Expression of Interest: Urban Links Africa


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. This African Innovation programme 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.


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:

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

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

Global Innovation Programme; Urban Planning Innovation; Urban Infrastructure Innovation
Call for Expression of Interest

Following The African Cities Innovation Analysis Report launch, we are now offering UK SMEs and South African or Kenyan organisations to apply for an initial Expression of Interest (EOI) that can help Connected Places Catapult shape the final Open Call launch, and will ensure interested parties are kept updated about project developments. This will allow is to allow us to scout for UK SMEs and South African / Kenyan organisations before the final selection for deployment in the six chosen cities across Kenya and South Africa.

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 late June 2020 (date TBC) where we will require a more detailed submission (information will follow).