Passenger Terminal Expo 2024

The world’s leading airport design and operations show.

When and where?

Messe Frankfurt, Germany
16th - 18th April 2024
8:30am - 6:00pm

We are delighted to partner with British Aviation Group (BAG) to be present at their exhibition stand and talk about our work around the Passenger Experience programme, Digital Aviation and programmes related to Air Mobility including the Drone Pathfinder Catalyst programme. 

Andrew Chadwick, Ecosystem Director Air Mobility & Airports together with our wider team working on above programmes will  join the the event. If you are attending the Expo, make sure to pay the team a visit.


Innovation Zero 2024

The UK's largest net-zero congress

When and where?

Olympia London
30th - 1st May 2024
9:00am - 5:00pm

We are delighted to once again participate in Innovation Zero, and we’re contributing to a number of sessions, including: 

Andrew Chadwick, Ecosystem Director, Air Mobility & Airports, joining the Fuelling Flight: Hydrogen session on 1 May at 11:45.

Alison Young, Head of Global Investment, joining the session on Funding the Automotive Transformation, on 1 May at 12:25 in the Transport & Mobility Forum.


UKREiiF 2024

The UK's Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum

When and where?

21st - 23rd May 2024
9:00am - 5:00pm

This year, we are proud to host our own Pavilion, a place designed to showcase real innovation, and provide opportunities to connect with thought leaders, and UK and global peers.

To review our full Agenda of sessions and activities taking place over the three days and plan your visit, please head to the UKREiiF website > Programme tab > Download Programme or > Click on the Connected Places Catapult Pavilion dot to browse online.

Make sure to visit our Pavilion in Pavilion Square, we look forward to connecting with you in Leeds! 


Open and Agile Smart Cities (OASC) Conference 2024

Become better connected

When and where?

Rotterdam, the Netherlands
16th - 17th January 2024
9:00am - 6:00pm


This event is now complete

We’re delighted to participate in the Open & Agile Smart Cities Conference. Make sure to visit our Connected Places Catapult stand on the show floor and to join the sessions our experts are participating in over the course of the two days.


Meet the innovator cleaning the air in train stations

Matteo Maccario and his start-up company Pluvo are about to install new air filtration devices on train platforms in Birmingham and Salisbury.

“Sometimes you can literally taste pollution in the air,” remarks industrial product designer and entrepreneur Matteo Maccario. “Once you know it is there – and exactly what you are breathing in – it’s hard to ignore.”

Matteo and colleagues from start-up company Pluvo have developed an air purification device for use in large public spaces, known as the ‘Pluvo Column’, and is about to install its first units on two railway station platforms: a couple at Birmingham New Street and one at Salisbury station in Wiltshire.

The company has been supported by Connected Places Catapult on two recent accelerator programmes: one focused on Intelligent Mobility in association with innovation agency Wayra UK and another set around Milton Keynes. It has also been part of an SME engagement programme and network with the Catapult.

The Pluvo Column features a three stage filtration system to remove airborne pollutants including exhaust gases – such as nitrous and sulphur oxides – and particulate matter. Air is sucked in from the base of the unit, filtered and released back into the local environment above head height. The units can operate either to a pre-determined schedule, or start working when air quality monitors housed inside the unit detect that levels of pollutants have reached a threshold.

“We are confident that the devices can have a significant impact on air pollution within a radius of 25 metres or greater,” Matteo says. “And as you get closer to around 13 metres, levels of particulate matter have been found to reduce by about two thirds.

“For the trials in Birmingham and Salisbury we are targeting areas with seating where people are waiting for trains, in order to create cleaner air zones, as both stations see a fair amount of diesel trains passing through. But the devices could also help station managers to better understand the impact that certain trains can have on air pollution; highlighting the times of day when spikes in pollution are being seen – and for how long.”
Matteo Maccario, CEO, Pluvo

Aiming for form, function and return

Matteo developed the air filtration device alongside company co-founder Rikesh Chotai after graduating from a double Masters in innovation design and engineering with Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.

Their aim was to develop a system that not only improves air quality, but looks attractive in an urban setting – and can generate revenue.

