Connected Places Summit set to welcome leaders and innovators

Cities, transport and place leadership brought centre stage at inaugural event featuring over 220 speakers.

Network Rail’s chair Lord Peter Hendy is among the leading speakers addressing the inaugural Connected Places Summit which begins today at 22 Bishopsgate, the City of London’s tallest skyscraper.

Lord Hendy – who is overseeing the start of Control Period 7 on the railways from 1 April – will be in conversation with Connected Places Catapult’s chief executive Erika Lewis this morning; with further keynote addresses today from Cabinet Office Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG and Glasgow City Council leader Cllr Susan Aitken.

Further high profile speakers today include Andrew Haldane, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts’ and who chairs the Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council, and Mission Zero Report chair and former MP, Chris Skidmore.

Speakers lined up for this afternoon include Emma Frost, the chair of the UK Innovation Districts Group who will discuss efforts to make places function better; Lorna Pimlott, the managing director of the UK Infrastructure Bank; and Jo North, director of the Port of Tyne.

High profile presenters speaking tomorrow include Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission which recently published its five-yearly assessment of the UK’s future infrastructure needs; and Transport for All’s chief executive Caroline Stickland who will speak about the need for transport innovation in cities to be inclusive to everyone.

A panel discussion hosted tomorrow by Connected Places Catapult’s chair Professor Greg Clark CBE will see the Department for Transport’s chief scientific advisor Sarah Sharples and Heathrow Airport’s chief operating officer Emma Gilthorpe discuss ways to accelerate cross-sector innovation.

Former Olympic cycling champion Chris Boardman MBE will also be addressing the Summit tomorrow; taking part in a panel discussion looking at how innovation can optimise existing infrastructure, in his role as the National Active Travel Commissioner.

Delegates will also have the chance to hear speaker panels discuss how to spread prosperity fairly across cities and regions, accelerate innovation between sectors, and opportunities for improving our built environment.

Across the two days, 220 speakers will address the Connected Places Summit, which is being attended by more than 650 delegates each day in person, with over 1000 more watching online.

The Summit is hosted by Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s innovation accelerator for transport, cities and place leadership, and brings together the disciplines of roads, rail, aviation and ports alongside housing and the art of place leadership. The event is supported by Innovate UK with the Department for Transport as strategic partner and DNV as the headline partner.

Cross-cutting themes addressed at the Summit will include climate resilience and making sure infrastructure fully addresses the needs of all people. There will be a focus on the role of innovative start-up companies developing clever technology, as well as the emergence of artificial intelligence and digital twins in shaping transport and cities of the future.

“I am thrilled to welcome delegates to our inaugural Connected Places Summit, which promises to showcase the very best in thinking from leaders and innovators right across the transport and cities landscape.

“Our Summit will convene key influencers from across cities, transport and place leadership to shape our next decade. We must optimise a new suite of exponential technologies, combined with fresh enterprise and investment models, to drive jobs and growth across the UK as we transition to a low carbon, and high value, shared prosperity.”
Professor Greg Clark CBE, Chair, Connected Places Catapult
“I am delighted that so many speakers and delegates are coming together for our Connected Places Summit. With the collective power of the people who have chosen to attend this event, both in-person and online, the next two days promise to help move multiple agendas forward.

“I am also very much looking forward to meeting with many of our stakeholders in my new role leading the Catapult.”
Erika Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Connected Places Catapult

To watch the event online, and to see more detail of who is speaking and when, visit the Summit website.