The Innovate UK Future Cities Missions are designed for UK innovators in the Advanced Urban Services sector. The missions are a valuable opportunity to build new business collaborations overseas.
Having visited Malaysia, Singapore and India in the past 2 years, the next Future Cities Mission is to Australia in March 2018. The pre-mission programme will begin in January, once the company selection process is complete.
Within the programme, UK companies learn about market opportunities and business culture, develop a tailored pitch and then travel to Australia to meet prospective partners, investors and customers as well as visit local pioneering future cities projects.
As part of the mission
programme, your company will enjoy the following benefits:
1. Attend a bespoke International Readiness Workshop
Join market briefings, trade delegations and investor readiness training in preparation for the mission
Network with key UK companies participating in the mission
Get to know project sponsors in large built environment firms
Attend a high-profile programme launch
2. Travel to Australia
Raise your company profile in one of the biggest smart cities markets
Increase your business prospects by meeting with potential customers and city procurement managers from Australia through a facilitated meeting programme and guided site visits
Explore exporting globally by meeting with DIT's commercial advisers
Attend in-market exclusive networking events
3. Become part of a thriving Future Cities network
Join the Future Cities alumni network where companies have exclusive access to international business opportunities and relevant events
Receive introductions to meet trade delegations and other businesses
Learn from past and future missions
Who should attend?
Missions are open to UK registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and urban innovators who have been trading for a minimum of 12 months. These innovative and high growth potential SMEs will be looking for Australian customers, partners or investment within one of the following advanced urban services themes:
Infrastructure: energy, waste and water management, telecoms, security and safety, built environment
Smart mobility: transport, parking, traffic management and road safety
Governance: urban planning
Health: assisted living, telehealth, air quality
Technology infrastructure: IoT, systems integration, data analytics, smart grid
Some of Australia’s city challenges, and hence drivers of demand for advanced urban services, are as follows
An ageing population
Resilience to climate change
What previous mission participants say?
“I only expected to get a feel for the market, but instead I walked away with a confirmed business deal! There is no way I could have achieved this from sitting at my desk. My only question is, when’s the next one?” Steve Birdsall, Gaist Solutions Ltd, Connected Cities Mission to India “The mission totally made a difference – it gave us a much clearer idea of where, what and who we need to focus on in the South East Asia markets. The number of events lined up as part of the programme was amazing, and the variation was great. Types of attendees for each event was fantastic.” Dean Gifford, Preliminal Limited, Mission to southeast Asia “The organisation of the 1-2-1 programme was the most valuable element for me. The opportunities we had to talk and pitch to companies was perfect.” Philip McAleese, See.Sense, Connected Cities Mission to India “We received perfect information in advance. By the time we arrived on the mission we were more than prepared to go. Everything was well done.” Stephen Leece, Citi Logik, Mission to India
Recruitment and selection process
Please submit your online application by Tuesday 28 November. There is limited space. Up to 20 UK SMEs can participate in the Future Cities Mission to Australia.
Companies will be selected in a competitive process based on their capabilities and their suitability for international exports and partnerships. You will receive an update on the status of your application on Friday 01 December.
INNOVATE 2017 is an event to meet creators, investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. From Robotics to Urban Planning, the event will deliver fresh perspectives on innovations such as artificial intelligence, smart cities, alternative food sources and space exploration. The Future Cities Mission team will be present at Innovate 2017 with a programme presentation on the international stage. It would be great to see you there.
Finally, there's a great opportunity to meet representatives from Australian cities and companies before signing up to the mission. You are welcome to join us at the Future Cities Jam, where we will kick-start collaborations between UK based companies and over 20 Australian future cities organisations brought together by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), part of the Australian Government.
What are the associated costs of participating on the mission?
Subject to successful applications, there is a commitment fee of £250 + VAT which is payable within one week of a participant’s place being confirmed. Mission organisers will support all participants with booking return flights and accommodation in Australia but the costs associated with these will be covered by the participant. The commitment fee is non-refundable but will be deducted from the total cost of a participant's accommodation and return flights. Costs associated with travel within the mission week programme (eg. for site visits) will be arranged and paid for by mission organisers.
Participants should note that participating on the mission will not only be a financial commitment, but it requires time commitment also. Participants should expect to spend approximately 5 days prior to the mission booking and preparing for meetings with Australian companies as well as writing and practicing their pitches. Participation and engagement with the mission’s preparatory programme of workshops and coaching is compulsory and it is important that the same person who is attending the mission week will participant in these activities. Here are our the key dates to note:
Applications open :16 October
Innovate 2017, Birmingham :08 - 09 November
Recruitment webinar :14 November
Austrade mission, Manchester :17 November
Application deadline :28 November
Application confirmation :01 December
Commitment fee deadline :08 December (compulsory)
International Readiness Workshop, London :01 - 02 February (compulsory)
Media Launch Event, London:28 February (compulsory)
Mission week, Melbourne :12 - 16 March (compulsory)