applications are assessed on individual merit by an independent panel of experts.

A briefing and networking event for potential applicants will be held in London on 7 January 2015 to highlight the main features of the competition and explain the application process. Applicants are strongly recommended to attend. To register for this event, go to connect.innovateuk.org/events

Note: All deadlines are at noon. 


Key dates

  • Competition opens: 15 December 2014
  • Competition briefing in London: 7 January 2015
  • Registration deadline 4 February: 2015 noon
  • Expressions of interest deadline: 11 February 2015 noon
  • Stage 2 opens for invited applicants: 2 March 2015
  • Briefing webinar (for invited applicants): 11 March 2015
  • Deadline for invited applications: 15 April 2015 noon

More information

To apply you must first register with us through the competition page on the website. Registration opens when the competition opens and closes a week before the deadline for applications.


As part of the application process all applicants are asked to submit a public description of the project. This should adequately describe the project but not disclose any information that may impact on intellectual property, is confidential or commercially sensitive.

The titles of successful projects, names of organisations, amounts awarded and the public description will be published once the decision to offer an award has been communicated to applicants by email. Information about unsuccessful project applications will remain confidential and will not be made public.

E-mail pressoffice@innovateuk.gov.uk with any queries.