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Launch of £25m Future Cities Demonstrator Programme

As initially announced in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s 2011 Autumn statement, the Technology Strategy Board has allocated £25m to invest in a Future Cities demonstrator.


Over the last few months we have been working with many of you to develop a competition that will produce the biggest impact we can achieve with the available investment. As of 11 June 2012 the competition is now live.


The funding will be awarded to the city or urban area in the UK that submits the best proposal for a large scale ‘future cities demonstrator’, showing how the city’s multiple systems will be integrated and how challenges in the city will be addressed.


In the context of this competition, a city is a contiguous urban area with a population of at least 125,000.


The competition will run in two stages.


The programme invites local governments and local authorities to initially bid for one of twenty £50,000 grants to carry out a feasibility study and to develop their demonstrator project proposal.  The cities that have completed the feasibility study will then be invited to submit a proposal for the large scale demonstrator – and one successful city will be awarded £24m funding to implement their proposal.


The project will demonstrate, at scale and in use, the additional value that can be created by integrating a city’s systems.  The project will enable businesses to test - in practice - new solutions for connecting and integrating individual city systems, and will allow cities to explore new approaches to delivering a good local economy and excellent quality of life, whilst reducing the environmental footprint and increasing resilience to environmental change.


We are looking for proposals that:

  • show the integration of multiple systems in novel ways;
  • tackle specific challenges in the city;
  • have the potential for a large impact on the economy, quality of life and environment of the city;
  • combine recent or current investment in city infrastructure with the demonstrator funding to create a more effective test environment;
  • provide a platform that allows innovative companies, particularly SMEs, to test their ideas;
  • have the potential for further development and use beyond the initial two years of funding.


Project proposals must be submitted by the city or local authority.

For registration, application form and guidance for applicants, please visit


We have created some FAQs to try and answer your question here. These will be updated as new questions arise, so please submit your queries in the forum.


A briefing webinar will be held on 22 June 2012. Please register here.


Key dates for the competition:


Stage 1

Competition opens 11 June 2012
Briefing webinar 22 June 2012
Registration deadline 28 June 2012 (noon)
Deadline for applications 5 July 2012 (noon)
Decision to applicants 20 July 2012


Stage 2

Competition opens 30 July 2012
Registration deadline 7 November 2012 (noon)
Deadline for receipt of full applications 14 November 2012
Shortlisted candidates invited to panel interviews 27 November 2012
Panel interviews 5 & 6 December 2012
Decision to applicants January 2013




2 people have had something to say so far

As an SME we would like to be involved in some way in a Future Cities Demonstrator project. How can we identify the cities in our region that intend to enter the competition and the people in the city council who we should contact regarding what we can offer to them?
Posted on 19/06/12 10:32.

There are two levels of engagement. If you see yourself as contributing to the full-scale demonstrator project, rather than to the applications to the feasibility stage, it is fairly easy. We will publish those cities who are running feasibility studies, and you can engage with them during their study and see where your capability fits into their overall plan.

If you want to offer your services to help citeis during their feasibility study it is a little more complicated. Clearly we do not know which cities might be planning an application and so cannot advise you. The only option is to talk to likely cities in your region directly. However, cities do not have to specify who they intend to work with during their feasibility study as part of the application process, so there is still an opportunity to approach cities in the feasibility programme after their names have been announced.

Posted on 26/06/12 15:04 in reply to Simon Hedges.

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