Matteo and his team researched and tested a series of existing filtration technologies – most of which were designed either for small enclosed spaces like homes, or larger industrial processes – and refined them for use in public settings.

They set about designing infrastructure to house the purifier and came up with a 2.7 metre high ‘totem’ which has an elliptical form and no sharp corners. “We were very focused on how the column should look. The fact it is an elliptical shape makes the engineering a bit more difficult, but we were keen to maintain the aesthetic,” Matteo says.

Each totem features advertising screens on two sides as a mechanism to help pay the running costs and generate income. Static advertisements will be displayed for the initial station trial sites, but digital LED screens are planned for future iterations of the device.

Matteo adds that if the units prove to be a commercial success, they may incentivise clients to install more of them; helping to clean even more of the air at railway stations.

Pivoting from streets to stations

Pluvo’s original plan was to install air purification devices alongside busy roads and in town centres. Trials took place beside the North Circular Road in London but when it came to permanent installations, council planning processes proved slow and unpredictable. Matteo decided to pivot towards transport hubs and the rail environment and partnered with Network Rail (which manages Birmingham New Street) and South Western Railway (which looks after Salisbury) to trial the Pluvo Column.

The company realised that the device’s impact may be even greater at stations than beside streets because the units can be placed at pollution hotspots, close to where many people gather and wait.

Matteo adds that the devices could work equally as well in other transport hubs, such as metro stations, inside multistorey carparks and beside pick-up and drop-off zones at airports.

Placing clean air devices prominently in public spaces could also help to raise the importance of clean air among the public, Matteo suggests – especially if the messaging of the brands being advertised on the side of the units has an environmental theme. “Everyone talks about sustainability and the need to limit climate change, but unfortunately the threat of air pollution to human health doesn’t get as much attention. The more people can become educated about the importance of clean air, the more chance we have of seeing legislation introduced to help reduce the problem.”

Pluvo’s participation in the Intelligent Mobility accelerator with Connected Places Catapult and subsequent showcase day led to discussions with rail industry representatives, including an innovation manager working for South Western Railway which resulted in the Salisbury trial.

“The Catapult made several important connections for us, including with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London which carries out air quality research,” Matteo says. “We were also invited along to various events such as rail investor days, and have been kept in the loop when opportunities arise.”
Matteo Maccario, CEO, Pluvo

Early Years

Matteo Maccario was born in Nashville, Tennessee to Italian parents and the family moved to Canada when he was 11. As a child, he remembers wanting to be an inventor and took a keen interest in the environment and nature.

His father was an engineer “which probably influenced my career” and Matteo enrolled on a mechanical engineering degree at Western University before spending four years of his early career at a heavy machinery firm involved in fabrication and assembly.

He later worked as a lean business consultant, and participated in a climate impact and entrepreneurship programme with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. He also enrolled on a circular economy fellowship programme with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, led by the former sailor.

In 2016 he enrolled on the double Masters course with Imperial and the Royal College, which gave him an appreciation of how engineering and design can come together. Five years ago, Matteo co-founded Pluvo. The team outsources the manufacturing of the new devices in the UK, but for now Pluvo assembles the units itself. “I enjoy getting hands on; it’s important to physically feel the joy or pain of how the design comes together,” says Matteo.

“Our primary focus with the units is functionality, but we also consider the sustainability of the materials we use, their embedded carbon and whether our units can be easily updated, upcycled or reused, rather than ending up in landfill in some distant future.

“The start of our journey has been full of learnings,” he adds. “We are still in our early days, but have investors on board and are looking to raise £1 million to help with our expansion,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to work on many interesting projects, but this has been the most exciting journey yet.”

Matteo also joined us on a previous episode of the Connected Places podcast – listen below. 


London Real Estate Forum 2023

Together we will shape better cities

When and where?

Barbican, London
27th - 28th September 2023
9:00am - 6:00pm


This event is now complete

Sam Markey, Ecosystem Director, will join the panel titled ‘The rise of Innovation Districts: Knowledge, Inclusion, Growth’ at 15:15 on 27 September, and he will also contribute to the Roundtable on the Power of Partnership.

Dr. Rachna Lévêque, Senior Housing Innovation, will contribute to the Retrofit Roundtable.


