Innovate UK and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) are leading a Smart City trade mission to Malaysia and Singapore.
It follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s 2015 visit to the region. It forms part of the government’s Exporting is Great campaign, which hopes to inspire and support 100,000 UK exporters over the next four years. It has identified Smart City technology as a key sector to exploit.
Niraj Saraf, lead technologist for Urban Living at Innovate UK, said the technology strategy board was particularly focused on challenges around congestion, growing urban populations and the environmental impact of cities.
To address these challenges, city governments needed to move away from siloed, transactional relationships with their citizens to a more integrated outlook – hence the establishment of the Urban Living programme.
He said that, having built up a thriving startup ecosystem around Smart City tech in the UK, the time was right to start thinking about helping such companies expand on a global basis.
Among the companies heading to Asean are Multipass, a provider of seamless ticketing systems, which hopes to help people navigate the complicated range of ticket options on the UK rail network; and Bronze Software Labs, which builds mobile and wearable apps for smart city projects.
The companies also include Block Dox, which is trialling a system that allows building managers to track humans around a building to better plan what services to provide; and Ordnance Survey, which is on an internal mission to use its vast repository of spatial data to enable geolocation features in Smart City applications.
Part of the mission’s overall objective will also be to help open doors for smaller tech companies that may have lacked the ability or the confidence to expand overseas, and create partnership opportunities for them.