A dedicated workspace has been set aside in Birmingham for entrepreneurs to develop smart apps for public transport.
The 2,500 sq ft intelligent mobility incubation centre will be part of Innovation Birmingham’s ‘Serendip’ facility, located in the new £8 million iCentrum building which is set to open at Birmingham Science Park in March 2016.
According to Centro, the public transport body in the West Midlands, tech start-ups will be offered free space in the incubator for their first six months. They will also have access to expert guidance and support.
Centro and the Transport Systems Catapult, the UK’s innovation centre for intelligent mobility, have signed up as joint partners and will offer insight and information to businesses in the specialist incubation centre for an initial three-year term.
We will help entrepreneurs to interpret the vast data sets that can initially appear as a major hurdle but actually have the potential to revolutionise the public transport marketplace, explained Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip.
This is a very important new initiative for Centro and we eagerly anticipate the launch of the incubation facility when the iCentrum building opens next year.
The workspace will focus solely on intelligent mobility, which uses emerging technologies to enable the smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and goods. Tech start-ups in the incubator will develop innovative new concepts within this field, or respond to the innovation challenges currently facing the public transport industry.
In particular, the incubator will encourage the development of smartphone and other apps that provide useful information and advice for passengers, Centro said.
Innovation Birmingham’s ‘Serendip’ will be a 10,000 sq ft incubation centre purpose-designed to nurture relationships between corporate executives and entrepreneurs, said Dr. David Hardman MBE, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham.
I am delighted that the first quarter can be announced eight months before the building is open. This is a hugely confident statement about Birmingham’s Smart City ambitions, he added.