London Build 2023

The UK's leading construction & design show returns at Olympia London

When and where?

Olympia, London
15th - 16th November 2023
9:00am - 6:00pm


This event is now complete

Dr. Rachna Lévêque, Senior Housing Innovation Lead, will host a retrofit panel in the Built Environment Hub on 16 November from 11:45, titled ‘Accelerating residential retrofit for health and climate resilience’ and will be joined by retrofit leaders and innovators from Arup, Gbolade Design Studio, and Twin Sustainability Innovation / LETI.


UK Construction Week 2023

The UK's largest event bringing all parts of the industry together

When and where?

NEC, Birmingham
3rd - 5th October 2023
9:00am - 6:00pm


This event is now complete

On Wednesday 4 October (Day 2) from 15:00, we will host our very own Connected Places Catapult panel titled ‘Home Retrofit: Moving beyond EPC to improve health, wellbeing, and climate resilience’. Speakers include Andy Mitchell, Managing Director, Green Building Store; Dr. Rachna Lévêque, Senior Housing Innovation; and Alanna Gluck, Delivery and Engagement Manager, both from Connected Places Catapult.

That same day from 15:15, Gavin Summerson, our Built Environment team lead, is joining the panel titled ‘Beyond the Numbers: Building Trust in Data in the Built Environment’.

Colleagues and SME’s part of our network will be onsite for the duration of the event. Come by our stand to speak with one of our experts and to learn more about our projects and other opportunities.


Connected Places Networking Reception at UKREiiF

Join local government, built environment leaders, and regional, national and international investors to close Day 1 UK’s Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF)

When and where?

Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, Leeds, England, LS10 1LT
16th May 2023
5:45pm - 8:30pm


This event is now complete

Connected Places Catapult is pleased to invite you to the Connected Places Networking Reception, an official UKREiiF event.

Meet existing and new key stakeholders and industry experts, national and international local government, investment community and built environment stakeholders driving the levelling up agenda, innovation and green finance. You’ll learn more about the Cities Commission for Climate Investment (3Ci) and Connected Places Catapult flagship initiatives in the levelling up and green finance agenda.

Venue: The Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Drive, LS10 1LT, Leeds
Room: The Tournament Gallery

Places are limited to 200 attendees only. If you would like to attend please register your interest as soon as possible and we will get back to you if you have been successful.

Please note that to attend this reception you need to have a valid UKREiiF delegate pass. If you don’t, unfortunately you won’t be able to attend.

Cllr Susan Aitken
Leader of Glasgow City Council
Susan Aitken was elected as Leader of Glasgow City Council in 2017, forming a Scottish National Party (SNP) led City ...
Susan Aitken was elected as Leader of Glasgow City Council in 2017, forming a Scottish National Party (SNP) led City Government in the first change of political administration in Glasgow in 40 years. She was first elected as a councillor for the Langside ward (where she lives with her husband) in 2012, following a career in public policy and communications in the third sector and the Scottish Parliament, and as a freelance writer and editor specialising in social care issues. Susan was reappointed to a second term as Council Leader following the 2022 Scottish Local Government elections.


Under her leadership, Glasgow has hosted the UN Climate Summit COP26, which led to the formation of the Glasgow Climate Pact; was awarded Global Green City status by the Global Forum on Human Settlements in 2020; has been named host of the inaugural UCI World Cycling Championships during its year as 2023 European Capital of Sport; and secured host status for the World Indoor Athletics Championships in 2024.

Susan was awarded Scottish Local Politician of the Year in 2019 for her work to end historic gender pay discrimination and deliver compensation for thousands of women Council workers. She was also awarded Scottish Council Leader of the Year in 2021 for her leadership on climate issues, including plans to remove private car use in the core of Glasgow city centre by 2025. Susan was selected as one of 40 global city leaders for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Class of 2023.

Nicola Yates OBE
Chief Executive Officer
Connected Places Catapult
As CEO of Connected Places Catapult, Nicola Yates OBE works to put UK innovators, businesses and places at a competitive ...
As CEO of Connected Places Catapult, Nicola Yates OBE works to put UK innovators, businesses and places at a competitive advantage at home and overseas. Nicola led the creation of Connected Places Catapult through the merger of the Future Cities Catapult (of which she was CEO) and the Transport Systems Catapult in 2019.

