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iCentrum to launch 'intelligent mobility' business centre

First confirmed project at new technology hub on Innovation Birmingham Campus will focus on developing apps to enable greener and smart transport

From left: Chris Moody, chief business development officer for Transport System Catapult, David Hardman, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham, and Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro
From left: Chris Moody, chief business development officer for Transport System Catapult, David Hardman, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham, and Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro

A new dedicated centre focused on so-called 'intelligent mobility' is set to open in Birmingham next year.

The hub is the first confirmed section of the new £8 million iCentrum building which is currently under construction in Holt Street and is the second part of the Innovation Birmingham Campus.

The business incubation centre will be concentrated solely on intelligent mobility which uses emerging technologies to enable the smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and goods.

In particular, it will encourage the development of smart phone and other apps which provide real-time information and advice for passengers.

The West Midlands transport body Centro and Transport Systems Catapult, an innovation centre for intelligent mobility, have both signed up as joint partners for the specialist, 2,500 sq ft centre which is due to open in March.

Innovation Birmingham's business mentors will work in the incubator and there will also be mentoring from industry experts, access to open and closed transport data and insight into innovation challenges facing the transport industry.

Representatives from Centro and Transport Systems Catapult will have co-working space within the incubator in order to open doors to the local, national and international intelligent mobility marketplaces.

They will act as partners of the incubator for an initial three-year term.

Tech start-ups looking to develop innovative new concepts within the field of intelligent mobility - or responding to the innovation challenges - will be offered space in the incubator.

Centro' chief executive Geoff Inskip said: "The concept for an intelligent mobility incubator based here in the West Midlands was born out of Centro's 'New Journey' initiative which we launched 12 months ago to harness new technologies for the benefit of passengers.

"Being at the centre of the UK's transport network, we are ideally placed to drive new innovation to further improve the passenger experience.

"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.

"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."

Steve Yianni, chief executive of Transport Systems Catapult, added: "Innovation Birmingham has an exemplary record for attracting and developing tech start-ups.

"By launching a new incubation centre dedicated to intelligent mobility within the campus, disruptive innovation will result.

"This represents an important step in our long-term aim of helping UK-based businesses to capture a large share of the emerging new Intelligent Mobility market."

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