Led by Innovate UK, the Future Cities Missions are designed to offer UK urban innovators a unique opportunity to enter overseas markets. During the one-week in-country missions, UK companies meet and pitch to prospective partners, investors and customers and visit local pioneering future cities projects.
After successful missions to Malaysia, Singapore, India and Australia within the past 2 years, the next Future Cities Mission is to China in November 2018.
The mission to China is open to established, UK-registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and urban innovators looking for Chinese customers, partners or investment in these areas:
Smart mobility, including CO2 emissions, efficiency in transport systems, multi-modal transport and connectivity, and the user experience;
Affordable healthcare for an ageing population, using big data to offer patient-centred solutions, integrate healthcare platforms, and deliver high-performance computing services and cloud platforms for health management;
Sustainable urban environments, using smart platforms to monitor and forecast industrial and domestic pollution, energy efficiency and optimisation, brownfield management and urban waste;
Urban planning and technology infrastructure including IoT, systems integration, data analytics and smart grid.
The mission will highlight the wealth of opportunity for UK companies in China’s Greater Bay Area. This cluster of 11 cities across the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macau province is Asia’s most dynamic region. It’s currently developing into a global hub for technology and innovation and has aspirations to become a world-leading economic centre that will rival Tokyo, San Francisco and New York.
The successful cohort of UK urban innovators will primarily visit the city of Shenzhen. It is a centre of technology for internet start-ups, including Tencent and Huawei. Once the makeup and objectives of the delegation are confirmed, a bespoke mission week programme will be designed which may also incorporate trips to other cities such as Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Wuhan and Hefei.
“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 southeast 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 of events was fantastic.”
Dean Gifford, Preliminal Limited, Mission to Southeast Asia
Preparation and planning is critical to success so each mission participant will be given expert advice and support before travelling to China to ensure that they are as prepared as they can be for exploring new markets.
Each successful applicant will be invited to an ‘international readiness workshop’ where they receive pitch coaching and are introduced to local market conditions projects, and various collaboration tools and techniques.
"We received perfect information in advance. By the time we arrived on the mission we were more than prepared to go. Everything was very well done."
Stephen Leece, Logik, Mission to India
During the mission week, participants will benefit from a tailored, intensive programme consisting of high-level presentations, discussion sessions, networking opportunities, trade-shows, supplier site visits, and a programme of carefully curated 1-2-1 meetings.
All mission participants will also become part of a thriving Future Cities alumni network where companies have exclusive access to international business opportunities and relevant events.