With experience leading two major British cities (Bristol and Hull) as well as a rural Midlands district, Nicola is an expert in building visionary ‘roundtable partnerships’ which are key to cultivating successful places, and understands the power of technology to transform the destiny of local economies. In 2018, she harnessed these skills to broker the ground-breaking Belfast City Region Deal which secured more than half a billion in investment and an estimated £2 billion GVA benefit to Northern Ireland’s innovation economy.

In addition to sparking the innovation potential of places, Nicola has expertise in accelerating net zero transition. Whilst CEO at Hull City Council, she helped catalyse the Humber clean energy cluster, and under her leadership Bristol was the first UK city to be named European Green Capital, delivering one of the most technologically-enabled programmes to date.

Nicola is currently a trustee for the independent policy think tank ‘Centre for Cities’ and is a member of SOLACE (the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives) and the Chartered Institute of Housing. She has featured in the Local Government Chronicle’s ‘Top 50 most influential figures in local government’ and was awarded ‘Woman Achiever in Housing’. In 2010, Nicola received an OBE for services to local government.

Greg Clark CBE
He is chair of the Connected Places Catapult (CPC), the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place-leadership, ...
He is chair of the Connected Places Catapult (CPC), the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and place-leadership, and Chair of the UK Cities Commission for Climate Investment (3Ci) which convenes city leaders and urban investors to finance a just net zero transition. He is a Board member of Transport for London (TfL) and the London LEP. He chairs TfL’s new Land and Property Committee that oversees TfL low carbon property and housing company (TTLP).  He is a member of the WEF Global Future Council on Cities & Urbanisation and a member of the Bloomberg NEF Council on Cities.  He is Hon Prof of Urban Innovation at Strathclyde University and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is author of 10 books and 100 reports on cities, innovation, investment and place-leadership. His monthly column: The Planet of Cities, is hosted by RICS. He is Global Cities expert on the BBC World Service Series, My Perfect City.

Greg is a world expert on cities, urban innovation, investment, and the net zero transition. Over 35 years, he has worked with more than 300 cities, 40 national governments, 20 multilateral institutions, and multiple global corporates and investors. His previous roles include Group Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries at HSBC Investment Bank, Chair of the OECD Forum of Cities & Regions, Global Fellow on Cities and Metropolitan leadership at the Brookings Institution, and Global Fellow on Urban Investment at the Urban land Institute. He was Lead Advisor on Cities to the UK Gov, and was Executive Director of the London Development Agency and Managing Director of Greater London Enterprise. He has been a senior advisor on urban investment to the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the European Investment Bank.

He has chaired more than 20 internal advisory boards for individual cities that are reformulating their future investment strategies, long term plans, and governance, including New York, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Sydney, Auckland, Barcelona, Vienna, and Oslo. He has led comparative studies on Chinese, Australian, European, North American, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Chinese, ASEAN, and Indian Cities.  Since 2020 he has been tracking the impact of the COVID pandemic on 100 cities globally, and has developed a unique framework for assessing the post-pandemic city.

Georgia Gould
Councillor for Kentish Town Ward
Camden Council
Georgia Gould was elected a Councillor for Kentish Town ward for Camden Council in 2010 at the age of 24. ...
Georgia Gould was elected a Councillor for Kentish Town ward for Camden Council in 2010 at the age of 24. After holding a range of Cabinet portfolios, she became Leader in 2017 and as Leader has made citizen voice, participation and co-production a priority for the organisation. Under her leadership the Council held the country’s first Climate Emergency Citizens Assembly in 2019 to inform the response to our climate and ecological emergency. Georgia is Chair of London Councils and Co-Chair of the London Recovery Taskforce as well as a member of the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) Board. @Georgia_Gould
Day 1
16th May
Registration and Networking
Welcome from Connected Place Catapult
Welcome from 3Ci
Reflection from Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council
Reflection from Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council
Networking drinks and refreshments
Event close

MK Accelerator Cohort Booklet