Get Smart with Centro

Applications invited for smart transport start-ups.

Tech-savvy entrepreneurs are being offered their own state of the art research facilities as part of an innovative new scheme in Birmingham.

Centro, the delivery arm of the region’s integrated transport authority, is inviting start-up companies developing cutting-edge apps and other smart transport technology to set up home at the Intelligent Mobility incubator at Birmingham Science Park.

The project is jointly funded with Transport Systems Catapult, the UK’s centre for intelligent mobility and will occupy a section of Innovation Birmingham’s ‘Serendip’ Smart City centre.

New businesses developing smart apps for public transport can now bid for a place at the specialist hub, to access invaluable industry insight and information. Innovation Birmingham today welcomed the first cohort of applicants onto the programme, at its newly opened £8 million iCentrum building, including the first four transport start-ups – Truckulus, Conigital, Proxicon and EnableiD.

Intelligent Mobility harnesses emerging technologies for the benefit of passengers, to promote smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and goods. The emphasis is on encouraging the development of smart phone and other apps providing useful information and advice for passengers.

TSC and Centro will work as partners on the project for the first three years, providing state of the art equipment, desk space, workshops and mentoring. Successful start-ups will have free space for the first six months and access to more than 100 evening and networking events per year, working directly with commercial partners to test and refine new products and services.

Centro’s director of integrated mobility Chris Perry said: “We are at the centre of the UK transport network and ideally placed to drive innovations that can improve passengers’ experience. The Intelligent Mobility incubator will open up new data resources to entrepreneurs and will mean opportunities to address transport business challenges and provide direct access to key people from Centro and transport operators.”

TSC chief executive Steve Yianni added: “The launch of the Serendip Incubator will allow us to offer our knowledge and expertise in the intelligent mobility sector- especially to SMEs with innovative ideas for the future of transport. We believe in the power of sharing knowledge – and what better way to do this than in an environment dedicated to nurturing new businesses with fresh ideas?”

Intelligent Mobility is one of four sector-specific elements of the Serendip Smart Cities Incubator at Birmingham Science Park’s Knowledge Hub.

Serendip Smart City Incubator co-locates promising start-up businesses with large commercial partners in one of four sector-specific quarters – Digital Health, Intelligent Mobility, Internet of Things and Barclays Eagle Labs.

Innovation Birmingham is also collaborating on the programme with the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, RWE npower and Barclays.