Wednesday 31 July 2013 – Media Release
Future Cities Catapult and Level39 join forces to unlock finance for Future Cities
The UK’s Future Cities movement is set to receive a major boost, thanks to a new initiative by the Future Cities Catapult and Level39, Europe’s largest accelerator space for financial, retail and future city technologies, based at Canary Wharf.
A series of executive breakfasts, interviews and a showcase event at the end of September 2013 will be held to explore the potential for new and existing financial models to fund future cities technologies.
Launched in March this year, the Future Cities Catapult is an independent innovation centre set up by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). It aims to help UK businesses develop cutting-edge, high-value urban solutions and then sell them to the world. The Catapult will unite business, city governments, innovators and academia to run a series of large-scale pilot projects that address how cities can become more economically active, while lowering their environmental footprint and moving towards a low-carbon economy.
The Future Cities Catapult is prioritising the ‘Future Cities Financing’ aspect of their work programme to address the need for large-scale investment into the sector. Growing cities represent a great opportunity to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to provide a major boost to the UK economy.
More than £6.5tn will be invested globally in city infrastructure over the next 10 to 15 years. Of this, the accessible market for companies developing future city systems is estimated to be worth £200bn a year by 2030. Critical to the flourishing of future cities is greater access to finance for integrated city systems (not simply the traditional model of investment in specific projects in areas such as transport, energy and health).
The Future Cities Catapult will focus on developing and leveraging finance for cohesive city systems as a key area of activity in future. This work has begun by tasking Level39 with pulling together experts from within its extensive finance and investor networks to raise awareness of investment opportunities and draw upon their knowledge to debate the merits of the current or potential new funding models.
Peter Madden, Chief Executive, Future Cities Catapult, said: “In the future, the majority of people will live in cities. There are huge benefits to people and opportunities for business in making cities better places to live, but at present we lack the financial mechanisms to unlock these opportunities.
“Future Cities Financing will explore the challenges, opportunities and risk profiles for different kinds of investment. By engaging with the right financial stakeholders, we can also amplify the message that investment in smart cities is a new and highly valuable asset class.”
Eric Van Der Kleij, Head of Level39 at Canary Wharf Group plc says: “We are pleased to be supporting the Future Cities Catapult by creating the right blend of industry experts to debate the crucial issue of future cities financing.”
“The built environment at Canary Wharf is one of the most technologically advanced in London and we will continue this journey at Level39 by facilitating new innovation in future cities technology. Our location alongside the capital’s leading financial district and extensive contacts, which include finance specialists, fund managers and investors, will enable us to help unlock vital sources of funding.”
For further information, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: +44 (0)20 7418 2326
M: +44 (0)7779 888 075
NOTES TO EDITORS:
View the film clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wxauDnRJXk
Established by Canary Wharf Group plc, at 29,000 square feet, Level39 is Europe’s largest accelerator space for businesses innovating in financial, retail and future city technologies. It helps growing businesses to deliver world-class financial technology products and services through unrivalled access to office, event and social facilities, new customers, partners, talent, investment, ideas and social and cultural amenities provided by Canary Wharf.
Level39’s layout has been designed in ‘tech industry’ style by architects Gensler, who have worked on some of the world’s most exciting workspaces including offices for Facebook and Google. Since beginning fit-out in October the space has been transformed to include:
• An exclusive set of ‘sandboxes’ – think spaces which will enable accelerator programmes, software engineers and builders of financial services platforms to refine, test and showcase transformative technologies in a safe, ring-fenced environment
• A growth-phase zone for businesses experiencing rapid expansion, making it easier to meet potential clients and partners, investors, mentors and other entrepreneurs. This includes an open plan kitchen with an iPad-powered coffee machine.
• Drop in space, hot and fixed desks available for hire.
• A new 200 seat event space to host regular industry events and demonstration days, with some of London’s best views
• A modern reception area visually reflecting the technological innovation taking place at Canary Wharf and further afield, leading to a future ‘Technology Tunnel’ designed to showcase new IT products and services in an interactive way.
• An express elevator with Level39 as the first stop
• The Level39 Business Club Lounge, which will host a membership-style club attracting leading industry figures and investors
• Semi-open and open-plan office areas to service the needs of early-stage and growth phase businesses
About the Future Cities Catapult
The Future Cities Catapult is one of seven Catapult centres being established by the Technology Strategy Board with over £1 billion of public and private sector investment expected over the next 5 years. The Catapults will bridge the gap between business, academia, research and government to promote and nurture technology innovation. Other Catapults include High Value Manufacturing, Cell Therapy, Satellite Applications, Connect Digital Economy, Transport Systems and Offshore Renewable Energy.
For further information please visit our website at www.futurecities.catapult.org.uk
About The Canary Wharf technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) community
Canary Wharf’s TMT sector occupiers range from innovative financial technology companies and IT consultancy businesses, to advertising and media groups and business information providers.
TMT companies at Canary Wharf include:
Oracle Financial Services Instinet
Ogilvy & Mather
The Economist Group
Business IT company Infosys has recently opened its Experience Centre at its Canary Wharf offices at 10 Upper Bank Street. The Experience Centre is a showcase for new software for Infosys’ clients and prospective clients.
Canary Wharf tenants like Citihub, Instinet and Ricoh are providers of high-frequency and event-driven trading platforms which are driving innovation in the financial services sector.
Canary Wharf is home to various members of the WIRED 100 (Wired magazine’s list of digital power brokers) over the past few years. Jane Moran, Chief Information Officer of Canary Wharf-based Thomson Reuters, was recently named one of the 10 most powerful women in the tech sector.
Canary Wharf Group recently launched Wired Wharf, a social network for the technology, media and telecomms community in Canary Wharf and beyond.
LinkedIn: Wired Wharf
LinkedIn: Wired Wharf Community
About Canary Wharf Group plc
Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. Canary Wharf has a working population of nearly 100,000 people in a diverse range of sectors for some of the world’s leading companies. It has paved the way for the regeneration of London’s Docklands and one in five Canary Wharf workers now lives in a local East London borough. It has helped London and the City consolidate its position at the centre of the business world.
The Group has plans in place to continue to develop Canary Wharf in the coming years. This will be in parallel with other central London developments such as the Shell Centre on the South Bank (in a joint venture with Qatari Diar) and 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London (in a joint venture with Land Securities). The Group is currently constructing the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station ahead of schedule and on budget, which received the Crossrail tunnel boring machines in 2013. It is also building a new headquarters for the European Medicines Agency at 25/30 Churchill Place.