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Expression of Interest: Urban Links Africa

Introduction

As the UK’s national centre of excellence for urban innovation, Connected Places Catapult helps identify and open-up new innovation markets for UK companies in cities around the world.  Over the next year, we will be running the Urban Links Africa project. We will be offering high-growth SMEs an opportunity to deploy innovative technologies to help solve key, high priority challenges in cities within Kenya and South Africa and to connect with senior stakeholders in these African cities.

Background

City-led innovation in urban infrastructure development and service delivery is on the rise in African cities. Many of them are creating new districts and neighbourhoods from the ground up, while also fostering new and rapidly growing innovation ecosystems. Cities on the continent face numerous urban challenges, yet the business and investment climate, as well as prospects for economic growth, are rapidly improving.

To understand the role and potential impact for UK Business, Innovate UK commissioned a scoping exercise completed by Connected Places Catapult in March 2019 to identify if and how African cities offer an opportunity for UK innovation companies; and to garner early insights on the most promising routes to market for such opportunities.  The African Cities Innovation Analysis Report report was launched on 19th November to share insights with interested SMEs, which covered the following elements:

  1. A city typology analysis of 14 cities across the continent of Africa;
  2. Case studies from African cities, including Gauteng Province, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya; and
  3. Recommendations for Innovate UK and Catapult engagement in African cities.

Please click here for the full African Cities Innovation Analysis Report.

Call for Expression of Interest

Following The African Cities Innovation Analysis Report launch, we are now offering SMEs to apply for an initial Expression of Interest (EOI) that can help Connected Places Catapult shape the final Open Call launch.This will allow is to allow us to scout for SMEs before the final selection for deployment in African cities.

If you are an SME and would be interested to be considered for this opportunity, please follow this link to fill out the EOI form.

The EOI is open from now until February 2020.

Please be aware that the purpose of registering for the EOI is for the Catapult to collect information about your business, and for registered businesses to gain priority updates on the Urban Links Africa project.  A separate Open Call launch will open in February 2020 where we will require a more detailed submission (information will follow).   

Timeline for Submission

The following is the timeline leading up to the deployment period for selected SMEs: